It's true the demand for social selling in the market right now is enormous. Just take a look at this post from Forbes yesterday - Why Future CEOs Must Quietly Embrace Social Media. Experts are chiming in with recommendations, key stakeholders are doing their research, behaviors are changing, companies are
"I've cold called my entire career and I`m good at it. I don't need Social Selling!" "Sales people don't use social media. That's for marketing!" - Typical statements from sales people. Are they right? Take a look at a post circulating yesterday from Harvard Business Review - The Perils of Being a Social Media Holdout .
It has now become the truth, there's really no more question whether to adapt to social sales or not. I daresay we are seeing another digital Klondike. I liken it to the gold rush because for many early adopters, that’s exactly what it’s going to be.
Now I wasn't alive at the time, but I don't expect you'd see many individuals starting to run back down the Chillkoot trail once they had struck gold. Instead they would grab another pick and pan and dig in. We are conditioned to travel towards the light, not away from it.
"Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars particularly are finished." Dick Rowe, Decca Recording Company executive, 1962 (turning down The Beatles)
Just like the naysayers that have lived to stand in the way of other movement’s gone mainstream, there will inevitably be a time when we look back and laugh at how wrong they were. So let's agree to stop talking about it and just start doing it. Social selling that is. ``Fail Fast Forward`` as Tom Peters would say.
But that's not to say it's to replace what you already know to be true. I'm talking about the fundamentals of human behavior and I'm talking about the fundamentals of the sales profession. Don't just get caught up in the excitement and forget the foundation of skills that your success rests on. Strive for change. Let it consume you. But at the same time, strive to perfect the basics too.
Like the onset of any new shiny object, incredible gizmo, latest peripheral device that's showing promise, the practice of converting more leads with online tools comes with a major risk as well. Timesuck - the natural propensity to reach a certain point where you find that you've wasted your entire day actually not selling anything at all. Rather you’ve spent the day revising your online profile and configuring applications you may never actually use. Everything in moderation – check out how social selling can happen in 30-60 minutes a day.
Be careful here, when we instruct teams to invest 30-60 minutes a day driving your system, we have limited it to that for a reason. It's directly correlated to the rest of your day being played out as you would expect to in the profession of sales. It is but a component of your mix. A critical component, but also one you need to keep in check. Social sales = 30 - 60 minutes a day. Any more, you’re enjoying yourself too much for it to be work. So get back to it.
The Bottom Line
In as much as social selling is a holistic approach, you can't let it cannibalize your other selling systems. Despite all the noise and attention on the movement at the moment, shoot for a parallel or integrated strategy instead. One where you can benefit from the expected returns without neglecting the table stakes of your assignment. Balance!
Still wondering what exactly those 30-60 minutes are supposed to look like? I'm always happy to discuss. You can click the link below to select a time to chat. In the meantime check out our blog and download our 42 LinkedIn Sales Tips.