One of the things we have seen in the market is a rush to provide social selling service, for a public that (probably) doesn’t know much about Social Selling.
For example there is a person that offers services on how to be a LinkedIn Influencer, while from her profile it’s very clear she isn’t a LinkedIn influencer. There is the Sales trainer, who from their Linkedin profile, has never worked in sales. I’m not telling you anything that isn’t freely available on-line. I’m sure these people are making a living or they would have gone and done something else.
People are buying from them, even though it’s clear that they don’t have the right qualifications. Here at Digital Leadership Associates social-experts.net always use the about the Personal Trainer (PT) analogy. Where we ask the question, does a PT need to be slim? Surely they need to be the high water mark for training? They should be the person we want to be?
A personal trainer, trains 3 times a week, eats properly, can give meal tips, doesn’t eat chocolate, they set the bar (no pun intended) for us to try and reach. This should be the same for everything we do shouldn’t it? The LinkedIn trainer that can show you how to be a LinkedIn influencer should be a LinkedIn Influencer shouldn’t she? The Sales trainer, maybe he should have worked in Sales?
Which brings me onto ROI – Return on Investment
With all projects not just social selling, there has to be a proven Return on Investment (ROI). If you are rolling out an accounting system or a new project management system, there has to be a return. What do I mean? There has to be proof that if you give a supplier some money, there will be a return. Think of it as a transaction with the supplier where you give them $X and they give you $X+ money back. If for example the coaching and training was $10, then you would see a benefit to the business of more than $10, say $20, $50 or $100. If you spent $100K on a new accosting system, there would be an expectation that this would cut over $100K of cost from the business.
Social Selling is Self Financing
We find that social selling projects are usually self financing. What do we mean? If you paid $10 and got $20 back, you have got your money back and made an additional $10, which you could invest in social selling. This would get you another $20. Which means you got your money back and have another $10 to invest …. you can see where this is going. Of course if the ROI is higher, like $50 or $100, then you have more money to invest, more money to win back, and you should will be able to take that money as profit.
So often we hear about companies that sign up for social selling but they are given no ROI commitment and in fact don’t activate the people. The two mistakes that people are making is:-
- Using webinars as a mechanism to communicate with students. The problem we found at my previous company when rolling out social selling, as with so many companies, webinars are used by people to catch up on sleep. You can use webinars for an exchange of information, but as all good change consultants know, webinars cannot be used for people change. This mechanism and CBT (computer based training) for social selling rollouts has now been dropped by most companies as they have seen so many failed projects.
- The second mistake people make is getting people in to write your LinkedIn profile. It may seem like an easy option, I’m aware of one company that had one profile written then everybody else copied that profile. Social is about you being you and a mindset change. You will get that change by writing that profile. After all this is about ROI, getting somebody to write it for you ticks a box, it does not get you ROI. You need to exhibit other behaviours as well as a good profile to get that. This mistake often has a negative ROI, what I mean by that is you become completely addicted to the company as they didn’t make you self sufficient so any changes you need to you have to go back to the company. Change your job, go back to the company and pay them more money. New starter, you have to go back to them and pay them more money. It’s an endless circle of handouts to the supplier.
The social selling market like anything is “buyer beware” the great thing about social media is that everybody can do their own due diligence. The spammer that sends you a spammy inmail isn’t a strategy supplier, they are a spammer, you if employ them, then you of course realise you will piss people off and lose a lot of brand recognition, but you knew that didn’t you, as they are a spammer.
The same with anything you buy on social, things are totally transparent. Social Selling like any program needs an ROI, you need to talk to your supplier about it and get a good understand how that program will give you an ROI. We still see people who want to do social selling as part of a “tick box exercise” and there are lost of suppliers that will be happy to take you money and not give a return.
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