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Five deadly social media sales mistakes

There are five deadly social media mistakes that you can make in sales. I have been guilty of committing all five - sometimes at the same time. As a seller it can be a challenge to stay on top of today's ever changing technology: the i-phone 4's, the Droid X's and the various Sales 2.0 programs. Add to that the growing demands of our job, the increased competition and the pressures of doing business in today's economy and it's a wonder we have time to write a profile and create an avatar!

Today I'm going to talk about the first deadly mistake that sellers make but I will be discussing all fivev social media sales mistakes-and how to avoid them--at ColoradoBiz Magazine's "Aligning your Business with Social Media" event on May 11. If you haven't gotten your tickets, go here. This is a fantastic opportunity to get invaluable, practical advice from business experts on how to successfully navigate the murky waters of social media.

Mistake #1: Hit and Run Social Media

We've all done it. No, I don't mean leaving the scene of an accident, but jumping into a social media site and disappearing for extended periods of time. Raise your hand if you've ever tweeted 15 times in one day and then disappeared without even a glance at your TweetDeck (my what??) for two weeks. Keep your hand up if you've ever started a discussion thread on a LinkedIn group and abandoned it. How about loading up a video and thinking you're set for the year?

Businesspeople, and salespeople in particular, often spread themselves too thin. In our attempt to "cover all the bases" we don't make an impact in any of them. Many smart businesspeople walk away from social media shaking their heads saying, "it doesn't work," precisely because they've stuck their toe in the water of too many different pools without ever getting wet.

Developing and implementing a consistent strategy that you will stick to on a regular basis (and I mean 40-50 weeks out of the year) is going to ultimately determine whether social media will work for you, or (as some toe-dippers have concluded) it is a major time-waster. If you can't commit to a consistent presence on Twitter, don't tweet-unless you're doing it for fun or personal reasons. If you can't follow up on a LinkedIn discussion, don't start one. In the social media world, half measures don't get you half. They get you nothing. So get realistic about the time you're willing and able to commit to it.

To calculate how much time you will need to commit to social media for it to be effective, answer the following questions:

How long will it take you each week to:
1. Create interesting content specific to each site (tweets, discussions, photos, video, etc.)
2. Post the minimum recommended number of times on each site.
3. Read and respond to responses.
4. Stay up to date on topics of interest to your customer or industry groups.
5. Follow up with potential prospects or leads.

Now, multiply that by 120 percent (it always takes longer than you think) and that's how much time you need to set aside each week for social media. Is it enough to spread over two sites? Three? Seven? Now set aside that time each week in your calendar, just like a real appointment. Because it is a real appointment. An appointment with members of the social media community. So don't let them down!

To learn more about how to effectively use social media in sales and business, create a strong personal brand and get up to speed on important trends, join me, local social media experts and your favorite Colorado Biz columnists on May 11th! Go here for more information.
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Julie Hansen

Julie Hansen, author of Sales Presentations for Dummies, helps sales and business executives craft and deliver winning presentations and demos by applying today’s best practices from business, acting, improv, and storytelling. Julie’s techniques for leveraging proven performance skills in presentations have been adopted by Fortune 500 companies across the globe, including IBM and Oracle, as well as local Colorado companies. Learn more about sales workshops and keynotes at  PerformanceSalesandTraining.com, start a sales conversation at Julie@actingforsales.com  or connect with Julie on LinkedIn.

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