Why this Tactic Is Not Great
Now let’s combine the explanation of the tactic that so many of us do and bring in the two principles that we outlined in the first part of this blog post.
If we agree that we all have something to sell, then when a salesperson sends this direct sales message, they are sending that to someone else who also has something to sell. And by communicating in this way, they are making it all about them (the salesperson). If nothing else, you could say that this is a little rude and that a better way to go might be to make it all about the other person (the prospect).
Now looking at that second point that we don’t enjoy being sold to, not only do these direct messages create this uncomfortable feeling of being sold to, but they also do it right away. Immediately after connecting (or following on Twitter), we get this social selling message which can be a not so great immediate and first impression.
A Better Way to Handle Social Selling
If you agree how the tactic outlined might not be the best way to go, you could make these changes when trying to sell over social media
Make it more about them: When you try to sell in such a direct way, you are making it all about you. Make your messages and communications more about the other person – more about the prospect. Focus on their interests, their problems, how you can help them.
Offer value: When you try to sell your products, you are coming more as a “taker”. Be more of a “giver” when social selling by giving value to the prospect. This can either be by sharing and liking content they post or send them content that is helpful or entertaining.
Start a conversation: When a salesperson sends a direct message mentioning their product and going for some sort of a close, they are trying to sell right in that exact moment. Instead of trying to sell the product, try to sell a conversation.
Interact in non-selling ways: There are many different ways to interact on social media other than sending direct messages that try to sell the product. You can like and share their content. You can send them content. You can ask them questions. Interact in other ways before trying to sell.
Delay direct sales attempt: With this social selling fail, we pointed out how the sales attempt comes right after connecting. If you do nothing else, just delay that direct sales attempt for some period of time so that it does not happen immediately. If we connect and then you send me a message trying to sell to me right after, that tells me that you only wanted to connect with me to sell to me, which again is a little rude. Delay that attempt just a bit so that it is not so obvious that all you care about is selling your products.