Social selling and legacy selling like cold calling and email marketing are very different, or they should be.  

I read an email from a cold calling guru (ironic*) the other day and they said 

"These days getting through to prospects is harder than ever." and I agree.

The problem with cold calling and email marketing is that it's based on "interruptions".

Let me explain.  You are selling accounting systems and you need to call the systems accountant.

It is month end and the systems accountant is under a lot of pressure, they are trying to make sure that the various systems within the accountancy department is working.  They have a very large spreadsheet to complete and they have a deadline of tonight to complete it.

It's their daughters 7 Birthday and they want to leave early tonight.

Then you call them up and start pitching to them.

Now, I totally get you believe in your products and services and you know that you can help the systems accountant, but your call will make them late.

This is why legacy sales gurus (people who sell old sales methodologies such as cold calling and email marketing) always tell you that selling requires persistence and you to "touch" they buyer multiple times.  If you call somebody up and piss them off, you will need to call many times to build any sort of relationship. 

Just think of the inefficiency

Not only do you have to sift through long lists of people to call, before you get to a conversation, but you have to keep going back to people and "touching" them.

Back to the cold calling gurus email they said "Well-crafted prospecting sequences improve the statistical probability that you engage your prospect at the right time.."

Really?  This is all very old fashioned.  No wonder you are having difficulty getting through to people and no wonder your pipeline is crap.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

 Albert Einstein.


Let's look to see if any company has changed their go-to-market during covid?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling

The article states...

"Merrill on Monday rolled out a revamped adviser-training program that prohibits participants from cold calling and directs would-be brokers to use internal referrals or LinkedIn messages to land clients instead. The decision comes after the program’s 3,000 trainees were told to stop outbound recruiting efforts to find new customers last year after problematic phone calls."


"The revamped program is intended to bring the firm’s prospecting techniques into the digital era and boost completion rates."

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

How do we use "prospect sequencing" with social selling?

There are three things you need to do with social selling

1. Your online presence needs to be buyer centric - Think about your buyer what they are looking for, somebody to help them, somebody they can trust and not a corporate robot a human being, here are a view examples:-

Eric Doyle

Adam Gray

Kevin Milne

Lenwood Ross

Vanessa Gartell

2. The second thing you need to do is to lift your analogue network onto digital.  All of your contacts, prospects and customers you need to be in contacted with digitally.

3. You need content.  This isn't corporate content, research shows that corporate content actually does your brand damage and not good, as is often thought. 

You are now in a position where your prospects and customers can see you all the time and they see you when they want to and when they have time.  BUT you are "waving to them" everyday across social.  None of this calling them and pissing them off. 

The importance of content

The mistake that people make with content is they think of a marketing white paper, which is 2,000 words long.  The writer crams in as many facts they know, so you think how clever they are.  This has two issues, 1. the reader will only remember one thing and 2. nobody reads white papers anyway.

When you create content it only needs to be 300 words, why? because if I send you a 2,000 word white paper you will ignore it, if I send you a 300 word blog you will read it now.

There are three types of content.

1. Where you write to appeal to as many people as you can, a marketing white paper is an example, it appeals to everybody and nobody.

2. You write to appeal to a set of accounts or a vertical.  One of our clients sells to a number of verticals and one of those is Higher Education (HE) and the write content that appeals to them.

3. You write to appeal to an account or even a person.  If you want to influence an account or a person, you will know their business issues and you write a targeted post.  For example one of our prospects was looking to expand internationally, so we wrote content on how to do this with social selling.  We are now in a sales cycle.

The old ways Vs the new

You can see that the old ways of calling people up and annoying them with interruptions are now dead and buried.  You don't need to do this, they know that, you know that and fact that your client knows you are an old fashioned company by doing this, will feel even more annoyed.

Now as a business you can be more empathetic, you can be modern and you can sell more.

* I think it's ironic that a cold calling guru should email me, it's like the cold calling guru who wrote a book all about cold calling and at the end of it they wrote, "here are my social media co-ordinates should you want to contact me".  Isn't ironic, don't you think?