Internet Listening Skills – Part 3 of 3 Parts
Part 1 – Face-to-Face Listening Skills
Part 2 – Phone Listening Skills
As I posted on my FaceBook page in May:
“Your business, if you have one, needs internet presence today. If not, in a few years you will have no business.”
For most people the two previous blogs made absolute sense. Part 1: Face-to -Face and Part 2: Phone Listening Skills. Internet Listening Skills, however, will also help increase your business by leaps and bounds, if you take the time to better yourself.
But come on Elena, Internet listening skills, isn’t that a little far fetched. Do you want me to “put my ear to the computer and listen to the hard drive”?
In all reality most of your prospective clients spend more time on the Internet than anywhere else. Below are a three areas you can use to “Increase your Internet Listening Skills”, increase your new clients, and build on your existing client base. This Blog will focus on three different Internet platforms to help you become a better listener to your prospective customers.
- Social Media
- Website. You must first define out what your goal or mission statement is, and what people who fit that target market would want to see on your website. Don’t try to be all things to all people. You goal should be simply and easily stated in just a few sentences. Here is mine simply stated goal:
“I help business owners grow their businesses, expand beyond their local markets find new customers via the Internet. My VIP Coaching is for just a selected group of business owners every month. I do this in English and in Spanish.”
You can see I provide a clear description of what I can do for people. I also provide an overview of my coaching and other tools to help people get to know me and to provide an opportunity gleam from my experience. But people must contact me to find out more.
Secondly, you need a way for a prospective clients to communicate with you through your website. Most people look at websites as a way to provide information to people. Websites are no longer poster boards. Websites are now built to only provide the type and amount of information people need to decide if they would like more information. Sometimes, less is more.
If you go to my website you will see it is organized in ways to interact with me virtually. You can access my blogs and videos allow comments (Both in English and Spanish); and my social networks allow posts by others. The point is you can contact me on all my platforms.
Let people feel a connection with you on your website before you even have direct communication with them. Allow them to pick and choose how they communicate with you through your website. For example to on my site you see click here to subscribe to Elena’s posts. If you click there all you have to do click subscribe and a request just for your emails pops up on your screen. If you want more information you can click Contact and fill out information for us to contact you. Also, if you want to learn specifically about “VIP Coaching”, you can click on that link and fill out information for us to contact you directly with information about VIP Coaching. Once size does not fit all, (Trust me on this one) so you can tell your prospective Customers, you are listening by just giving them choices on how to contact you.
- Social Media
The thing most people forget about Social media is that it IS SOCIAL. Unless you’re a Hollywood Celebrity, Rock Star, or a big time Politician who only use Social Media for one-way communication; you need to interact with your target audience socially and not share cat videos. Interacting is not only expecting people to go onto your social media platforms, but also go on theirs and see what’s important to them.
There is a balance you need to create between personal and social posts. There is also the need to post relevant information consistent with your “mission statement.” Attract the people who need the services you offer and their friends also by posting information these people find valuable. Social media outlets gives you the opportunity to go into the homes and lives of people that know you or want to know you. There is an invisible trust there, so you Proceed with Caution. Spamming people with sales pitches and offers they can’t refuse will not only make you lose potentials customers at a high speed rate but may also get you kicked off of the platform. Whether it is Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Youtube, let your audience know you are listening and appreciate this invisible trust in you by connecting with through these outlets.
One quick tip on Facebook I have learned is to utilizing my Business page much more than my personal page since analytics are not provided on personal pages. One of the missteps I made was not aggressively building my business page BEFORE I reached the 5,000-friend limit on my personal page. Thousands of people began to “follow” me on FaceBook without being my friend. I missed the opportunity to ask these people to join my business page. Now I promote it all of the time.
I know, I know, most people looking at this ask, PEOPLE STILL USE EMAIL? The answer is yes, and even if you are not a fan of email, you must use it effectively to engage prospective clients. At the very least, you should realize, email it is MOST effective way to invite people to each of your Social Networks.
I want to clarify, however, that email campaigns must be approached in an efficient manner. Don’t use up all of your time reading and responding to email, rather than building your business. Email can be a vacuum on steroids sucking up your time, if you let it. Auto Respond emails are effective, however, if you ask people to communicate a different way in your auto responder, you MUST respond to them in that manner within an appropriate time frame, or you just unintentionally lied to your prospective customer. Also, if a question is asked, always thank people for contacting you, answer the question, and link them to where that question is answered on your website or social media platform.
Even if you are not an email person, when you answer people’s emails, you are letting them know you are listening and want to engage them. After that initial contact, you can let them know if there is a better way to communicate with you. Email is one of those platforms that can lift your business or hurt you business; you have to manage it in a manner that supports your goals, rather than cause an implosion of your business.
All of these platforms provide the opportunity to connect with people seeking for a solution to their problem. The beauty of it, is that it is global. You have once chance to let people know you have the solution to their problem. Listening builds trust and trust is the key ingredient in building long lasting online relationships. Throwing paint on a wall and hoping it sticks does not make for great artwork. This principle holds true in the on-line arena. Creating a static message (A post that does not interact with your audience) though the Web, Social Media, or Email will give you a static (unchanging) business. Interacting and giving relevant information to help solve a problem will show the relevance of your business. When your business has that type of online message it will grow and so will you.