Relying on Social Media to Prospect? Does this Fantasy Derail Salespeople?


social media prospectingRecently I received from a salesperson an email saying he wasn’t having any luck prospecting. He wanted me to reach out and tell his boss that prospecting doesn’t work.

The salesperson took a sales job knowing it would require prospecting.

He explained further that he knew the process they were using wasn’t going to work, and the only reason he took the job is because he liked the company.

His plan was to get management to go to a social media strategy as a way of gaining new customers. He believed strongly the only way to prospect in today’s world where no one responds to phone calls or emails is to embrace social media.

I asked him if he had been successful using social media to develop prospects at other companies where he had worked. His response was no, because this was his first real sales job.

I then asked him why he thought social media was the answer. His answer? (You might want to sit down for this).  He said he had read it on the Internet! I can’t make this stuff up.

This guy was buying into all of the hype and garbage on the Internet about how you need to invest all of your efforts into social media and customers will beat a path to your door.

Let’s put this myth to bed right now.

Social media is not the end-all strategy the “gurus of the Internet” would have you to believe.   The only people who have customers beating a path to their door via social media are the very same people extolling the virtues of it.

I’m getting flat out serious when I say this — thinking social media is your ticket to filling your pipeline is stupid! You’re smoking dope and jumping rope if you believe it.

Social media does have a place in the sales process, though. It’s a great way for people to gain confirmation about you. But the way to use social media is to use it as one tool in your selling toolbox.

The best tool you have in your selling toolbox is you! And the best way to use that tool of yours is to get on the phone and get out and meet customers.

Prospecting works when done right.

Here’s what I’ll do, because I want you to succeed. Use this link to gain free access to two of sessions of my Breakthrough Sales Training program.  Enter this Session Key: SH-PROMO-0615

Watch the sessions and apply what I’m showing you how to do. Got it, now go!

In case you’re wondering about the salesperson who wrote me the email: After my discussion where I popped his bubble about social media, he became very quiet and I haven’t heard from him since.

I hope he reads this, and if he does call me, I would say this: I do care about your career in sales and I do want you to succeed. I just don’t want to see you starve to death banking on social media.



Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Click on the below book cover for more info on boosting your profits!

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1 thought on “Relying on Social Media to Prospect? Does this Fantasy Derail Salespeople?”

  1. Mark,

    This salesperson had only one thing right, social media can be ONE tactic or tool in the sales quiver, but it will not yield the best returns; especially if used exclusively to all other sales tactics. Social media is good for helping place keyword rich content on the web so prospects can find you when they do a Google search looking for solutions to their problems. Then social media’s strength is to help foster and build a relationship, but it is only ONE tool and it is only a virtual networking tool, that a business needs to use.

    There are no substitutes for the other real world networking, sales prospecting tactics, and traditional forms of marketing that need to be employed. Sales prospecting basics have not been replaced by digital marketing. Digital and Inbound marketing only provides additional ways to capture new leads when prospects are actively searching; that is to say doing a Google Search. Those are new prospects and may not be anyone your sales team has had contact with before.

    Even I, a Digital and Inbound Marketing Strategist, do not rely solely on getting leads via my website and social media. I still network and prospect in the real world,  “because that is where the fish are.”

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