Editor's Note: In a chat interview, we asked entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk your questions about connecting with customers. Read the transcript of the conversation below.
Your Chance to 'Ask Entrepreneur'
We enlisted our Facebook fans to ask their most pressing questions about starting and running a business. Over the next 10 weeks, our special panel of experts will offer their answers and discuss more in online chats. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for details on these future events:
Thanks so much for doing this chat. Should be fun.
:0 Happy to do it. My grammar sucks. It's why I am a video boy! :)
Hahaha. OK, let's rock.
Our first question is coming in from Edwin Dearborn on Facebook. He's asking: What's the best way to use Twitter for business?
Listening! People default into thinking Twitter is about "What am I going to say on Twitter," but the opportunities to listen to customers on twitter.com/search
is insane. Watch this:https://twitter.com/search?q=Pinot%20Noir%20wine%20drinking&src=typd
OK. . .
Gary Vaynerchuk:https://twitter.com/Gary Vaynerchukvee/status/269494283848003584
Getting thirsty over here. . .
The fact the customers are talking about products and services, and the fact that I am able to jump into the conversation and add CONTEXT, not value but CONTEXT, matters. It creates a micro relationship that may end with him buying wine from @winelibrary. Or at very least mention me and my wine business. Its VERY important in today's content-heavy world!
Yah, this example really shows that it is a 2-way street. You're gathering intel and also building a relationship.
OK. Cool. Thanks. . . Here's the next question. From Wycliffe Maraji, who is asking: What are the main ways of increasing sales?
Sales increases come in so many ways. The best way I have ever seen is asking the 2 questions:
#1. Does my product REALLY bring value? Too many [people] are selling crap! If you sell crap, your marketing can only help you for so long and so far.
#2. Reverse engineer the customer! Too many [businesses]] aren't going backwards. Think: What do customers want? And what do they need? Start at the finish line (the sale), and then work backwards. Is it cost? Fame? Awareness? Profit margin? What makes them tick?
This is not easy stuff.
Want a new alert?
Business is HARD!
This insane notion that this is easy is nuts. 12:44 PM
The rise of the startup and the entrepreneur has confused people. Most people can't do it. It takes talent AND HARD WORK!
No doubt. . .
Next question. . . From Facebook fan Paige Brockmyre: What are the top social sites to establish social proof? (referrals)
For sales leads? I would say Twitter and Facebook are out-indexing, but Pinterest has become a huge play in sales referrals. You have to know how to "storytell" based on the platform. Knowing what to say and what video, picture to put out per platform is the GAME.12:47 PM
They are different per audience and per platform. Very different in Tumblr than on Facebook, even though the same business is on both.
OK. This next question is from Daniel Solomon, it's a bit more personal. What was the defining moment in your life that led you down the path to achieving your success?
When I realized how hard my parents were working coming from a foreign country and trying to "make it." And at the same time, I realized I was "talented" and I didn't want to let them down or let my DNA down, I am driven by gratitude.
Inspirational. Thanks for sharing that.12:54 PM
OK, back to customers....
Beh Yadollahi asks: What are your thoughts on a centralized customer re-sell program? Would you recommend otherwise to have each personal sales rep follow up with their own clients?
I think Data matters. Understand the "want" for these kinds of structures and find value in them.12:56 PM
But to really win, you need the EQ -- emotional intelligence -- to counter the IQ that these tools can bring. I want every company to understand how to include a human element. That is often lost in centralizing it.12:57 PM
I am trying to educate the world that PEOPLE matter. That as we go more Jetsons, the companies that act like the Flintstones win.
Ah, fun. I hear you.
So that's just my banter. I am passionate about it. :)
Here's a more specific-type question: From Facebook, Game Day Men's Products wants to know: What is the best way that you have found to first get Instagram followers online and then to buy?
I haven't done a lot of call to actions on Instagram yet. But putting out great content on Instagram matters and understanding how important hashtags are and tagging them with trendy tags that make sense really matters. Also, adding your Instagram info on your email and website, etc., really matters. And linking it to your Facebook page, and using Instagram photos in your stream matter. Close to wrapping up? Sorry to rush :(
Time for one more? Facebook fan Bashue Allard asked this question: What are the best ways to encourage a customer to buy from me again after making the first sale?
Following up. And not acting like just a hunter. Don't be the guy that doesn't call after the first date. Use social sites as light ways to stay in touch. It's effort. Always has been, always will be.
Got it. Hey, thanks. This was fun.
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