That’s what matters the most in business after all, right?
We all need customers for the products that we’re selling.
And throughout the years — from direct mail, to door to door sales, to cold calling, to online marketing, and basically any other channel you can think of — businesses have done whatever they can to find new ways to get customers.
But while the channel (and method) for getting customers has always changed, the overall strategy has not.
Getting customers is all about being wherever potential customers are.
And today, there’s one channel where more potential customers are than any place else: messaging.
Messaging is exploding, and as a result, it has the potential to be one of your best sales channels.
But the reason why messaging can be such a great sales channel goes beyond the numbers — it’s not just because that’s where everyone is spending their time today.
Messaging For Sales: Why It Works
Plain and simple, here’s why messaging can be such an effective sales tool.
Messaging matches the way that people actually want to buy.
Real people. Like you and me.
Think about the way that you talk to people every day.
If you’re anything like me, you use iMessage to talk to your family, Facebook Messenger to connect with old friends, and you probably spend your entire day on Slack talking to your teammates at work.
And because we talk to people via messaging all day, we’ve now come to expect to be able to talk to businesses that way too.
A recent study from Twilio showed that nine out of ten consumers said they want to be able to use messaging to talk to businesses.
And according to HubSpot’s latest State of Inbound report, only 19% of consumers said they rely on sales people for their purchase decisions.
That’s because we can dig through Amazon and Zappos reviews to find out just about everything we need to know about that new pair of Nike’s we want — and we can try products like Slack, MailChimp, and Buffer for weeks before ever having to put a credit card down.
So no wonder we don’t want to fill out a form, wait for a response, and then worry about getting hounded with endless phone calls.
We know that there’s a better way to do business today (and we’ve started to get used to using messaing for everything).
And as a business, this is is where you can use this to your advantage.
You can start generating more leads simply by adapting to this shift in how people buy and opening your business up to messaging — and the easiest way to do this is by using live chat on your website.
Messaging gives you the ability to respond in real-time to questions (or issues) from people who are live on your website.
Take DMBI Online for example.
They create and sell courses on online advertising and digitial media (and they know a thing or two about it; their co-founder Justin has spent over $10 millon on ads alone).
Anyway, a few months ago, they got a message from a potential customer who was having a little problem while trying to buy one of their flagship online courses:
This was someone who was basically live in their store, ready to give DMBI money — and they were unable to make a purchase.
But because DMBI uses messaging to talk to potential customers on their website, they were able to quickly fix the issue, win over a customer with great real-time service, and immediately turn a lost sale into a $400 sale.
And here’s the other thing about messaging: it puts people at the center of everything.
There’s just something about filling out forms and waiting for a response that seems so impersonal.
But today, relationships are more important than ever.
Sales today is all about being helpful and building trust — not about being pushy or trying to close a deal.
There are too many other options out there for consumers to go with if they feel like they’re being tricked or pushed.
Customer education rules the buying process today, and the best sales reps look more like product experts than traditional sales reps.
They spend more of their time educating and building trust than pushing to close a sale, and live chat is typically the easiest way for a prospect to start a conversation.
As Dustin Tysick from Jostle said about how messaging is changing his role in marketing in this discussion on Inbound.org:
“Now that I’m tasked with growing out our MarTech & analytics stack I definitely gravitate to on-site IM convos initially vs. the traditional form fill/get calls & emails from a sales rep approach. I don’t really like being sold to, but I’m always down to have a quick chat and learn more about a product.
Using live chat allows people to buy things the way they want to buy them.
And being there for a question with a customer often means more than trying to convince someone to buy what you’re selling.
Because today, helping is the new selling, and customer experience is the new marketing.
Or as Moz founder Rand Fishkin put it in on of our favorite tweets here at Drift:
Best way to sell something – don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) February 4, 2015
With Drift, you can start using live chat on your website today for free (and we integrate with many of the tools you’re already using so it’s easy to sync your leads).