Social Media Friends With Benefits

Friends with BenegitsMy first job out of college was at a radio station in Tupelo, MS and the GM of this station played golf, like it was his full time job and when he wasn’t playing golf he was hanging out at the country club for lunch and when he wasn’t hanging out at the club for lunch he was hanging out at the bar after work for drinks. To 21 year old Terry, that looked like a pretty sweet gig.

But here’s the thing, he got deals done. I rarely saw him type a sales proposal or even go on a sales call, but he was the stations top salesperson every month.

Turns out that most of the time that he was golfing and lunching and drinking, he was golfing and lunching and drinking with the local Budweiser distributor, the local Pepsi distributor, a car dealer or two and a handful of other major clients that brought in a whole lot more revenue than the fireworks stands and hair salons they were sending me out to call.

I learned my first rule of sales then: Be their best friend.

Hang out. Talk. Chat. Drink. Play some golf. Wish ’em a happy birthday. You know, be friends.

Most of selling isn’t about sales. Most of selling is about building relationships. And that’s exactly what social media can help you do – build relationships.

Social Media Consultant Ted Rubin says that the primary yardstick of social media isn’t ROI – Return on Profit, but ROR – Return on Relationship.

By concentrating on building the relationship, you put yourself in a position to get the deal done when it’s time to do the deal.

If the GM of that small town radio station had wandered out onto the golf course with a briefcase full of pie charts and spec spots, those good ole boys wouldn’t have given him the time of day, But he set out to make friends first.

Friends buy from friends and that’s the way it’s always been.

I started using social media mainly to find out who got fat and bald from high school, but I quickly found out that this social media stuff is pretty valuable when it comes to making friends with one very valuable benefit – they buy shit from me.

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Terry LancasterTerry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing.

You can connect with Terry on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.