Social Selling Surges As Consumers Crave Interaction, Knowledge and Trust
Amway’s State of Social Selling Survey explores the dos and don’ts of selling to the social consumer
PR Newswire – ADA, Mich. – (September 27, 2016)
In the age of constant connectivity, social selling – peer-to-peer selling taking place in-person or on social media – is booming at an unprecedented rate. 60 percent of Americans have been contacted by a social seller, while one-third of those consumers have purchased products from one. Most significantly, 85 percent of Americans who have purchased from social sellers are repeat customers, highlighting the strength of cultivating relationships and better understanding customers’ preferences and needs.
Amway’s State of Social Selling Survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, explores the preferences and pitfalls of social selling, and what customers do – and don’t - want from social sellers.
Trust is the foundation of long-term customer relationships and a successful social selling career. Consumers don’t just want a sales pitch – they value a salesperson who knows the product and their customers’ needs intimately. 87 percent of Americans believe that it is important for a social seller to use the product themselves, and they should demonstrate that knowledge through photos and videos on social media, as well as letting their personality shine through in person and online. Incidentally, 60 percent of consumers do not trust a social seller who does not know his or her product well.
“You can only sell a product that you are passionate about,” says Jim Ayres, Managing Director for Amway North America. “Amway Independent Business Owners are often frequent users and walking testimonials of the products they sell. When a seller can effectively communicate the premium quality of the products, particularly through using the products themselves, they will always be seen as more trustworthy.”
As with any other type of business, there is a right and wrong way to approach social selling. For example, persistence – but not too much – is key to relationship building. On average, Americans who have bought from a social seller first responded after they reached out at least three times. On the other hand, there is a fine line between being persistent and bombarding someone with offers and follow-up: 64 percent of Americans have felt “peer pressured” into buying something from a social seller, and 53% feel that social sellers are more aggressive than face-to-face salespeople.
While appreciating follow up, if no second purchase is made, customers wish that sellers stop contacting them after six weeks. “Having a strategy and conducting yourself authentically is crucial for successful social selling. Key is knowing when to reach out and when to follow up,” says Rajneesh Chopra, Vice President of Sales for Amway North America.
Consumers seek a trusting and friendly relationship with their seller – in fact, 83 percent of consumers who purchased from social sellers named the importance of establishing a relationship before making a product sale. In the social media age where relationships are formed and fostered faster than ever, social selling is thriving, particularly with millennials.
“While the importance of developing relationships is universal across age groups, young people in particular are proving to be a huge driver of the social selling industry” says Jackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of Amway North America. “The relationship-driven industry appeals to their generation, particularly when they are contacted on social media by a friend.”
The 2016 Amway State of Social Selling Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) on behalf of Amway.
Amway is a $9.5 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics and eSpring™ water treatment systems – all sold exclusively by Independent Business Owners. Global sales in 2014 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News 2015 Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings. For company news, visit globalnews.amway.com.
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