“Social selling” gets all the headlines these days. But if I were asked to train salespeople, I would place any of the following seven things before social selling.

1.     How to plan a sales call. Honestly, most salespeople don’t plan their sales calls at all, and it’s a mistake to waste a client interaction.

2.     How to open a sales call. Without the ability to effectively open a sales call, you quickly come across as an amateur and a time-waster.

3.     How to do good research. Without understanding your dream client’s most pressing needs, it’s difficult to be compelling and more difficult to frame your solution.

4.     How to gain commitments. Most salespeople don’t know which commitments they need. Those who do don’t have the language to gain those commitments. I’d teach them how to close.

5.     How to build consensus. No one builds consensus on LinkedIn, which is what complex sales require. Without it, you’ll lose out to the status quo.

6.     How to think like a businessperson. In sales, business acumen and situational knowledge are what allow you to create value. I’d teach this before I’d let a salesperson flounder around on Facebook.

7.     How to tell a story. One of the ways of demonstrating how your solution makes a difference for clients is through the stories you tell. Tweet that.

8.     How to negotiate. Most salespeople crumble when facing a challenge based on the issue of price. I’d teach them to negotiate based on value.

If you want to build a personal brand to stand the test of time, be good at what you do. In the end, it’ll count for far more than all your social-media efforts.

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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/.