Do you ever go to a networking event, or even while standing in the grocery story line and have someone tell you how familiar you look? Or do they tell you they are sure they know you from somewhere?

Years ago when this happened to me, I strained to remember a name. Where could I have met this person who doesn’t look familiar to me? Today, however, I’m fully aware people think they know me because they’ve seen my picture online.

The Meaning of Know

To “know someone” is no longer the BFF kind of knowing someone. For a buyer to know a business, it means the buyer can find you. Do you make it easy to be found on line?

Business experts counsel: “People buy from people they know like, and trust.”

From Know To Like

Once a buyer can find you, offline and online, the relationship begins. As with a friendship, like is the connection phase. Buyers have found you. In order to connect with the marketplace, businesses must know the buyer. When you identify who you serve and who you attract, buyers will like you. During this like phase of the business-buyer relationship, you increase connection opportunities when you:

  • Replace selly sell with social selling.
  • Provide value without expectations of immediate payoff.
  • Contribute.
  • Develop relationships by paying it forward.

Paying It Forward Turns Like Into Trust

It’s important to accept that “know, like and trust” represents the lead generating stage. Buying transpires beyond trust when consumers try and buy.

On the journey to more customers, businesses establish trust when they show value to prospects and resolve pain. Online, businesses can do this by providing content with:

  • Current, relevant information.
  • Expert insights.
  • Solutions to their problems.

When businesses are an integral part of the buyers’ self-education process, when they give buyers everything they need to become an expert on products or services, they are more likely to buy.

The Social Media Marketing Industry Report compiled by Social Media Examiner says when businesses willingly contribute value online, rewards follow in terms of:

  • Loyal fan base.
  • Increased traffic to social site or website depending on calls to action.
  • Improved search rankings.
  • Reduced marketing expenses.
  • Increased lead generation
  • Growth in business partnerships.
  • Increased brand recognition.
  • Gathering marketplace intelligence.

How To Add Value

In a diverse marketplace, value may verify from one buyer to another. Implementing these universal practices creates a value-add brand.

Be authentic. Not only do you want prospects to become customers, you also want non-customers (those who aren’t interested in your products or services and those whom you cannot serve) to go elsewhere. Embrace who you are.

Let go of buy me, buy me. It’s nearly impossible to add value when you are adding up sales rather than creating relationships with buyers. When you add value, be genuine, helpful and unassuming.

Create content with a clear ask. When posting, blogging, producing a newsletter and offering downloads, offer content that:

  • Inspires someone to take action.
  • Can be used immediately.
  • Explains how to do something.
  • Shows a better way (more productive, easier, etc.).
  • Provides a new perspective and marketplace insight.
  • Shares stories and details of success.
  • Is personal.

The ball’s in your court now. Will you take action? Or, how about sharing your approach to move lead generation beyond know, like and trust and convert buyers from cold to sold.