Customers Might Find Your Product or Service on Social Networking Sites

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In this blog post I would like to write about social networking because customers are going and buying online or learning about products and services online. A lot of them are more and more each year because every year people become more savvy with computers. What a lot of companies have currently are Facebook and Twitter accounts and people actually go to both Facebook and Twitter—people like me and look at what people have to say about the products and also the comments that are below.

People also definitely look at what people have to say about a company for example people will tweet about Phillip’s European, which is a restaurant in Rochester, New York and Phillip’s European will retweet it. When I go to Phillip’s European’s Twitter account, I’ll be able to search for what people have to say. Same thing with Jet Blue, if somebody tweets about Jet Blue somebody at Jet Blue might retweet it and you can go and take a look at Jet Blue’s Twitter account and you can see all the things that people have to say about Jet Blue’s service and people’s flying experiences.

It’s important to have a website and it’s important for people to be able to buy from your company’s website, but it’s also very important to have the social networking presence and a positive presence at that because a lot of people will go on social media and create accounts and sometimes there will be negative comments and things like that so you have to make sure that your product or service is upstanding. Here are the must haves: you have the company website, you have the social networking presence, and then you have a positive online presence. Those are some key things that you need to have as a business owner and that’s always been the case.

Nowadays social networking is sometimes at the forefront of the whole service or product advertisement campaign because sometimes a person might be swayed into buying a product or service because they found the product or service on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter. In that case, it’s the social networking sites at the forefront so social networking is the first thing that they see so for example for me there have been products that are shared by people and I’ve bought the product. There has been music shared by people and I’ve gone to iTunes and bought the track. It’s through social networking sometimes that I learn about new things that come along.

The way I see this a lot actually is when somebody shares a Youtube video about a product on Facebook or shares a Youtube video of the music on Facebook. That’s how I’ll actually see many new upcoming music and then it leads me to purchasing via iTunes. Having that social networking presence in that case is very very important.

There’s also hotels that I learn about that are through Facebook because it’s shared by somebody and also because let’s say Conde Nast Traveler or CNN has posted about it. I’ve also learned about great restaurants to go to because Conde Nast Traveler or CNN has created a top ten best restaurants in New York City for example and then their article is posted on Facebook. Then I’ll be scrolling through Facebook and click on the article and read that these are the ten best restaurants in New York City. That’s how I see some of these products and services. Recently I’ve been thinking about how important it is to have a Public Relations professional within a company that takes care of not just making sure that you have the great posts, the great videos on Youtube, but also that magazines and the news are writing about your product or service so it becomes viral on social media and your product or service is the number one thing on people’s minds.

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Buyers Are Going Online to Buy

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I wanted to do a blog post about customer buyer experience now, which is mostly online. Basically when I want to buy a new computer, I would now usually go ahead and do some research online instead of going to a brick and mortar store. I would Google types of computers there are, compare prices and buy it that way. In the past, I would have gone to a store first. I would gone probably straight to the Apple Store and if I couldn’t afford an Apple I would go to a store that sells PCs like Best Buy or something where they would have computers. Then I would go ahead and ask the sales person to go ahead and show me all the different computers, what I need for it, and ask other questions pertaining to owning a computer.

Now with me being more internet savvy, I definitely would just go to Google first and search for the different computers now available, the different brands, and compare and contrast. Then also, as far as software goes also I would Google Adobe Photoshop, what they have there and not even have to go to the store at all and just buy all of my computer and software needed for the computer online and do the transaction that way.

Same thing with clothes, in the past I would have gone to the store and shopped at the mall, mostly I relied on the saleswoman or man to help me find my perfect outfit. Now I would probably go on the site for brands that I love like Express or Limited and shop that way, order my size, make sure it’s the right size, and have it delivered to my house.

There’s a few changes in my buying processes that I’ve noticed and another one of them is books. I would normally go to Barnes and Noble and buy books that way and you know talk to the saleswoman in helping me find the book, now I might go to Amazon and order it instead because it’s cheaper and then have it delivered to my house. I would learn about the book by just reading about the book online, read comments online, there’s Good Reads and there’s comments also on Amazon pertaining to the book I would like to buy.

Because everyone is going to online stores now instead of going to a brick and mortar store, one can see how important it is to have an online presence. The online presence may come in a form of a site where the customers can learn about the products and also shop there. It is also important to have a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account for the company because that will help attract the customers and they can also read comments about the products and what people have to say about the company in general.

Upselling During A Sale Boosts Your Sale

Solution - Labyrith Series

When I worked for Coach, I learned how important upselling was to boosting my sales. Upselling for Coach was an easy task because bags matched wallets and wristlets, but many times the customers did not know that so it was important to let them know. A customer would come in let’s say looking for a bag to bring to work. Well that customer does not know that she might want a wallet to go with that bag because in her mind she was just coming in to get a purse. What I would do once the customer had decided on a bag was walk them to the wallet wall.

The wallet wall was great because it was also close to wristlets and coin purses. Coach bags typically had matching wallets, wristlets, and coin purses and it was a matter of pointing this out to the customer and putting said wallet up against the bag then the customer would see the color or the fabric matched and it just looked really good together so of course the customer would decide to go with the wallet too. Where else was the customer going to get a wallet that matched so perfectly with the bag?

The other item the customer might want is shoes so I would go point out the shoes that we had. Sometimes we had scarves, hats, perfume, key fob and much more and the customer was typically impressed by these other products and decide to get some. Now the other type of upsell was asking the customer if he or she might want to shop for other people like friends and family and the customer might decide oh yes, her sister might want this beautiful purple wallet. And of course, during Christmas time or Easter or Mother’s Day, asking the customer if he or she was interested in buying presents was a must because this boosted sales.

Two things to remember to increase your sales:

  1. What other products might the customer be interested in from your store?
  2. What other special people in the customer’s life might the customer be interested in shopping for

If you just keep these two things in mind you can boost your sales too.

Check out my short movie to go along with my blog post.

Demonstrate Your Product

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While I was working for Apple selling computers one of the most important and most basic things I would do with my customer is demonstrate the product. I would ask the customers what they are mostly going to be using their computer for and they might say something like browse the Internet and email. What I would then do is browse the Internet with the customer and pull up a site like CNN to show the customer how fast the computer could access CNN. Then I would open up Mail and show them how to use email and how easy it is to set up.

Sometimes the customer was a liberal arts student and they were going to be using their computer for typing up research papers so I would open up Microsoft Word, which was installed in the demo Macs and show them how to use Microsoft Word. If the student was a photography major student, I would open up Photoshop for them and show them some simple photo editing techniques using Photoshop. Sometimes a customer was interested in using the computer for iMovie so I would then open up iMovie and create a short movie using the sample clips in iMovie.

All of these demonstrations led to a more interested customer and sometimes a sale. It’s interesting how you can persuade a person into buying a Mac just by simply showing them what a Mac can do. Basically the demonstrations allowed them to see how fast the computers were and then allow them to visualize themselves with a Mac and creating a movie quickly with iMovie for example. Testing out your product is key because having the customer use the product literally changes their thoughts and the customer can be more easily persuaded especially if you can prove to them that the product you are selling them is superior to others out there so one must demonstrate, demonstrate, demonstrate. Stay tuned for more blog posts on sales and persuasion.

Check out my short movie that goes along with this blog post.

Be Excited About What You Are Selling

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You must be passionate about what you’re selling in order for you to convince your customers to buy the product and trust you about what you’re saying about the product you’re selling. When I worked for Apple I sold many iPhones because I owned the product and loved it. I could tell my customers the features and why it was so great. I told my customers that the iPhone was not just a phone and I talked about all of the features it had that was useful too.

I focused on the non-phone feature with the customers because there are many phones so instead I focused on what made the iPhone different. I talked about how I used my iPhone to listen to music, watch music videos, and even watch movies and TV shows. I talked about how when I was at break at work I would often watch a movie I had rented from iTunes. I told the customer that I got to watch my favorite TV shows that I had downloaded onto my computer via iTunes and synched into my phone when I was waiting for my haircut appointment.

I also focused on the Apps. I showed customers fun apps that were on the model phones in the store that I enjoyed. I showed them fun race car games, Tetris, and much more. I also told the customers that there are apps for pretty much anything you’re interested in. You just had to search for it on the App Store. I told the customer about how I was interested in American Sign Language and that there were even apps that helped me learn American Sign Language. Of course I showed the customer how easy it was to use the Twitter and Facebook apps.

I showed the customers too how to use email on the iPhone, take notes, record your voice for note taking, the alarm, and all the important features that the iPhone had for the busy professional on the go. But notice I focused mostly on the apps that made me excited. Why is that? Well I figured if I was excited about the app, the customer might be too, but more importantly I wanted the customer to hear my excitement in my voice. Customers can tell if you’re excited about something. So yes, the phone feature, email, alarm clocks, and more were great features, but the apps were revolutionary for the iPhone because there was endless amounts of apps and games which turned the iPhone into an entertainment gadget, not just a business gadget. The iPhone was for fun for me and I wanted to convey that which helped my sales.

Next time you are selling make sure to own some of the items that you are selling so you can talk about the product like a pro and also find those neat things you wouldn’t find out about your product unless you owned it. Make sure you talk about the general features, but most importantly talk about what gets you excited about your product. Try that out and see if you boost your sales. Stay tuned for more blog posts.

Check out my short movie to go along with my blog post.

Apple’s One to One

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At one point I was a creative for Apple’s One to One program that taught the Apple computer owners how to use their computer. I had fun doing that job and what I learned is that Apple was very smart to educate their customers on how to use their computer because it led to more sales. A person who just owned an MacBook computer would progress to perhaps buying Photoshop, Mobile Me and later on a better computer like a MacBook Pro if they were interested in photography.

Here’s how the customer may progress from novice to pro. So the customer comes in and she has just a bought a new iBook computer and loves to take photographs and want to know what to do with it. Then I would teach her how to use iPhoto to organize her photographs using Albums, edit her photos using iPhotos built in editing tools, and then perhaps during Christmas time she might make a book as a present using iPhoto and order that book through Apple. The book would then be the first new Apple sale due to the fact that the customer came in for computer training.

Then the customer might decide she liked editing her photos and wanted something more professional. Then I would suggest Photoshop. She would edit in Photoshop and progress to more and more professional type photography work. Then after she progressed in photography she might decide then to upload her work on line using iWeb to make her own website. Once she’s made her site at the time she would have bought MobileMe to upload her site online. Buying Photoshop and Mobile Me would then be new sales because of computer training for the customer.

After a two years of the customer morphing from hobbyist photographer to professional photographer she might then decide her computer needed to be bigger and faster to better handle Photoshop and that she would then make the ultimate new sale for the customer which was a 15 inch MacBook Pro a newer, faster, larger screened computer. As you can see this whole program was not just a way for the customer to enjoy their computer and get good at a hobby and then perhaps be a professional, but this was a way for Apple to make more sales and more importantly possibly convert a customer to be an Apple fan for life. Training their customers on how to use their computer was one of Apple’s smartest decisions and as you can see how much they profited. Now imagine more than one person becoming an Apple fan for life and making them a group, then I would now call that group an Apple community so Apple didn’t just make a fan, but a new community with new hobbies and interests they had in common because of the Apple products.

User Behavior Tracked on iTunes, Youtube, Facebook for Better User Experience

Businessman drawing a bulb on a virtual whiteboard. Metaphor for Ideas and Inspiration.

iTunes, Youtube, and Facebook track behavior so they can better suit your needs. I think this is very interesting and I first noticed it on iTunes. I used to buy iTunes songs and iTunes figured out the type of songs I liked and suggested songs for me to buy. At first I was skeptical and finally I decided to try to some of the songs by previewing them and they were good and so I bought them. This feature was responsible for me building a great iTunes library. The way iTunes did this was by tracking what I listened to and then tracking what other bought who bought the songs I listened to and then they would suggest that song to me.

Another on that I logged onto and that tracked my behavior was Youtube. I logged on and watched Migrationology videos, which are videos about food and then one day Youtube suggested Fung Bros and it was a great channel. It’s a food channel, but mostly Asian food and now Fung Bros has more videos besides food, but it was the food videos that Youtube suggested to me so I’ve watched almost all of the Fung Bros food videos. Now when I log onto my Youtube and Youtube suggests videos to me I watch them. Youtube tracked the videos I watched and then tracked what other people who watched the videos that I was watching were also watching. Youtube found that many Migrationology viewers watched Fung Bros videos and so Youtube figures I might like Fung Bros videos too.

The other one that suggested things to me was Facebook. Facebook likes to suggest pages for me to like and so I click on them and low and behold they are pages I am interested in. Some I’ve found are more advertisements of pages like I’m interested in teaching abroad and Facebook knows this about my posts of links about teaching abroad and so now Facebook suggests pages of companies that organize teaching abroad.

Check out my movie about iTunes, Youtube, and Facebook: