Almost daily I see social media folks with good intentions suggest that cold calling is dead. They (incorrectly) write that selling is dead, that no one likes salespeople and that even salespeople don’t like being salespeople.
With good hearts, they suggest such things as changing your title to disguise the fact that you’re in sales. They insist that you abandon your outbound efforts and find your way to the Promised Land (inbound marketing). In their minds, these ideas are mutually exclusive: You are either an old-school salesperson or an enlightened, social-media-wielding non-salesperson.
Unless you want a career change imposed on you in the not-to-distant future, you heed the following advice:
Advice worth taking. I am reminded of an often-told story about Mahatma Gandhi. A mother waited all day to ask Gandhi to tell her diabetic son to stop eating sugar, that it was bad for his health, that it was harming him and that it could kill him.
Gandhi sent this mother and her child away, asking her to return to him in two weeks. The mother returned with the boy two weeks later. Gandhi told the boy to stop eating sugar. The mother asked Gandhi why he couldn’t have told the boy to stop eating sugar two weeks earlier. Gandhi replied that, at the time, he himself was eating too much sugar. Gandhi did not believe that he had the moral authority to tell the boy to stop eating sugar. He wasn’t willing to ask the boy to do something he wasn’t already doing.
Social media provides a terrific set of tools for prospecting. These tools allow you to research your clients. They allow you to listen, to pay attention to what is interesting and important to your clients. These tools allow you to connect with your dream clients in ways that were never as easy as they are now. When used well, social media provides an excellent set of tools for lead generation.
But these tools work better for some than others. They work well for consultants; they work particularly well for social-media consultants. By themselves, social media tools don’t provide enough opportunities for people who carry a quota. I promise you that no one who would advise you to market your business using social media alone would do so himself were he carrying a quota.
Social media? Absolutely. You can’t be a Luddite! Exclusively? Not if you want to succeed and hit your number.
Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:
- Social media: A passing fad
- Encourage your clients to be social
- Social media and sales: Can they get along?
S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/