Social Selling: How To Do It Without Fumbling

BY Jessica Helinski
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Social media presents an incredible opportunity for salespeople. It also presents incredible opportunity to fumble. The ability to instantly connect puts a lot of power in reps’ hands, but they need to be thoughtful about how they use it. “There is no quicker way to turn a potential customer off from ever interacting with your business than to show up in their social media feeds uninvited,” notes an article from SalesLoft. “Especially if you’re adding nothing but noise to the conversation.”

The professionals at SalesLoft rounded up some tips from the Rainmaker 2019 roundtable discussion that can help reps get the most value out of social selling (and without causing any drama). 


One way that reps can use social media for sales is to gain insight. The internet can be a treasure trove of valuable information, but you do need to make an effort to find it. LinkedIn can have so much valuable insight and, as Samantha McKenna, Head of Enterprise Sales at LinkedIn pointed out, it’s a total “social listening tool.” Thanks to the professional nature of the network, reaching out on the platform is expected. Additionally, the opportunity to network within certain groups on the site can help you learn more about prospects. As the article suggests, “Pay attention to the groups your potential customers are joining and join them too. Those discussions are value sources [of] information about specific industries and roles you’re targeting and can be an asset in your process.”

Spend adequate time mining the internet for insights, such as happenings within the prospect’s industry, a challenge they’re facing, etc.; it may take some effort to gather it all. Then, cite those specifics when you do finally reach out. You’ll immediately stand out from other reps by showing that you are listening and you are invested. 

Be Mindful

One area that reps can trip up is coming across as unprofessional. One way to do that is sloppy writing. “Social media is a wasteland of poor grammar and ill-​advised diatribes,” the article points out. “Don’t give in to the immediacy of social posting; take your time.” That means paying attention to every detail, from the subject line of an email to a period at the end of a sentence.

For more dos and (do not's) in regard to social selling, check out SalesLoft’s entire article, which includes many more insights from the roundtable discussion. By making sure you are savvy about social selling, you’ll get the most out of it and avoid potentially damaging pitfalls.