In our modern age, buying and selling has never been easier. With the click of a mouse or swipe across a smartphone screen, consumers are able to buy and sell at warp speed, in real time.
But despite that convenience, many buyers feel a sense of disconnect in the age of thriving e-commerce. They crave personal interaction, and value building relationships with sellers. Independent business owners should cultivate one-on-one connections, and promote their businesses in a sincere, organic way. These impulses are so strong that the social selling industry grew nearly 5 percent last year*, a surge that outpaced traditional retail sales.
Personal touches facilitate authenticity, trust and credibility – the building blocks of relationships that have a tremendous impact on the consumer experience, according to Amway’s 2016 State of Social Selling Report .
Here’s why they are important in social selling:
Passion and knowledge foster credibility.
Consumers want to buy from sellers who have first-hand experience with the products they sell. When this is coupled with a sincere passion for those products, 87 percent of consumers want to make a purchase, according to the report. The credibility of product use matters so much that respondents overwhelmingly believe that it is impossible for someone to sell a product they haven’t used themselves.
Authenticity breeds trust.
That in-depth knowledge about and passion for a product, alongside sensitivity to a customer’s lifestyle and personal needs, ranked highest on the list of qualities that tune consumers in to an authentic, trustworthy salesperson. This personalization, and opportunity to actually see, touch and try on what they are buying, makes the experience more enjoyable.
Authenticity also creates a desire for more personal shopping interactions, driving would-be traditional buyers into the social selling realm. The trust that builds from this interaction is highly valued, and goes a long way to facilitate future sales.
Relationships drive social sales.
When conversation flows between buyer and seller, the credibility and trust established often forms the foundation of an ongoing relationship. These personal connections are the main drivers of the social selling experience – in fact, 83 percent of consumers who purchased from social sellers said they value establishing a relationship before making a sale.
Consumers crave quality and assurance in both their products and how they purchase them, and the root of that experience is the interpersonal relationship.
So what does it take to become a better social seller? Click here for seven best practices that will help you supercharge your social selling efforts.
*The United States Direct Selling Association’s Growth and Outlook Report for 2015