8 Myths about Social Selling That You Might Believe

Much of what we’ve come to believe about social selling is wrong. Out of fear and out of unfamiliarity, we’ve created myths about social selling, and it’s time to crush our misconceptions. Here are eight of the most pernicious myths about social selling, with explanations of why they’re simply not correct.

Myth #1: Our customers aren’t on social

Have you ever looked to see if your customers use LinkedIn, Twitter or another social network? Chances are good that your buyers use social. IDC has found that 84% of executives use social media to support purchase decisions. Similarly, IDG Connect has found that 86% of B2B IT buyers use social media networks in their purchasing process.

Still not convinced? Ask your customers. It’s the easiest way to find out.

Myth #2: Corporate channels are your most important social media assets

Nope, nope, nope. Social selling is about connecting with people – not logos. Buyers trust people more than they trust corporations. That’s why social selling is so effective. Here’s the latest information from Edelman on the subject:

Myth #3: Social selling is for generating new customers

Of course, social selling will help you identify, research, and connect with new customers. But many sales reps forget to use social to maintain relationships with their current customers. This is a dirty shame, given that Gartner says that 80% of your future revenue come from 20% of your current customers.

Not sure how you can use social selling for engaging current customers? Check out this post: Social Selling Doesn’t Stop at the Sale.

Myth #4: You should pitch your product and services on social

Somehow, this has become the modus operandi of sales reps on social. They pitch their buyers without getting to know their buyers, and when buyers don’t respond, they follow up incessantly. What a turn-off!

Think of social like attending a networking event in person. You don’t want to be the loathsome person who walks up to someone and says, “Hi! My name is Mark! I don’t know who you are, and you don’t know who I am. But you need my product.” That scares away people.

Myth #5: Social selling doesn’t need a content plan

Social selling is all about building relationships, and to build relationships on social, you need content. Think about how you maintain relationships in the digital world. You send people articles, memes, infographics, videos, and more. You fire off a message, saying, “Hey Mom! I saw this article and thought of you!”

Well, the same is true of using social for sales. Content is a key ingredient for any social selling program. Without educational blogs, white papers, infographics, surveys, reports, and videos, your social sellers will not be able to build trust with buyers, and they will add little value to their potential customers’ lives.

Myth #6: Social selling is a distraction for my sales team

As a sales leader, you’re probably worried that social will distract reps. With permission to use social, salespeople won’t call customers or send emails or enter data into your CRM. Instead, they’ll spend their days on Facebook, watching videos of cats getting scared by cucumbers.

That’s not how things should work. Social selling does not mean spending every minute on social. It means using Twitter or LinkedIn as another tool for researching and engaging customers. As a sales leader, you need to set clear expectations around social and explain to reps how to use networks like LinkedIn and Twitter to augment their sales playbook.

Here are some tips: How Sales Reps Can Combine Online and Offline Tactics

Myth #7: My sales reps need to be experts on social before they get started

Argh! This is one of the most frustrating myths. Sales leaders cling to the idea that reps need to attend countless training sessions and fret over their social profiles. Only then – when all profiles are perfect and reps know everything there is to know about social selling – can sales reps start social selling.

That’s not how learning works. You learn by doing. Think about your own experience. When you study a foreign language, you don’t memorize all the rules before you practice speaking the language. No, you learn the rules and practice them at the same time.

The same should be true of your social selling program. Your reps should be learning and doing at the same time.

Myth #8: LinkedIn is the only network for social selling

For many companies, LinkedIn will be a cornerstone of their social selling program. But it shouldn’t be the only network that your team explores. In many ways, Twitter can be a better network for your team. Or, if you’re working in an international context, you might want to explore apps like Whatsapp or WeChat or Weibo.

Time to Bust the Social Selling Myths at Your Company

Social selling is one of the most critical tools for your reps. The CEB has found that social selling is the single most powerful behavior that separates high performers from core performers.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to embrace social selling at your organization. Contact us to find out how we can help.

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