Time for some real truth. I belong to a new generation of sales professionals who are super-comfortable using social media for personal and business use. Not everyone has that, but if you’re one of the crowd who does not use social I have something to tell you, that may be surprising.

I generate all my appointments via social. No cold calls.

So imagine how sales will look in 5 years

If cold calling and cold emailing are getting harder and harder, how difficult will it be in 5 years time? If you follow the shape of the graph, quite a lot harder. What does that mean?

Social remains a platform where you can have success.

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If I can generate all my calls from social now, imagine how things could work for me in 5 years with the experience and new methods I can create during that time.

If you don’t

I’m not one for telling people their job is “going to get taken by robots”. But the new technologies like AI and machine learning that sales teams can use will impact how we all work sooner or later.

If your work revolves around hammering the phone every day, I’m sure in a few years a technology or service will exist that can do close to as good in performance than a human. With significant advances and new technology that is.

I get those pre-recorded cold calls that listen to my response and continue the conversation accordingly. They’re not that clever yet, but they could become really clever. I’m sure someday we will be able to cold call, handle pre-determined objections and ask to book a 15-minute meeting with an AE via an AI-assisted bot.

Without saying prolific cold callers will become extinct (I don’t think they will), this presents you with a problem.

You could take a super, super personalised approach and contact only a few key accounts and prospects per day after conducting thorough research to break into enterprise accounts with cold calling/emailing.

I can see this would bring back the “value” of a human being in the sales seat, your ability to draw commonality and meaningful conversation with a person 1-to-1 is not replaceable.


I don’t pretend that social selling is the cure for all the issues in sales, but I do know from experience it has helped me as an individual reach buyers I could not and would not have reached personally via other means.

My relationships with people around the world have led me to great conversations and new relationships. My content and curation have created conversations with prospects that have been taken offline. Best of all, companies have come to me asking for my opinion and help.

All of a sudden I’m not a salesperson begging for “15 minutes on your calendar”. I can be sought out by companies who see my credentials and ways I can help.

Instead, I’m reaching prospects with a value touch rather than interrupting their preparation for a meeting. I haven’t clogged their email inbox with an email series that I designed for 517 other prospects.

What I have done is looked at everything I can find about a prospect and figured out what they would appreciate most, based on all the data I can find on them and their company.

If you have 12 blog posts published on your LinkedIn, I’m going straight in there and finding out how well you write, how much engagement you get, what your CTA is, what your topics and passions are, anything I can find. On Instagram posting a holiday picture of you in Barcelona? I’ll leave a comment saying how nice it was when I went there for my birthday last year.

The point is, using social to get myself connected with the prospects I need to speak with, gives me an immediate advantage.

Take a watch of my guy Ian Beaton’s video here…

Ian had a great experience at Chick-fill-a.

At McDonalds you expect the same level of service and experience. You get used to it, just like standard sales outreach via email and phone.

But at Chick-fill-a Ian had an amazing experience from first contact to purchase and is now an advocate. The staff have the extra effort and the thought to ensure his experience was great, he got what he wanted and he was happy there.

This is social selling, give what the prospect needs and wants. In turn, they will get repeat business from Ian because they were interested in him, not a one-time order of a few dollars.

The key point

You can write value-add emails. You can make value-add cold calls. But the key point here is that these mediums are becoming harder and harder and harder to be successful with. Over time this will become more the case.

With social, I can be as potent as I want with my appointment setting, relationship building and general networking. I’m not relying on my activity volume or subject line effectiveness, the mood of the gatekeeper and so on.

With my relationships and network, I have access to more people than I could possibly email and call. Added to that, I can get more context on these possible introductions and connections rather than spending my time reaching out only to find the context out later.

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It could take you 12 cold emails, 6 calls and 3 postcards if you wanted to, to get anything back from a prospect who in actual fact has gone with another vendor. They’ve ignored your messages so far for the simple reason they’re not having a problem, they have a vendor solving your highlighted problem.

Social connections are real humans who speak to each other and share what is going on in their work and lives. I know what my “business friends” are doing, what they’re looking for, what they need and what they’re doing well.

So I can be of use to them by the way of introductions, referrals, social media engagement and all kinds of other ways too. I know that one MD I am friends with is looking for a next-level social media management tool, so if I speak with people who provide this I can be of use to him by making an introduction.

It’s thinking about what do they need in order to have a better life or a more successful one. Whatever they need or want. If their glass is half empty or half full, finish your drink with them or buy them a new one.


Ollie uses social selling every day to learn and develop new ways to create conversations and reach prospects. Outside of the office he's an avid Liverpool FC fan and regularly watches his local football team play or plays pool every week. You can connect with Ollie on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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