The Power of Social Proof

 

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Your product or service might be the best in the world, even then it is not necessary that people believe you when you talk about it. However if a satisfied customer refers you to 10 or 15 of his friends who are also business owners and if most of them buy your product, then it is a testimony to how great the product truly is!

An Influencer

Let me introduce you to H V Shiva Kumar, Proprietor of Geetha’s, an 18-year-old multi-brand inner-wear outlet on DVG road, Bangalore. He is an Opinion Leader among the retailers on DVG road – one of the older, traditional markets in Bangalore. Shiva Kumar is convinced that his usage of technology – Tally, is making him look like a ‘Guru’. According to him, Tally is taking him one step closer to his dream of being a profitable retailer who is looked up to by the brands he is working with.

His position as an authority – a ‘Guru’ gets confirmed when other retailers seek his advice.

His firm belief is that a business man, that too a retailer has to grow with the help of technology in today’s highly competitive environment.

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Why Shiva Kumar refers so many businesses to Tally?

To be clear, we asked Shiva Kumar the reason for referring so many businesses (to the software he uses) and he gave us the reason:

  1. He was happy with the value Tally had given him and he was sure it can help his fellow retailers.
  2. He was creating a community of Business (Tally) users who can support each other with the usage of the product.
  3. By doing so the dependency on the Technology company will reduce and they will be self-sufficient (as a community).
  4. His status as an expert in Business and Inventory management gets established among peers and also with the brands he represents.

We subsequently came across a retailer in HSR layout (Rangalakshmi & Sons) who was also introduced to Tally by Shiva Kumar, via a Connector* – in this case, a sales executive of an innerwear brand.

One of the beneficiaries, in this case, is also Chethan Kumar of Infolink Business Care, a sales & solution partner of the software company, who is servicing Geetha’s for many years. Says Chethan, “Once Mr. Shiva Kumar refers a customer, I only have to install the product, there is no need for lengthy demos or negotiation. I wish I had more customers like him”.

What Is Social Proof?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people imitate the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.

Simply explained social proof is the need of an individual to check out a restaurant on Zomato or go through the review on amazon before making a purchase decision. It is to see if someone else has already done what one considers doing.

Have you considered going for a show just by seeing a long line of people waiting to get into a theatre? Have you ever tried to plant your friends among the audience to simulate laughter at a Humorous speech contest? In that case, you will intuitively know what Social proof is!

Why would a business owner like Shiva Kumar go out of his way to refer a technology product to a fellow retailer? Why does the retailer buy without negotiating? The explanation is quite simple – if Shiva Kumar, an influencer and someone who’s seen as a progressive business owner, has to recommend a product risking his credibility, there must be some merit in what he says! And that is what convinces the retailer to buy…

The explanation is quite simple – if Shiva Kumar, an influencer and a progressive business owner, has to recommend a product risking his credibility. People tend to think that there must be some merit in what he says! And that is what convinces the retailer to buy…

A recommendation from an Influencer reduces the sales cycle! – Tweet that 

Influencer marketing is a subject we understand very well.  Call us or mail us today, for more information on how we can help.

* Connectors are  people who have incredibly widespread “social networks.” They are often successful businessmen or politicians and play an integral role in the spread of ideas.

In this case, the person is a sales person, who due to his profession, is in touch with a large number of retailers. Read more about Connectors in Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point.

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