"Banal Chatter" Builds Business

One of the common reasons that I often hear from people unsure about entering the social media world is that people are afraid to waste time on banal chatter.  “I don’t care what people are having for dinner or what they’re doing right now!”  However this attitude can be counter-productive to a relationship-building strategy that results in additional prospects and revenue for your business.

partyStep back for a moment and envision a party, attended by people from your targeted niche market.  If you’re a direct seller, you most likely will see a lot of moms, as well as other people.  Have you spent any time with moms in the real world lately?  Do you know what they talk about, and how they build relationships with each other?  They talk about what their kids are doing.  They talk about recipes their kids will eat.  They talk about how hard it is to get everything done in a day and still make time for themselves.  They talk about how they feel like they’re losing their identity in their mom persona.

Now imagine yourself attending that party as well.  How will you engage the others there?  Will you start talking about your business and your products?  Not if you want to engage anyone.  Instead, you’ll be sympathetic.  You’ll share solutions that worked for you, and recipes your kids like.  You might share stories of times you had a similar experience.  And when they start talking about the identity thing, you might talk about how your business is helping you with that very same issue.

Do you see how the “banal chatter” has provided you with an opening?  Social media networking is exactly the same.

We must connect with the people we meet at a personal level first, as real human beings, before we try to do business.  We must offer compassion, real solutions (that have nothing to do with our product), and similar experiences that help people know, like, and trust us first.  Only then are people willing to hear what we have to say about our businesses.  And if we use a strategy that drives traffic from social networking sites to our blog, and then to our newsletter and groups, we are assured that only the people that are interested receive our sales messages.  And these prospects are a lot more likely to purchase from us.

So the next time you’re tempted to write off social networking as banal chatter, think again.  These conversations are the openings that enable us to build relationships, and gain prospects that ultimately result in new business.

What do you think?  Do you agree?  Would love to read your experiences in the comments below!

7 Responses to "Banal Chatter" Builds Business
  1. Kris Eadie
    June 5, 2011 | 2:27 pm

    This is great, Jen. It’s the old “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” saying in action. Your analogy to a party was a fantastic way to help everyone envision this tried and true perspective. And it works in regard to sales, friendships, marriages, co-workers, kids, and management. Thank you for this!

  2. Debi DeRosa-Parish
    April 25, 2011 | 4:48 pm

    Absolutely, Jennifer!

    I first opened my FB account to get the word out about my business and not being the salesy type to begin with, it was boring for me at first. But then I got caught up in the simplicity of ‘liking’ what someone had to say, or posting a witty comment or word of encouragement – & before you knew it, I had tons of friends who all know, love & support my business!

    Now FB is much more fun than business, and my business is growing! I especially love meeting the people I’ve only known online – it’s like we’ve known each other for years! Banal Chatter? Count me in!

  3. Lyn Blackledge
    December 19, 2010 | 1:14 pm

    I can totally resonate with this. I used to wonder why I needed to know my friend was at the bus stop eating a jam sandwich! I now have a much better understanidng of the need to build relationships and I love your illustration of the party.

    I look forward to reading many more of your posts.

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 20, 2010 | 10:25 am

      Thanks for your comments Lyn! Welcome to the community!

  4. Graham
    April 27, 2009 | 11:23 am

    What an excellent and well thought out post, Jennifer! You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head!

    As a consumer, I want to do business with people I like. The person first, then their business. I’m much more likely to buy (and repeat buy) from a person who engages with us.

    The “Moms at a party” analogy is an excellent one.

  5. Deb Walker (aka newenglanddeb)
    April 27, 2009 | 11:07 am

    Totally agree with you. Over the last 4-6 weeks I’ve been focusing on getting to know social media as a “phenomenon” and building networks as a main part of my online marketing campaign. It’s really a relief to not have to be anything other than who I am (which is not the pushy, loud stereotypical salesperson).

    I love your blog! Thanks for writing and keep up the good work!

    Deb Walker
    aka newenglanddeb

  6. Lona
    April 23, 2009 | 9:27 pm

    You provided good examples of what moms really do talk about when chatting in person. Many do just that when they connect online. However, there are those that just share their business offerings. I strive to contribute to discussions and share more. The key for me will be to figure the best time to be on the networks so that I can more easily connect with those I want to meet.

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