I often write about social selling and in posting these blogs, I often get comments on LinkedIn, I have no idea where they get these ideas from or which joker is saying “social selling is …” but I wanted to clear some of these up.
Here are a select few bizarre responses I see:-
1. Social selling is writing content and sitting back and hoping somebody will make contact.
Always puzzles me this one. Social selling is not this. Social selling enables me to get to any senior business leader in the world. We can and do help people sell 8 figure deals. Totally agree, writing content and sitting back isn’t a strategy, but there again, it isn’t social selling.
2. I can get to people faster by calling them.
Really? The problem with cold calling is that nobody is sitting there waiting for your call in fact in most situations you are annoying them by calling. That is, if you can get through the gatekeeper. This drives cold callers down and down and down in the organisation.
Talking to a sales guy recently he said, “If I call reception and ask to be put through to the CFO, they will just laugh at me”.
Where as with social you can sell high, just go straight to the top, there are no gatekeepers. Most cold callers I talk to are actually scared at selling high and are happy in getting through to low level people, it’s a comfort zone for them.
I’ve contacted CEO’s on a Thursday and had a meeting with them on a Tuesday. Cold calling wastes your company’s and your salespeople’s time, you need a method which gets results faster!
3. Social selling takes a long time.
Rubbish. I think this one is put around by social marketers , not to be confused with social sellers. With a decent personal brand (see 2. above) you can get to talk to whoever you want.
Social selling can also accelerate deals through your pipeline. Keep calling people, won’t it just annoy them.
4. Social selling is all about marketing.
A massive fallacy, of course social selling allows you to have a great demand generation platform. But if you are are social selling properly then you will be using social to accelerate your deals through the pipeline. The problem with legacy sales methods is that you can only push one deal through the pipeline at a time, with social you can push all the deals. Social in fact allows you to scale the number of sales at any one time.
5. I can get a better response with cold calling
The reason why people say this is cold calling is a comfort zone and they don’t know how to social sell. It’s a bit like me saying I don’t like skiing. I’ve never been skiing. But there are many people out there who like skiing, so maybe actually it’s pretty cool.
If we look at cold calling, it’s a legacy method of throwing mud at the wall and hoping some will stick.
Let’s assume that you can talk to 10 people by calling 100. With social you can find the ten people in less time it takes to find through calling. There are no gatekeepers so you can get straight through. therefore, in theory then social selling is 10 times more effective. Even if it’s double as effective, you get a better response.
6. It’s all about outbound
In 2018 this is totally bizarre, based on the above if you really want to use legacy methods that are less as effective and less efficient I cannot stop you. But surely you want to be able to prospect 100% of the time, even when you are on holiday and in front of customers? Using both social and intent data, you are able to do this. Which is why social is an “always on” prospecting method.
7. Cold Calling is More Efficient
Based on the answers of 5. and 6. where cold calling is clearly isn’t. There are two more problems with cold calling. 1. When you call they say “sorry we purchase that last week” or 2. They say, “give me a call back in 3 months.
In both cases with cold calling you are snookered or you need to create a calendar entry to call them back.
Where as with social. In the first case, you had a decent personal brand , they would have found you on-line and they would have become inbound. Therefore the number of cases of lost deals reduces and you can take those deals from under your competitors noses.
In the second case, you can nurture them using social, and with you great insight and education, as with the pipeline, you should be able to pull these deals forward. They should come to you as inbound.