In a survey I did recently of salespeople, 83 percent said social media played either NO role or only a slight role in their sales process. This is the same survey where 91 percent said their new business comes from either prospecting or referrals.

I don’t want to bash social media, because there obviously is a time and a place for it. I myself am on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I do, however, want to drive the point home that unless you can tie your participation in social media to profit rolling in the door, then you need to extremely limit your time on it — especially if THAT time could be spent prospecting or following up on referrals.

What place or purpose does social media serve? It can be an avenue to gain new ideas. In all that dialogue happening out there, as well as the sharing of links, posts, etc., occasionally you will stumble upon a nugget of gold that boosts your sales motivation. The key is just not to hang out there for hours a day (using the excuse that “it really doesn’t take up much time”). To be successful in sales, you have to keep social media in its place.

The more you hone your prospecting skills, the more you will begin to stand apart in your industry as a salesperson. There is no substitute for the person who is diligent in calling upon potential customers. Start building the habits today that deliver the greatest profit for you and your company.

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