Selfies, Social Media and the Potential Adverse Effect on Sales

Denver-Based Sales Leadership Development Available Nationwide

Posted: April 10, 2017

It’s easy to be the star of your own show today, with so many social-media tools at your fingertips. People can take pictures of themselves, shoot videos (like this one) and post their opinion on just about anything anywhere. 

It’s great to build your personal brand. However, as you do so, make sure you don’t fall prey to social-media creep. I define it as something that is growing out of control. It just might affect your ability to sell and close business. 

Take a look at a few areas where social-media creep can affect sales results.

1. Good salespeople are genuine and authentic. They are likable. Social-media creep can lead to decreased authenticity. Why? Because we only post what we want the world to think of us.

The social-media game often becomes the, “My life is better than your’s” game or the, “One-upmanship game.”

The latter leads to making comparisons, which gives one of two outcomes:

  • My life is better than yours – That thinking creates ego and arrogance. Not much to like here. 
  • My life doesn’t seem as good as yours – That thinking creates anxiety and depression. Sorry, not much to like here either. 

In today’s business environment, it’s important to share what you are doing. Just make sure you examine the intent behind the sharing.  Are you sharing to impress or influence?  Are you sharing to impress or inform? 

2. Social-media creep is creating an entire generation of salespeople with a high need for approval. People are hooked on the number of likes they receive from their Twitter feeds or Facebook posts. Never mind that they don’t know half of the people liking them.

Here’s the real irony of the like generation. The sales pundits and thought leaders talk about the need to be provocative, a contrarian. Sales trainers tout the importance of challenging your prospect’s way of doing business. 

Do you really think that a salesperson with a high need for approval is going to demonstrate any of these characteristics?

Need-for-approval salespeople go along to get along, saying and doing what will get them liked. That often looks like writing practice proposals or offering discounts.

Maybe it’s time to quit worrying about the number of likes you are receiving. Instead, listen to the likes that matter. Those are the ones your customers provide in real time when you are conducting account reviews or asking for feedback. 

3. Social-media creep can affect your ability to pay attention.  The best salespeople are focused on others,  paying close attention to what people are saying or---not saying.

Remember the days when you were more worried about including other people in a photo than yourself? In the age of selfies, it’s easy to become self-focused rather than other focused.  “Look at me” is the current trend.  

What you do repeatedly becomes a habit and you might just be developing the habit of not paying attention to anything but yourself.Not a great selling skill.

Here’s a selfie challenge for you. For one month, take pictures of others, not yourself. Post and say nice things about others rather than yourself.  Develop the habit of paying attention because the best salespeople are in tune and paying attention to others.   

Social media is a great way to share information and stay connected. Just make sure you don’t fall prey to social-media creep.   Check your intent, your need to be liked and your ability to pay attention to others. 

Good Selling!