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Social Sales - This is How it SHOULD Be Done

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia

I recently spoke at a conference hosted by the Women’s Leadership Exchange (I'll be speaking again at the National Summit in NY in November, by the way). During my presentation, by using personal  experiences, I single-handedly debunked the myth that real business is not done by using social media and social Sales1networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Let me share an experience with you:

Mother’s Day is a big deal in my family; in addition to that, I don’t live near my parents so it’s even more important for me to get my Mother a gift that really let’s her know I’m thinking about her. So, I went to the FTD.com website and ordered the Laura Ashley Deluxe with extra roses.

The flowers were delivered, my Mom called to thank me and rave about them. I asked her to describe the flowers and what she described was NOT what I had paid for. I paid for roses, they sent carnations. No go. I called FTD’s customer service line 8 times. Each time I stayed on hold so long their call center hold time ran out and I had to call back. I sent them an email and the next day, I sent a certified, return-receipt letter to the company CEO. I never heard a peep from them.

I had to go to my credit card company to file a complaint and ask for a refund. What do you think I was doing all this time? I was Twittering about my horrible experience with FTD. FTD wasn’t paying attention, but 1-800-FLOWERS was. They sent me a direct message via Twitter and offered me a 15% off coupon with no expiration date, no blackout dates and I could share the coupon with as many people as I wanted! They even offered to send my Mother flowers on my behalf.

So, what does that have to do with sales? 1-800-FLOWERS came to my rescue by using Twitter. They made a generous offer and upped the ante by sweetening the deal. Which company do you think I use when I need to order flowers? Who do you think I recommend to my family and friends? How many times do you think I’ve told that story as I travel all across the country speaking about the power of social media?

Bottomline: You might not be able to use social media and social networking for direct sales - in fact, I highly recommend that you don’t - but, if you are consistent with your social media efforts and you’re paying attention, the link to increased sales is quite obvious.

Have you won sales by using social networking?How did it work out for you?

Was there anything you would have done differently?

What do you think was your winnig edge? Paying attention? Not angling for a direct sale?

Comments

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Lena L. West

@Coree:

Yes, they ARE smart! Companies tend to only pay attention to THEIR companies and how THEIR brands are doing and often times they leave opportunities on the table by not paying attention to their "competition" and their industry as a whole.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Coree Silvera

Smart thinking on 1-800-FLOWERS. It's funny how big companies and corporations lose their personal touch in their marketing once they go "big".

As a new business owner when you are just starting out you are looking at every circumstance as an opportunity to market your product or service. When you hear your name mentioned your ears perk up and you are immediately tuned in to see what they are saying. It's great to see that 1-800-FLOWERS has not lost that smart and personal marketing touch as they have grown.

Wendy A.

What a great article, thanks for sharing!

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