Social Media “experts” love to retweet blog articles about the “5 must do’s” or the “No-No’s of social connecting” in hopes to create etiquette, order and rules. These articles add no value to Social Selling – this new evolution of sales is like the days of 1849 San Francisco (the Wild West gold rush). Creating rules and order in 1849 San Fran was the sheriff’s job, and we all saw enough westerns to realize that was an impossible and deadly task. Social Selling is too new, too powerful, too lucrative to be bound by others opinions of proper etiquette Do’s/Don’ts.
The real movers and shakers of 1849, 1920’s prohibition, 1990’s tech boom are people who stayed away from the public opinion. These visionaries didn’t care about “what people expect you to do”. They decided instead to push forward with new ideas, processes and models to challenge current thinking.
What does this all mean?
1. Stop listening to what you are “supposed to do”
Forget the social media blogs, articles and case studies that teach you how to use Social Media their way. These articles present you little tactical value other that how to optimize your profile. As a sales person, your job is to SELL – so take light to their rules of engagement. Find your own groove as you’ve done throughout your sales career. Think back throughout your career – are you doing what others told you to do, or do you have your own special process. 9 out of 10 sales reps will tell you they have a secret system – that’s what makes them special. Top sales talent drums to their own beat.
2. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
How many emails, voicemails and cold call scripts have you tried in your life? How many experiments have you tried to gain your prospects attention? Social Selling is exactly the same – don’t feel hesitant to execute your own style. There is no right answer; Sales for Life has booked meetings trying every conceivable LinkedIn tool, introduction and message style imaginable. Just remember to document the process so you can replicate it.
3. Encourage Gunslinger Mentalities
Think of yourself as Billy the Kid – there are no rules. Social Selling is only a 3 years old (as a concept – 18 months in practice), so there are no manuals with the 1-2-3 steps. Every day companies around the world are blazing new paths. Relationships can be forged and meetings can be booked from all kinds of engagement styles. This is the Wild West; so take your gold now before everyone shows up to stake their claim!
4. Record YOUR Best Practices
Map out your land so you can find it again. Your “process” is not a process unless you can repeat the steps time-after-time. Just because you booked 1 meeting (found a shaving of gold in the dirt) doesn’t make this a repeatable process. But remember that much like 19th century San Francisco – there are still giant mounds of gold to be made as a pioneer of Social Selling.
Go online and start engaging people. That doesn’t mean sending generic invitations – it means start conversations just like you would from your email account. There is gold in those hills, but it’s not going to jump into your basket unless you mine it.