Learn From Your Mistakes.

Ever hear the expression “DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO”?

Humans make mistakes. It’s in our nature. Granted some are bigger than others, some people make more than others. Need proof, check the front page of the Times.

I for one have made my fair share of errors, and will continue to do so (I hope). Specifically, while adopting a formal social selling routine over the past 8 months there have been many lumps along the way. Fortunately I have been in a good position to take those lumps and learn from them. So I thought I’d pass along the top 5 so you can learn from my mistakes so to speak.



Social Selling is a set of daily exercises online that will exponentially grow your revenue results, if you limit your activity to 30-40 minutes per day. Spend any more time than that and you are either caught in the weeds or simply using it to avoid the other core functions of your job.

Keep it simple by making a list of daily tasks and sticking to it. I personally have 10 different actions I take each day. On a light day I can now complete this in about 40 minutes. Mistakenly, I have also had days where I spent literally hours. Hours I should have been in meetings, calls, and content development.


Social Selling is a slow and steady routine. Not every salesperson has the personality to deal with this. I’d venture to guess that we’ve been trained to behave in more of a hyper and frenetic manner. Think of the last few days of each quarter. Right?

I am guilty of this to the extent that I thrive on immediate gratification. In adopting a content marketing strategy and launching campaigns that nurture my buyers through their buying cycle I have found myself falling behind while also managing prospecting, contract negotiations, delivery, etc. You need to be disciplined in your approach, and don’t let up. Rather, find a pace that fits your weekly goals and stick to it.


Attention to detail is a must at all times. The devil is in the detail. Email campaign, nurture track, blog post, marketing asset? Write a draft, revise it, edit it, revise that, proof read it, and have someone else proof it. Then double-check it again. Cause it’s a sure thing that as soon as you hit that big red button, your mistakes will be out doing the “Full Monty” in public.

Yes it’s true, perhaps one of my largest gaps. I tend to take Tom Peters’ line of Fail, Fast, Forward and err on the side of having taken action over inaction. That said, please be on high alert when it comes to the quality of the work you produce, as you’ll likely appreciate, everybody loves to see people fall on their swords online. So don’t. At the end of the day it is your professional reputation on the line.


I wont continue to belabor the topic of Profile updates. It takes 30 minutes to build a solid profile, and a few minutes each day to keep it solid. Having an engaging buyer centric social profile is now mandatory. Like getting dressed for work. Don’t make the mistake and push forward with your approach until you have this taken care of.

Admittedly, I have had a YouTube Channel for some time now. I use it for both personal and professional reasons. Still at this very moment I have done nothing to customize the experience beyond a simple headshot. It looks abhorrent but I’ve not taken the time. Note to self: fix it.


Salespeople on whole only follow up with 27% of the leads their companies pay to generate. I still can’t understand this? You need to be constantly converting new connections, connections to interested suspects, suspects to prospects, to buyers, to clients. Why a salesperson would step over an individual who’s downloaded an asset, visited a website, or taken some other action is beyond me.

Yet I am sure that in the general flow of business I have let more than my fair share slip past. We have the best intentions as hyper-connectors, but also a tendency to take on too much, to the extent that it negatively impacts our ability to maintain positive relationships. Make sure you regulate that flow. Try for 15-20 new connections each day.

The Bottom Line:

Like most things in business, adopting a Social Selling routine takes time and patience. If you’re not stepwise, guided, and careful you can make lots of costly mistakes. Like humans do. Fortunately there are those individuals who have walked before you that can help pave the way. In as much as free advice is worth what it costs, make yourself aware of these common pitfalls and you can expedite your transition period and ultimate success.

Download the below guides or book a call with me to learn the latest in social selling.

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Robert Kavanagh Robert Kavanagh

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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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