One of my bucket list items is to appear on the television show Renovation Realities.
For the uninitiated, this program profiles ordinary people attempting to perform home improvements of varying degree of difficulty – often with hilarious, read: disastrous, results.
Between the minor injuries that range from electric shock to puncture wounds to marital spats, it is painfully obvious that the participants lack the knowledge and/or training to perform the necessary enhancements to their residence. But they do it anyway.
Should you admire their spirit, or question their blissful ignorance? After all, it’s only their home – considered your most important investment.
It’s with this same “what the heck” attitude that many sales and marketing professionals approach Social Selling.
They all have plans – some grandiose (putting on a new extension to the house) – others, less so (adding crown molding to the dining room).
But the story line often plays out like an episode of Renovation Realities: purchase a shiny, new tool, plunge right into Social Selling.
Cue nail gun incident and ambulance ride to the hospital.
Avoid this Social Selling self-destruction. Here are three things to consider when renovating your Social Selling strategy with a tool-first approach:
It’s Not the Tool, It’s the Training
Strategy trumps a strong affinity for shiny, new objects every day. Develop a Social Selling routine – a prescriptive process – prior to evaluating any tools to assist you with your routine. If I knew I needed a miter saw to install crown molding, I would learn how to use it (training) first. A tool cannot cause a shift in behavior. Training ensures improvement and the psychological shift necessary for high achievement. Remember, quality results require quality training: cheap (or no) training will result in cheap work. While the lure of the tool is strong, the lure of the social selling charlatan is stronger. Beware both; otherwise you are destined for making crooked cuts.
The Magic is In the Man (Or Woman)
Sales are a relationship-based transaction. People buy from you. Technology is simply an enabler, and social media is just another platform. It really doesn’t matter if your medium is the telephone, email, telegraph or smoke signals, etc. Social media simply accelerates the conversation. When sales and marketing professionals show they are human and make a personal connection through conversation – building a relationship without trying to sell – the sales process naturally evolves. A tool is not required. Most people don’t realize that conversation is the ultimate content. Shared content leads to shared conversation, which leads to conversion, which leads to a sale.
Automation vs. Depersonalization
Selecting the right tool may not guarantee Social Selling success, but using the wrong pro tool may spell disaster – for both you and your organization. In theory, tools are supposed to make your life as a social seller easier. The right tool can increase your productivity through automation by freeing time that was previously spent on mundane, repetitive tasks. The right tool can gather essential information in a faster and more efficient manner.
The wrong tool, or using the right tool improperly (without benefit of Social Selling training), however, can position you as an impersonal automaton rather than establishing trust and building necessary thought leadership. Your audience looks to you and your team for opinions, information, and answers to their complex business challenges. Why risk Social Selling alienation for a few minutes of time-saving automation? Your reputation is not worth it.
Have you pursued a Social Selling tool-first strategy with ill-fated results? Do you need help building a successful Social Selling routine? Schedule a consultation using the button below.