Skip to Content Top
This site uses cookies. By navigating the site, you consent to our use of cookies. Accept

Selling On Snow Days


Written for The Nova Scotia Business Journal

Is social media more a marketing or sales tool? Marketing is always a part of your business, before, during and after the sale. It’s about branding and top of mind awareness. Selling in its purest sense happens one-on-one when the prospect makes the decision.

Social media is another great tool and can build awareness, generate leads, educate customers, establish thought leadership, and make people curious. However, it can also be a distraction if not tightly controlled. It can quickly turn into a “no pay time” activity that can be used as an excuse for productive activity by salespeople. Neither marketing nor selling can be a one dimensional activity and a blend of both activities is essential to maximize success.

Twitter is not so much about having followers. It’s more important to use hash tags and link to articles you’ve written, website updates, and promoting events. Even then think about what you’re “tweeting”. There needs to be a balance between self-promotion and something that keeps your audience interested. If it’s self-absorbed rather than reader focused it won’t get read.

Linkedin is a business tool and people expect to read about your free talks and events. You can maximize it using status updates to link to twitter, building outer circle relationships, and can be used for references. If you’re asking for recommendations make sure you’re offering recommendations.

Facebook – It’s most important not to over saturate with messages. People get so many messages from groups, pages and events that often they skim over them or delete them altogether without even reading them. Make sure that you are choosing carefully what to advertise and make it worth it. Cut to the chase because nobody sits and reads five pages of information in any stream of social media; get to the point. Ask yourself, “What will make them continue reading.”

Social media has its part in the marketing and selling mix but there is the danger that because it is low cost that it is better. It isn’t. Like all media you need to factor in your time, how effective it is at targeting, the ability to track results and what control you have. If you’re going to make it part of your business development work it into your schedule like you do for sales calls; make sure you stick within the allotted time you want to devote to it and be consistent.

In the end, most business needs to be personal. Active prospecting still needs to be number one. Don’t rely on passive social media to take the place of you.

©2011 Sandler Training Inc. ( is an international sales, customer service and management training/consulting firm. For a free copy of Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do about It, call Sandler Training at 902-468-0787 or e-mail

Eric Fry

Sandler trainer