A sales person starting today wouldn’t be thinking about whether social media would be a part of their sales approach any more than one from 15 years ago would be thinking about using email. Social media platforms are a ubiquitous part of life – business as well as personal.

Sales thought leaders, trainers, and even sales leadership has espoused over and over again the mantra of the relationship between seller and buyer: “People by from people they like.” Then along comes the rushing wave of technology. Has it changed sales behaviors? Let’s see – sales has always been dependent on networking and referral. It’s rather a ‘who you know’ kind of business.

So the issue persists: How do we get to the ‘right’ people? In most cases (and in both  traditional and social selling) it takes focused effort in identifying who the buyer is, gaining an introduction, developing a ‘relationship’ – and, asking for the business? Our traditional mindset tells us that developing such a relationship, and along the way educating the buyer and building trust, gives us the ‘right’ to ask for their business.

A commonly accepted definition of social selling is to use social networking platforms as the medium through which to develop contacts and nurture relationships leading to a sale. The practice of social selling runs the spectrum from very typical sales behavior (always be closing) to the process of education and information via valuable content leading to, of course, the obvious choice.

Social selling is a long-game process, both from the perspective of individual prospecting and in changing sales culture to embrace it. Do today’s sales professionals have the patience and discipline to make it work for them?

Q1) Social selling has got to be more than trolling LinkedIn, right? What role do salespeople fill in mainstream social media today?

Q2) What myths do you associate with social selling? What’s the reality?

Q3) Transaction vs. relationship: Does social selling cross the threshold? Examples?

(Does social media build relationships that are solid enough to lead to sales?)

Q4) Are sales people to be trusted with creating and sharing original content? Why/Not?

Q5) If you were starting today in social selling, what would you do?

(Our personal brand is intertwined with our biz/brand. Do we align them?)

Q6) Is social selling in the mainstream of sales processes?