Sales and Sales Management Blog

July 22, 2014

Is There More to Social Selling than Just Hype?

Are you sick of the social selling hype yet?  Have you had your fill of the unrelenting BS that bombards you day in and day out about the miracle of social selling and how it makes selling so much easier, how it eliminates the horror of cold calling, the expense of advertising, the time consuming drudgery of attending networking events?

Or, have you bought into the hype and discovered that in reality it is nothing more than quicksand that will drag you down and destroy your business slowly?

The truth is there is a great deal of hype and BS going on about social selling.  There are promises of easy business, millions to be made quickly, and unlike prospecting and selling; it’s just all great fun.

But there is also a kernel of truth in all that hype.  Social selling does work—when recognized for what it really is and integrated into a comprehensive prospecting and selling process.

Despite what many preach, social selling isn’t meant to be a standalone business development strategy. 

It isn’t a panacea, freeing sellers from the day-to-day work of picking up the phone, of generating referrals, of attending networking events, and the other work of finding and connecting with quality prospects.

Social selling is an adjunct to traditional prospecting, not a replacement of it.  Adopting social selling as a part of your business plan doesn’t eliminate all of the traditional strategies you’ve used in the past, it simply makes those strategies a bit more effective while adding another way to find and connect with your prospects.

Finding and connecting with prospects is a complex problem for not all prospects are alike.  Your prospects will accept and respond to different means of approach—some will respond to cold calling, most won’t.  Some will respond to being approached through a referral—of course, that assumes you have a referral to them.  Some will respond to direct mail, others to being approached at a networking event, others through advertising, others through an email campaign.  And others will respond through social media connections.

It isn’t our prospect’s responsibility to respond to us in the way we want to connect with them; it is our responsibility to connect with our prospects in the way they will accept.  And that means we must employ a variety of strategies if we want to find and connect with a broad prospect base.

This is where social selling comes in, allowing us to find and connect with those prospects who prefer to connect via social media.

It also allows us to transfer or continue our relationship online with prospects and customers that are found through offline strategies.

Social selling can open many doors but it can’t replace our offline efforts to find and connect with prospects.  In fact, we should be spending only a small fraction of our time online—an hour or so daily.

Don’t buy the ridiculous hype being put forth by so many.

By all means embrace social selling, but don’t destroy your business by thinking that it will produce magical results and free you from the work of prospecting.

It won’t.



  1. Paul you are walking on some sacred ground and it is about time someone stood up and said the ground has not changed. Good for you.

    Comment by thecoachlee — July 22, 2014 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  2. Thank you, Leanne. Seems that the hype about social selling is getting way out of hand in some quarters, especially the hucksters trying to sell it as the fun, easy way to make a ton of money without having to do any of that awful stuff sellers used to have to do called work. That is, of course, a message a great many sellers want to hear and consequently fall for simply because they desperately are seeking any easy way to succeed. What they fail to understand is there ain’t one.

    Comment by Paul McCord — July 23, 2014 @ 9:17 am | Reply

  3. […] Are you sick of the social selling hype yet? Have you had your fill of the unrelenting BS that bombards you day in and day out about the miracle of social selling and how it makes selling so much …  […]

    Pingback by Is There More to Social Selling than Just Hype?... — July 23, 2014 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  4. Couldn’t agree more. Posted a similar article on LinkedIn about a week ago about the social selling hype getting totally out of hand!

    Comment by Jakob Thusgaard — July 24, 2014 @ 11:12 am | Reply

  5. Reblogged this on The Online Sales Wire and commented:
    Social media has helped warm up the leads that are currently in my pipeline. It never replaced calling but gets my name in front of the prospect a few times prior to meeting.

    Comment by ajim775 — August 1, 2014 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  6. Hello Paul. Social selling, Sales 2.0, The Death of Professional Selling, and so on… the hype seems to never end in some corners of the sales training community. Thank you once again for calling a spade a spade. You are appreciated.

    Comment by — August 6, 2014 @ 12:29 am | Reply

  7. […] Is There More to Social Selling than Just Hype? […]

    Pingback by Top 50 Sales Management Blogs - Sales Acceleration and Productivity Software — January 24, 2015 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

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