The 7 Deadly Sins Of Social Selling

Social selling in 2018 seems like it’s about as popular as the grim reaper was in the 1980’s. Remember that bowling alley advert?

There is no doubt ‘Social’ done poorly sucks big time, and let’s be clear, most do it wrong. Typically this happens if you don’t have a clear strategy, plan and a system which works.

I’m a card-carrying Social Selling devotee and proudly so. Done correctly, with discipline and, yes, supported by other prospecting methods, my pipeline is full, to the point of being able to choose whom I wish to work with. Luck or systems and processes?

How can I make it easier for YOU to NOT SUCK at social?

Start by avoiding these 7 Deadly Social Selling Sins at all costs.

SIN # 1

A profile which provides no valid reason to connect.

Your first impressions today are more likely to be online than face-to-face. With 75% of B2B buyers (IDC research 2014) researching their seller online as part of their decision-making process. First impressions are electronic. If you STILL suck online, why?

SIN # 2.

Connecting with everyone.(Or no-one)

Connecting with everyone WILL ruin your LinkedIn experience. It’s actually a worse situation to be in than having very few connections. Even the guy who started LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, agrees. I see many people connecting with others when it makes no logical sense to connect. You simply can’t be all things to everyone. Having 10,000 connections or more tells me you simply don’t understand how this Social selling thing works. #Cull Baby, Cull. Do you think Ol’ Dick Branson is going to ‘get back to you’ if you send him an inmail? – No chance.

SIN # 3

Not sending a personalised connection request.

You want me to accept a connection request? Why? It’s just not that hard.

And you’re certainly not going to stand out with a stock-standard request. And you need to stand out. What is it you really want? Do you want a conversation or just another connection? I don’t want another connection, in fact, most people don’t. However, I’m delighted to have another conversation. I’m clear on what I really want. Are you?

Sin # 4

DON’T PITCH ME. (Your reachout strategy sucks)

It is a sin to not have a clear, outlined, rehearsed, repeatable strategy, which is proven to drastically increase your chances of being connected or starting a genuine conversation on LinkedIn. With over 60 years of scientific research on persuasion (influence) available for you to use, what strategies are you using to INCREASE your chances of turning a good connection into a sales conversation?

Sin # 5

Not being Disciplined or Consistant.

Just because you post a bunch of stuff on Tuesday night, doesn’t mean your prospects and clients are on LinkedIn then too. You need to manage your feed, know your target markets’ read times and schedule your content accordingly. It’s not a 15min a week game. Toughen up, Princess!

Sin # 6

Connecting and ????

Most people spend more time connecting with NEW people (see SIN #’s 2 & 3) than actually trying to communicate with their existing, valuable connections. How can you leverage your existing network best?

SIN # 7

Counting Views, Likes and Comments.

This is the C-grade game on social. The A-grade players are measuring how many people respond, and how much real INTEREST you can drive from your activity (yeah, real sales LEADS, from social, scary I know). Don’t get INTERACTION and INTEREST confused. Interaction is the ‘fools gold’ of social.

Mark  McInnes
Digital Sales Strategy, Social Selling & Prospecting Skills. Easy to follow programs, delivered online, on demand.
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2 thoughts on “The 7 Deadly Sins Of Social Selling

  1. “…know your target markets’ read times …” interesting thought, Mark. Are there useful tools to measure that, or is it experience and trial and error? Appreciate your thoughts.

    1. There are reports available – the 2017 social media report from Sensis, for example, is easily available as is a fair amount of American research. My best results come from simple trial and error. Recently I’ve moved my last post of the day back to closer to 5pm, as I’ve seen an increase in activity late in the day early evening.

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