Being Relevant To Sharks And Customers In The Digital Age

Arif Johari

Bill Gates observed in 1996: Content is king!

Gary Vaynerchuk upped the ante by saying: Content is king, but context is god!

Did you know that sharks act calmer when they listen to AC/DC music? Moreover, that this anecdote teaches us a lot about social selling? Here’s the context:

A cage-diving tour operator in Australia wanted to test what songs were most appealing to sharks. He discovered the two songs that most correlated with positive behavior in the sharks were AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.” When he played those songs underwater, the sharks were “more investigative, more inquisitive and a lot less aggressive,” even rubbing up against the speakers as the music played. The tour operator learned that music, not bait, attracted sharks in a non-hostile, eco-friendly way.

The take-aways for those of us involved with social selling are that, if we are open to listening, we can discover new things. In addition, exposing our prospects to certain content can induce behavior change, and sometimes that happens in a positive way. Third, by opening ourselves up to new strategies, we can become more innovative and adopt more positive behaviors.

By understanding our audience, listening to them, and watching how they interact with certain types of content, we can adapt our processes and methodologies in a more constructive way. You are not feeding the sharks; you are just attracting them to you! This is a high-level analogy of how we can all behave more strategically on social media.

Social selling can be very rewarding if we engage with our audience in a constructive and strategic way. It’s not just posting the content we want to post; it’s really about listening to what our audiences are saying and working collaboratively with them.

Curiosity instills creativity

When you have empathy for and curiosity about your prospects’ experience, you are able to curate the right content for them.

Being curious is about listening to our customers, understanding what will be important to them, and knowing how they will engage and respond to our content. This curiosity will feed our creativity when it comes to providing the right content with the right context. Customers will respond receptively because the content we’re feeding them is what they’re craving.

Life pro tip: Spend three minutes finding three conversation-starters from your prospect’s social media profiles before you enter a meeting.

Build camaraderie through fun!

When you are authentic, engaged, and having a good time, it is incredible how things come together. Social listening gives us the opportunity to connect emotionally with our audience. If we can laugh and connect on a more personal level with our customers and prospects, we become much more memorable! I believe strongly that you can most easily change people’s minds when you build camaraderie, have some fun, and make the buying journey humane. Most of the time people buy from people, not companies!

Digital quotient

Many recent leadership discussions have focused the importance of helping people improve their emotional quotient for business and organizational success. Now we need to help people develop their individual digital quotients by enlightening them about the opportunities that exist on digital platforms including (but not exclusively) social media.

People who familiarize themselves with new digital processes and tools, particularly mobile-based applications, will likely outperform those who are unwilling to embrace the new and different. Leaders who demonstrate a high level of digital quotient are better able to attract top talent in their organizations. They are better able to retain the best talent if they are visibly leading on digital networks. This includes sharing their passion and purpose on social networks and praising their employees who do the same.

Leaders are deemed to be more successful if they communicate transparently through digital channels. One of the best examples of a leader with a high digital quotient is Richard Branson. He communicates across all the social networks and leads with passion and purpose. Businesses can look to Branson as a template of a social leader who is having a great time and building his brand every day.

Social selling has become such a hot topic that Coffee-Break with Game Changers is dedicating an entire series to exploring its various facets and promoting best practices for salespeople. To listen to other shows in this series, visit the SAP Radio area of SAP News Center.


Arif Johari

About Arif Johari

He is a Communications lead, Digital Marketing generalist, and Social Selling advocate. He trains marketing and sales employees to become experts in Social Selling so that they’d leverage social media as a leads-generation tool. He is responsible for executing innovative marketing strategies to increase engagement in social media, customer community, and landing pages through content, events, and A/B testing. He is passionate in making the work processes of the marketing and sales team more efficient, so that they can generate more revenue in a shorter time.