RETURN IN ENGAGEMENT vs RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Updated: Feb 7, 2019
Many years ago, for a brief time, I sold advertising for a local free newspaper. It was a job that I hated with a passion. Unlike my much more hard-nosed sales associates, I believed that you needed to build relationships and ensure that people had a plan when spending their money, rather than demanding they place an ad each week whether it was right for them or not. I felt you should make an effort to build trust and goodwill before expecting someone to hand over their hard earned cash. I also believed in their right to say, no, they didn’t want to place advertising with our paper. You can imagine that achieving my weekly targets was always going to be touch and go.
Clearly, I thought, I was not suited to a career in sales. Yet, the fact remains that I do sell. I have had my business for over 20 years, have long-term clients that I enjoy working with and respect, and who I am told respect me for my honesty, integrity and delivery – and I am not afraid to stand up and talk to non-believers about the value of good quality, consistent communication.
You can imagine my amusement then, that it was a source of considerable amusement to me when
I realised during a recent social media workshop, that things really do come full circle and my time has now come. During the workshop the principle of “know me, like me, follow me”, was explained.
For those unfamiliar with the terminology, it refers to the changing sales model being driven by social media.
Know me. Visitors get to know you through your online presence. They get a sense of who you are by interacting with you via your web site, facebook, twitter, blogs. They
Like me. Depending on your interaction with them, they will make a judgement about what kind of person you are and whether they like and trust you.
Follow me. If they like and trust you, hopefully, they will decide to follow you online, and so your relationship continues and while they may not have bought from you immediately, they will probably return later when they have a need.
I share this because, to steal a phrase from Steve Clare #uksalesmentor, now is the time to consider more carefully how you market and that success today is much more about return on engagement than simply return on investment. In today’s increasingly socially driven world, interaction with customers, building trust by being prepared to offer advice, information and expertise at no cost, could ultimately make the difference between success and failure in this competitively challenging climate.