Don’t Make These Common Social Selling Mistakes

Everyone has heard Woody Allen’s comment that “80% of success is just showing up.” This is true when it comes to originators creating a presence on social media platforms. The challenge for sales professionals is to show up the right way when using social media for lead generation There are several common mistakes I see when originators use social media that can sabotage their efforts to build relationships with prospects and referral sources. They are:

  • Content is product talk. Social media platforms are tools originators can use to build awareness of their personal brand in their respective territories. Just connecting with someone doesn’t give the originator the right to immediately start a business conversation. Too often, originators post content about their products and services when they have not yet formed a relationship with their connections. Originators who start pitching products and services before rapport has been developed amounts to spamming and can cause a salesperson to be kicked off the platform.


  • Having connections isn’t the same as having conversations. Social media is a terrific vehicle to expand contacts and tap into a wider circle of prospects beyond first-degree connections. Just because a sales professional has amassed followers isn’t enough. These relationships need to be developed and nurtured by posting content that is interesting and relevant to your targeted audience. You wouldn’t go on a first date and then ask the other person to marry you. Likewise, just because producers have made connections doesn’t give them the right to bombard prospects with product details. The goal should be to generate prospects’ interest in speaking with you. These conversations start off-line.


  • Where you went on vacation and what you had for dinner last night isn’t valuable content. Maybe your family might be interested in this type of information but other people are not. Remember the family member who invited you over and showed you their endless vacation photos? Boring! When it is used to generate leads, social media must be focused on the other prospect and not the producer. This is the biggest mistake any salesperson can make.


Social media is the new phone of this generation. Similar to the phone, it is a neutral instrument that can be used to make a good or bad impression. Just as robocalls have become prevalent, social media content can become intrusive when not handled properly.