Do you remember the infomercial for the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine? I sure do.
I have cooked many burgers, chicken breasts and bratwursts on that grill. It was fast, simple and endorsed by boxing legend George Foreman. If it was good enough for George, then it was good enough for my kitchen!
What I didn’t realize was that the creators of the infomercial were actually brilliant sales people. In fact, their techniques from 20 years ago can also teach you how to use your social networks for B2B sales today.
Let’s explore how you can use those same techniques to get the attention of decision makers in order to sell your own products or services.
Technique #1: First, they tapped into my own “network” by having the product named after and endorsed by George Foreman. I thought: “I know George! He’s the two-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Oh… now he’s selling a grill?”
This provided a warm (pun intended) introduction to the grill. I trusted George, so therefore, I was open to learning more about his grill.
Lesson learned: You can meet new people by using your LinkedIn network.
Let’s say you want to meet the president of the Acme Brick Corporation. First, look at your LinkedIn connections to see who you both know. Then, send an email to your common friend to find out more information.
“Steve: I noticed on LinkedIn that you know Sally Smith from the Acme Brick Corporation. How do you know her? Would you be willing to send her an email introducing us?”
Just as George Foreman provided a common connection to the grill, use your network to ask for introductions to people you want to meet. This will give you credibility and trust that a cold call will never provide.
Technique #2: The infomercial then featured people GEORGE knew to speak about the product. The host introduced George’s “good friend” (coincidentally a professional nutritionist) to discuss the health benefits of the grill.
“George knows her, so she must know something about nutrition,” I thought. “Let’s hear what she thinks about the grill.”
The woman may have been a fraud, but George apparently knew her so that established her credibility in my mind.
Lesson learned: Have other people help sell your product or service for you. This is a free endorsement of you and what you are selling.
Here’s how it works:
Write a blog post addressed to your target customer and post it to your company’s Facebook page or your LinkedIn profile. Every time your fans and followers likes, comments or shares the post, it is a free endorsement. It subliminally communicates, “I know George, and I endorse his product.”
Over time, these endorsements will build your credibility and decision makers will begin to trust you.
Technique #3: Finally, the host asked people in the audience what they thought about the product. These people had not even used the grill, yet they were explaining how healthy and amazing it was.
“It looks awesome! Everyone says so!” I exclaimed. “I can cook healthy burgers AND clean it up easily. How can I buy one?”
Hook, line and sinker.
Lesson learned: Testimonials are powerful motivators for decision makers. People want to hear from others to see how your product or service can solve their problems.
Ask a few of your clients to provide a written or video testimonial, and feature it on your website and social networks. This will establish your credibility even further by having your clients describe the benefits of your product or services.
Apply those lessons
George Foreman wasn’t a genius kitchen appliance inventor. Instead, he had a brilliant team of salespeople behind the infomercials who knew how to get decision makers (like me) to pay attention and buy a grill.
Today, you can use those same techniques with your own online social networks to get decision makers to pay attention and ultimately buy from you.