Social Media and Selling

Social media is all the rage right now and for good reason

You virtually have unlimited access to reviews, opinions, updates, people, information, etc.
You should leverage this tool to,

  • make connections
  • make better decisions
  • learn about companies, products and options, and
  • gain an edge in your personal and professional lives

Social media has changed your lives in many ways. It’s changed the way you make buying decisions as well. If you’re like most people today, you probably search several sites, read reviews, look for deals and coupons and then think about it before you make a decision to buy.

It’s obviously changed the way your prospects buy as well and that leads us to the million dollar question:
Exactly how beneficial is social media in helping you sell more of your products and services?

Social media pundits make it seem that without a strong and sustained presence and strategy in social media, you will get left in the dust. They promise you’ll have all the business and referrals you’ll ever need if you,

  • write your profile properly on LinkedIn
  • join enough groups (and are active enough in those groups)
  • get enough people to “Like” you on Facebook
  • spend the right amount of time and activities on other appropriate social networking sites

But does it work?

How much of your business last month came as a direct result of your involvement in social media? It’s less than 5%. Now, you understand why it’s important for you to use social media carefully and intelligently.

  • Don’t let it soak up all of your time (face it, it’s addictive!)
  • Get the information you need and then do what you do best: prospect, qualify and close decision makers

Only real activity that is directly under your control is to pick up the phone and call someone.
In fact, the most successful sales reps in all the industries still make the most amount of outbound calls (either cold calls, warm calls to existing prospects and customers, or follow up calls to prospects identified in a carefully orchestrated social media campaign).
Yet, Social media is a great tool. Just don’t confuse being busy in social media as the same thing as being busy at what you’re supposed to do – prospect and close business. In other words, identify where you get most of your business from and then do more of that. That means identify the best leads and then pick up the phone and make a qualifying call.

There are many ways for you to generate leads and deals in business. You have

  • pursued social media
  • pay per click advertising
  • webinars with associations
  • multi-level marketing deals
  • joined endless groups

While all these avenues bring you results, nothing makes you more money than picking up the phone and calling on prospects and current customers.

So, does social media work in bringing you new business?
It’s one of many new ways of finding new prospects and making new connections.

But at the end of the day, where does the majority of your business come from?

If you can answer that, then do everything you can to get better at it and spend more time doing it. Your result, is that you’ll make more money as a result.

 

Suresh Shah, M.D., Pathfinders Enterprise

2 responses to “Social Media and Selling”

  1. Atul Muchhala says:

    Dear Sureshbhai,
    What you have mentioned in this article is 100% true and applicable.
    Without real action, social media is a waste of time…. unless we take massive action (whether its cold calling or warm calling or qualifying prospects etc), $$ aren’t going to flow-in!!
    Thanks for the great article.
    Cheers

  2. Suresh.Shah says:

    thanks. glad you read it and liked it.
    unknowingly, we blame social media and ignore its huge capacity to network – may be social or professional.
    it’s similar to Gen Y – unless you know how to harness the energy of Gen Y, you are wasting the big potential.