Sales people are versatile creatures. They’ll adapt to any situation, location and venue quite well with ease and poise.

While a sales person over the phone behaves one way, over e-mail they’re someone else entirely. The same goes for networking events and tradeshows/ conferences.

In short, their versatility senses kick in as they’re cognizant of the venue and the decorum that’s required. Or do they?

Sales people still haven’t figured out the formula for success with social media. There are a few challenges to consider.

Not Knowing How to Use Social Media for Sales

Of course there’s the whole “I don’t know where to start” bit. That’s completely understandable. Most sales people trying social media are doing so on their own.

They know opportunity is there but are still in the early stages of exploration. Despite there being a lot of “resources” on the web, the majority are still vague and non-descriptive.

How can one really become a social media native? Here’s how.

Add Value, Not Sales Pitches

“At its core, the social revolution allows people to consume what they want, when they want, and largely on the recommendation of friends and other non-professional influencers. Attempt to graft old models onto it and you are doomed to struggle; find models that are native to the medium and you will thrive.”

Tim O’Reilly

That quote from Tim O’Reilly says it all. Each medium requires a different set of behaviors. If you’re ready and prepared to do that (and believe me, it’s not that difficult), then you’ve got a chance at success.

If you go about your business the same way you’ve been doing, your social selling efforts will yield minimum results.

Sure, minimum results are still an improvement over nothing, but don’t expect that to last forever. Remember, the only reason you’re likely to have results in the first place is because chances are no one around you is really practicing social selling yet. Yet is the operative word in that sentence.

There are sales people using social media but their attempts are feeble. And I don’t blame them. It’s an entirely new medium. Very few have figured it out.

For you to dominate on social media, you have to change your psychology. You’ve got to do things in a way that are native to what social selling is all about.

The traditional ways of asking for business, reaching out to potential buyers, etc. all have to evolve.

Therefore, this is more about a change in your psychology than mechanics. Humans can’t seem to get behind a new dogma until their hearts and minds have fully embraced those new concepts. Keep that in mind. You’re no different.

At the core, you’ve got to believe that your behaviors on the social mediums have to be different than phone, e-mail, networking and conferences. It’s time to bring versatility into this as well.

The Bottom Line

Social selling requires playing by a few different rules than what you may/may not be accustomed to. Playing by these soft rules will allow you to explore this new space without losing credibility and damaging your new and fledgling online brand.

In short, be a native to this new medium. Remember, social selling isn’t difficult; it’s just different.

Ready to get started? Download one of our free eBooks or book some time in my calendar and I’ll walk you through the art of social selling.

Amar Sheth


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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