When you talk to most social sellers (yours truly included) we always advise sales professionals to share content with their social networks.
As you connect with more and more buyers and prospects, their engagement on your content has the ability to be seen by others in their networks. This is the power of social media at its core: the ability for content to go viral.
And who wouldn’t want this?
Imagine your words/thoughts in the hands of others. For example, if you sell to the finance suite and are connected with senior finance professionals on LinkedIn, intuition dictates that they’d also be connected to other like-minded professionals.
This is powerful.
Leading with education helps sparks productive dialog in ways that leading in blind simply can’t.
What Happens When You Don’t Share Content?
I set out to answer this question with a simple experiment. I didn’t share content on LinkedIn for 2 months. I kept all other variables virtually the same. I had some downtime of activity.
Here are the results:
Let’s analyze this further. Aside from the horrific roller coaster drop in the SSI Score, there have been other negative outcomes.
My meetings in the market dropped. That’s right. All of the people coming to me asking me for social selling information plummeted.
The number of invitations I received dropped. On average I received about 50-75 invitations/week which has now sunk to about 10/week.
Profile views decreased substantially. With an average of 150-200 profile views/week (on average), I now get a whopping 30. Talk about a blow to the ego!
I’m now not highly ranked in my overall LinkedIn network either.
And lastly, the SSI indicates that my ability to find the right people is severely impacted as well. I’d agree with this because I’m clearly not talking to enough people.
What Does This All Mean?
The LinkedIn SSI Score is a good surface-level indicator which paints a macro-level picture of health. But, beyond this there are detrimental impacts to sales activity that are routinely experienced.
It also means that sharing content is a seed, when planted properly, provides an ample amount of fruit. It leads to a tremendous amount of visibility, which in turn creates more visibility to you and your message.
One of the hardest things as a sales professional is getting our message out there and having someone indicate interest to learn more. Grant Cardone says it best when he says that obscurity is our biggest enemy. He frequently cites obscurity as the primary reason why most businesses fail.
If people don’t know where we are and who we are, we’re in trouble.
Are You Sharing Content?
This is why sharing content is so important for sales professionals. The ability to educate potential buyers about your knowledge and skill level has great benefits. It’s so tough these days to convey expertise over a cold call or email.
As you do that however, consider also beginning sharing content to your social networks. It’s a great place to show off your skills, share insights and opinions you have and let buyers know about perspectives that they may not have.
Will this take time to achieve? Yes, absolutely. But consider the opposite: fighting to get facetime (by phone, face-to-face or email) without first separating yourself from the horde of competitors in the market. Is it any wonder why study after study pegs the success rate of cold calling at around a few percentage points?
For example, only 1% of cold calls ultimately convert into opportunities, according to a study by the Keller Research Center at Baylor University. That same study also found only 28% of those cold called engage in conversations.
Buyers always want to buy – but they’ll only do this with people they know/like/trust. In the digital age, your presence online is a great start to build this foundation. I’m not advocating eliminating any of your other work; I’m recommending you complement it with social and digital work.
The Bottom Line
As I’ve outlined from my example above, the removal of sharing content from my daily routine has had a detrimental impact on my sales activity.
Secondly, a recent study by our firm Sales for Life revealed that in the B2B space, on average only 1 in 5 sales professionals are sharing content. And that’s not even actively.
Imagine if you can build your presence online effectively in a world without too much competition. It’s possible. While most sales professionals continue to “pound the phones” and “hammer email,” you can add social into your work mix and help shape your own impact.
Are you willing to try and cause a stir? What have you got to lose?