Increase your sales: Try supporting customers with social
Wannes Rams 1100009S42 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  sales social_selling wannes_rams youtube ibmredbooks ibm_redbooks_thought_lead...
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My wife and I bought a house in August 2012. There was lots of work to be done and no budget left to get it all done by professionals. So we decided to jump in and do the renovations ourselves. Am I a handyman? Well, no, I am an IT guy and therefore I am supposed to have two left hands. Thankfully though, I actually am left handed and can replace a lamp without breaking a leg.
We had about a month to make plans on how and what to change before we had the key and I actually could dive in and get my hands dirty. The first part involved some demolition, which is fairly easy and doesn’t require a degree in engineering. Next up was the electricity, an area where we got a lot of help from our friends who can tell the difference between an electrical socket and a light switch. When we got that done, things started to get more complicated. How do you create a floor when you only have sand left inside your walls? How do you finish off walls when all you can see are bricks? How do you put a sound wall in a room? How do you create cabinets in a wall? I had no clue ... at all.
So how did I manage to get this all done? I searched the Internet, and guess what? There is plenty of information out there! First I found some forums where amateurs like me share experiences. This was interesting, but knowing that my own skills are not very trustworthy I wasn’t confident in this resource.
The really interesting information was what I found on vendors’ websites. A lot of vendors that sell construction materials create and post instructional videos to public social media like YouTube. The advantage for me and other amateur builders is that this content is professionally created and trustworthy because it comes from legitimate construction companies. The advantage for them, of course, is that they sell their products. If you need to get a job done and see a video on how to do it, you go out and buy the same materials as they use in the video. You don’t want to fail because you used different materials!
So what can they improve? I do realize that for most vendors of construction materials, people like me are not their main selling target. However, I can see that these videos even work for small construction companies who can gather new ideas and techniques without the need for expensive training. On top of that, the major vendors build credibility to their customers by proving they know how it works. These companies are using social to support and educate their customers, and they could leverage it even further by adding Twitter support for answering questions, creating support forums, perhaps even having web chat functionality on their webpages. There are so many social tools out there that they can pick from to increase their sales even more. And this goes for almost any business, not only for construction materials. Get the technical support out there and prove how good you are!
We moved into our new house at the end of June 2013 and nothing seems to be falling apart, so I guess the instructional videos were pretty good.
Have you ever used instructional videos yourself? Would you consider it? What can vendors do to create more education for their customers? Leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @wannesrams.
Wannes Rams is a senior consultant for GFI Benelux, an IBM Premier Business Partner from Belgium. He specializes in IBM Connections, Lotus Quickr, IBM Sametime and Social Business. He was also a speaker @ BLUG. You can follow him on @wannesrams or email@example.com
Wannes is an IBM Redbooks thought leader