6 Misconceptions of Social Selling

Social selling misconceptions revealed. Get the scoop on social selling and start exceeding your sales quota.

December 14, 2014


To some, social selling may seem like a trend for only the techiest of sales teams. But in reality, misconceptions such as this are creating a gap between top-performing sales professionals and those that are falling behind.

In fact, studies have shown that 51 percent of social selling leaders (those with a high Social Selling Index) are more likely to hit their sales quota than those who lag behind in social selling.

Let’s examine six common misconceptions and see why reframing your perspective on social selling can lead to success.

  1. Social sellers use social media to make the same old sales pitches

The actual sales pitch is usually still reserved for the meeting room. What does take place on social media, however, is the gathering of sales intelligence, sales lead generation, networking, and relationship building.

  1. Social sellers work on their computer all day

Yes, social sellers use their computer, tablet, or smartphone like everyone else, but they also understand the need for relationship building in person — whether at tradeshows, networking events, or face-to-face meetings. An in-person interaction secures the trust established with the previous interactions online.

  1. Social sellers never talk on the phone

While it may be true that cold calling is dead, the use of the phone is not. Expert social sellers leverage information about their prospects. They use details provided through their social media channels first and then, at the appropriate time, make an initial phone call.

In one instance of a Florida call center experiment, research indicated starting a phone conversation with, “I understand we share a common LinkedIn group” increases the likelihood of an appointment setup by 70 percent.

  1. Social sellers are active on all social media channels

There are several social media channels. But that doesn’t mean social sellers should feel pressured to use all of them, all of the time.

In fact, social selling experts spend most of their time mastering one or two platforms which are most conducive to social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator enables social sellers to use features like Lead Recommendations and Saved Leads to better inform them about target prospects. In a recent survey, 87 percent of LinkedIn Sales Navigator customers said they gained insights about their sales leads they wouldn’t have known otherwise.

  1. You need a large network to use social selling

Sure, it helps to have a robust social media network, but more important than numbers is relevancy. In fact, LinkedIn offers a variety of memberships that provide you with the ability to view increasing levels of connections, creating greater opportunities for quality introductions. Warm introductions are the key to success according to this recent IDC report, which states that buyers are five times more likely to engage when referred through a mutual connection.

  1. Decision makers don’t use social media

This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that most executives are discovering the rich potential of social selling and the opportunities it presents. In fact, the same IDC report indicates 84 percent of C-level/VP executives use social media as part of their decision process.

Misconceptions may exist about social selling, but the results can quickly win over even the most resistant of traditional sellers. With the ability to gather crucial sales intelligence, develop quality connections, and create warm introductions, you can discard any hesitancy and start your social selling journey today.

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