The Social Filter to Successful Sales

The Social Filter exist even if you are not aware of its presence.

I get calls from those in my network who want me to become a salesperson for their company. I can see why because when you look at my resume on LinkedIn you see sales experience all over my past. But the last several years I have not been a salesperson nor am I currently.

So why am I still getting calls? Because recruiters are using LinkedIn as a traditional database before contacting me. They are browsing LinkedIn, the Social Network for business and because of my past (a type of filter), I am appearing as a prospective sales employee.

I have to admit that I have the past that includes several perceptions of me. If you compare my endorsements from my LinkedIn peers, new business development and traditional email marketing is how many perceive me.

But yesterday is gone. Today, buying decisions are made differently.

While traditional “paid” media—such as television and radio commercials, print advertisements, and roadside billboards—still play a major role, companies today can exploit many alternative forms of media. Consumers enamored by a product may, for example, create “earned” media by willingly promoting it to friends, and a company may leverage “owned” media by sending e-mail alerts about products and sales to customers registered with its Web site. In fact, the way consumers now approach the process of making purchase decisions means that marketing’s impact stems from a broad range of factors beyond conventional paid media.

Today I believe there is a Social Filter to successful selling (if it is indeed selling) and I want to help others understand this change.

Yes, Outbound Marketing or paid marketing still works. In fact, I recommend that my clients use paid Adwords if they need to turn on the switch immediately. The ability to get found immediately is the prime advantage of paid marketing.

But I hope my callers realize that the salesperson’s role is changing. Salespeople are no longer the source of information for most consumers. Most consumers are fully informed long before they contact a salesperson to make a buying decision.

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