3 Massive Mistakes Sales People Make With Social Media

3 Massive Mistakes Sales People Make With Social Media

social media training for sales

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much social media training for sales professionals out there and it has resulted in a lot of talented people getting poor results. If you’re in sales, you have probably experienced the frustration of hearing social media success stories while your own experiments have left you to conclude that social networks must not work when it comes to lead generation.

Well I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that there are three specific reasons that sales professionals are unsuccessful with social media and they are easy to fix. The bad news is that it requires you to rethink your approach to the sales process online. This is especially true if you have been in sales a long time and seen success through more traditional methods such as cold calling or prospecting.

To kick start your social media training for sales excellence, remember these crucial 3 points:

Related: 7 Ways To Use Social Media Training For Sales And Crush Your Competition


1.    If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It

By losing it, I mean all those sales you let slide away because your competitors beat you to the punch due to your delay on taking action. Social media requires a long-term and consistent commitment as it’s all about building relationships. But the results will be well worth it with not only more sales, but an easier selling process and a lot more referrals.


2.    Selling Through Social Media Doesn’t Work

If you’re still trying to close a sale through social media, it simply won’t work. This perplexes a lot of sales professionals because once they realize this, they often wonder what the point of social media is if you can’t use it to sell? The answer is building relationships, creating top of mind awareness for your products/services and being the first person your prospects think about when needing what you offer. Social media helps you build rapport like never before, giving you unparalleled power in building trust with current and prospective clients.

Trying to pitch and sell somSocial Media Training For Salesebody on social media is silly because they don’t have to listen to you. In fact, people are only exposed to the information they want to see online so if you try and shove your product/service down their throats, you’ll just end up blocked, deleted or unfollowed! If you have a PVR or DVR at home, ask yourself this: do you watch commercials you aren’t interested in when you have the power to fast-forward through them? I didn’t think so.


3.    You Need A Strategy

This is the most important point. If you don’t have a strategy, you’ll just be running around social media sites wasting time and ultimately give up once your attention is diverted to one of the millions of cat videos on YouTube.

Understand who your ideal customer is and figure out where they interact online. Find ideal groups in various social networks where you can share content that is valuable to your target market as a means to bring them closer to you and gain credibility as a trusted advisor they can rely on.

Related: LinkedIn webinar to teach you exactly how to optimize your profile and attract your ideal clients! Click here to register now.

If there is one takeaway that you should keep with you from any social media training for sales, it’s that you need to focus on building relationships and providing value. Okay, so maybe that’s two things, but they are extremely important because people don’t need to listen to your sales pitch when they could be finding the solutions to the problems they have elsewhere.

Find your perfect customer’s greatest problem and solve it. Then you will be successful with social media! And if you don’t know how to do this then be sure to get some social media training that is specific for sales. LinkedIn training is typically the best place to start as it is the #1 business social network and has a flood of your ideal clients just waiting there.

What do you struggle with the most when it comes to social media training for sales and lead generation? Leave a message in the comments below!

LinkedIn is in my opinion non-negotiable for sales professionals. Learn how to create a professional LinkedIn profile that will get you found in a free special LinkedIn training webinar.



  • Hi Melonie ~ I absolutely agree! Especially on your third mistake: lack of strategy. And, creating your strategy is one thing, but pig headedly stick to it is quite another. Certainly with so many distractions nowadays. It takes commitment and a lot of smart work to get the job done! 🙂 ~ Juan

  • Thanks for this Melonie. I’ve been battling number two with the C-Suite for a while now, but i must say – i think you got it absolutely right. If people are just on social media to get sales, it will become very apparent, very quickly. Sadly, the majority of Linkedin groups have the same problem – loads of folks in there for sales, which results in no interaction. If social media is a channel brands hope to sell through, it must be the soft sell – warm the leads up with genuine interaction for a future sell.

    • @Ross: You’re right about LinkedIn groups. There are many people who simply don’t get it but there are several groups that have great moderators that make for a much more focused and rewarding experience. You’ve got to dig to find them though! Agree with you about the “soft sell” approach on social media…it’s all about building relationships!

  • Nice article and I agree with all three points.
    Re Point 2 – Selling through social media doesn’t work, I think Gary Vaynerchuck sums this point very well in his youtube clips. You need to treat social media like any other social event.


    • @Colin: Yes, Gary V’s videos are top notch and address this topic head on. Thanks for bringing that up!

  • I completely agree with each of your points Melonie. A lack of strategy and not knowing your Why” seem to be the two most common mistakes I see. Sales people dive into social media believing it will be simple to implement and a “silver bullet” solution to all of their marketing woes. Unfortunately it only exacerbates whatever is broken in their business and makes things worse long before they ever get better. Treating social media like any other marketing strategy and truly putting time, effort and thought into it is vital.

    • @Rebekah: Yes, many do make the mistake of seeing it as their “silver bullet solution (I like that term!). Thank you for your comment, it’s been great connecting with you!

  • I definitely agree with you on your point that social media is not about product-pushing but rather relationship-building. It takes time I know. But the results are really worth it, specially when the customers keep coming back to you because they know that you are someone they can trust and someone who is not just out there “for the kill” but rather to help.

  • Hi Melonie – Adding Value is the greatest gift we can provide to our clients. Any time we Add Value our clients and customers are even happier!

    You’re right- instead of using social media to sell, we need to use those tools to Add Value. Our strategy should always be to Add Value!

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