Why Sales Teams Should Stop Using LinkedIn

Sales reps today have hypnotized themselves into believing what they aren't doing doesn't work - Larry Levine
“Sales reps have hypnotized themselves into believing what they aren’t doing doesn’t work”
– Larry Levine
I know what you are all thinking…

Just wait and see

Rationalization runs rampant as mental justifications set in…

  • “We are three years behind major cities in technology”
  • “This is small town USA*, very few of our clients have LinkedIn profiles”
  • “Our clients aren’t social”
  • “We have a great client base”
  • “Can’t expose our competitor’s to what we are doing”
  • “I am too old for this social stuff” (Attention Boomers)

* or a small town in Germany, rural England, provincial France (adapt to the country you are reading this from).

More rationalization from sales reps…

  • “Prospects are not returning my emails so I will stop sending out emails”
  • “Prospects are not answering their phones so I will stop using the phone”
  • “Cold calls yield zero results so I will stop cold calling”

With the utmost of respect to the sales world…

“Sales reps today have hypnotized themselves into believing what they aren’t doing doesn’t work”

Go ahead stop using LinkedIn, stop cold calling, stop using the phone, stop emailing as you find yourself looking for a new career.

“The no. 1 reason most sales reps don’t see any success with social selling is pretty simple – they get lost in the platforms and have no clear direction around what they are trying to achieve.”
Jack Kosakowski

Stop justifying the why not and start accepting the WHY!

“All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”
Simon Sinek

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Playing on Simon Sinek’s quote, let’s make this “sales rep-centric” as I say…

“All sales reps start with WHY, but only the great sales reps keep their WHY clear year after year”

If you want to be successful in sales today YOU must create the mindset and skill set around WHY. Successful sales reps understand their WHY as they continually develop new sets of skills to adapt to the changes inside a highly social, digital business world.

Incorporating LinkedIn, or for that matter social selling, is not the answer if you have poor prospecting skills, poor phone skills, and poor sales skills. Sales teams, stop the fantasy that social will save your sales career. This only adds to the frustration. Seek out the education and develop your sales skills in a digital world.

“If we operate in a digital society then why do we still train sales reps to prospect and develop their sales skills using analog only methodologies?”

This mentality only fosters an environment of WHY sales reps stop doing the things necessary for them to succeed in sales, prospect. Thus the “I will stop doing mindset sets in”

Let’s transform these old school ideologies by invigorating them with new school methodologies.

Focus on WHY to start adapting to a changing business environment as opposed to focusing on the WHY not!

Today’s buyer routinely conducts their own research online, solicits advice from their friends and their own network, assesses sentiment within multiple social media outlets; all of this goes a long way towards shaping a decision before they ever connect with you or your brand. They do not need to rely on single sources of information any longer. This means YOU!

Attention to the tenured sales teams, convince-and-convert, all about “how great you are presentations” and old-style sales calls have become largely ineffective. Not only has the buyer already learned what you’re telling them, they have gathered an opinion and shaped an emotional feeling about you or your brand before they buy. Let’s get real… If they’ve not yet heard of you, forging personal value in a cold call is darn near impossible.

So what’s the new path for a sales professional? First of all, stop it with WHY you won’t do something to grow your career and come to grips by meeting the buyer on their chosen turf, “The Online Sandbox”

Successful sales reps learn to adapt. YOU must learn how to adapt inside a digital sales world.

Buyers are looking for an unbiased, “non-salesy” opinion. They want to judge and form their opinions from a variety of sources and expertise.

“We live in a ‘review based’ culture now where our successes (and particularly our failures) will be talked about online, and broadcast to the world, so we need to ensure that we have enough positive content online to present the message that we want to share about our brand or business,” says Glen Smyth, host of the Sales Professionals Podcast.

Stop it! Stop WHY it doesn’t work because it’s all about the brand, YOU!

You, as a sales rep, must build your own personal brand, become a trusted expert with your client and prospect relationships. You must take a position not of a seller, but of a helper. This seemingly counter-intuitive attitude is what now takes the place of the old sales call.

Build up YOU by leveraging the single best branding platform to help transform YOU; LinkedIn. Why…

  • Your career is worth it
  • Your future connections are worth it
  • Your future sales, exposure, and opportunities are worth it
  • Your message is amplified
  • Your differentiation is the key to standing out in the “sea of sameness”
  • The branding of yourself is worth it

If you would like some inspiration I welcome the conversation or send me a message to llevine@socialsalesacademy.net. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse and has been adapted for use on this blog with kind permission of Larry Levine

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