Early in 2015, I put together a presentation called Random Rants about Sales and Social Selling. I was then, as I am now, fed up with the misinformation that floats out there about what social selling can do for you. To date, that post has had 44,492 views. Clearly, my message resonated with quite a few people.
Social selling is all the buzz these days, and though I still believe that integrating social media into your selling process makes sense, the bulk of social selling conversations have focused on, in my opinion, very basic, low-level tactics that aren’t generating enough results for salespeople. Part of the reason that is happening is because “experts” with an agenda would have you believe that a few social selling tactics on the front end bring deals rolling in. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, you can use social for prospecting, sharing content to create visibility for your expertise, engage with prospects (though not all of them are actively using social media) and create a nice brand impression if you’ve crafted your profiles correctly. The biggest problem though is that many salespeople have drunk the kool aid and believe social selling is some short-cut to closing business. Not true and never has been!
You can read any number of posts on my blog that talk about what it takes to be successful with social selling. Here’s one you might like. The truth is that even if you are the best at engaging potential buyers via social media channels, what really counts is what happens when you have earned the right to a sales meeting. If you are NOT a consultative, problem-solving salesperson and instead pitch features and do product demos, you are going to have a tough time sustaining yourself in a selling career over the long haul. In Salesforce.com’s State of Sales Report, they found that:
“Seventy-nine percent of business buyers say it is absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor — not just a sales rep — who adds value to their business.”
That’s the set up to the conversation that Doug Lehman and I had in March 2015. It was an impromptu conversation and we played off the content of the original presentation. We ranted about the things about sales and social selling that bug us the most. By the way, if you don’t know Doug, he is a master at helping people leverage video as part of the sales process. Visit him at www.douglehman.com