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Social media is hurting your business

Liz Wendling //December 4, 2014//

Social media is hurting your business

Liz Wendling //December 4, 2014//

Nearly everyone today is tapping into the strength of social media. Many businesses have embraced social media as a way to connect with more people—customers and prospects—and to increase sales. Even more people are spending a fortune on social media gurus who promise big fat financial results with little effort.  Don’t believe the hype!

Why is social media hurting your business? If everyone is using social media how is that possible?  A few reasons! Many businesses allocate a significant portion of their budget to social media without a plan to measure a return on that investment. Plus, they are jumping in without sharpening their sales and communication skills. They fool themselves into believing that they don’t need to know how to sell or improve their selling approach.

Professionals need to measure what matters—sales. Sales are the only thing that really matters when hopping on the social media bandwagon. Is social media putting a giant hole in your budget or significantly adding to your bottom line?

Alan, a business owner recently told me that his sales team was struggling with dreadful closing ratios. He decided to send the sales team to a training called (I altered the title to protect the “expert”)    “Easily Find Clients and Close More Sales on Linkedin, Without Selling.” A very seductive title with big and bold promises. That big bold title is very intriguing and enticing for people who don’t like to sell. Even more intriguing and enticing for people who want to replace selling with anything other than actually selling.

Linkedin does not close sales. Sales skills close sales. Linkedin doesn’t turn you into a selling machine. Your stellar sales and communication skills do. Linkedin is great but you still need skills to use the tools properly.  

Attending a training like that is like going to a podiatrist for a sinus infection. The “expert” teaching the class was not teaching sales skills, they were teaching something so much more compelling, powerful and useful. (that was sarcasm) They were teaching how to set up a profile, reach out to a few people with a boring and generic email, share a few articles, comment on a few posts and will be on your way to all the sales, riches and referrals you can handle. That’s some mind-blowing and business altering skills there. (more sarcasm)

That BS and hype is hurting your business.

I asked Alan what was going to happen when that training started to work and prospects wanted to have meeting and conversation with his salespeople. He said, “I guess I’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” Well, it didn’t take long until Alan got there. His results remained dreadful. His sales team was still underperforming. His training class that taught no sales skills was a huge waste of time and money. We are now working together on the skills his salespeople need to close sales.

Many people feel that using social media to prospect is the replacement for selling. Social media does not work as a stand alone tool. Social media does not help you magically close more sales. All the social media in the world will not yield bottom line results if you lack the skills that generate sales.

Many people think that being “busy” on social media means they are being productive. They spend hours on the internet trying to attract, connect and communicate with prospects but they are not seeing any results or closing more sales. They get on social media because they are told it’s the holy-grail to building a business.  They set out on a journey that leads them face first into an expensive dead end.

Being busy doesn’t close sales. Being productive and purposeful does! If you want to close more sales you need a plan, a purpose and a process.  The three amigos!

Is all your tweeting, posting, liking, favoriting and connecting working? Is it bringing you emails, phone calls and closed sales? If so, yeah – you win! If not, you are wasting a lot of time, money and energy. You can’t hide your lack of sales skills for very long. They will always reveal themselves one way or another.

Measure what matters. Is social media really helping or really hurting your business. Not sure? Check your bottom line.