How Not To Be Salesy When Social Selling

People aren’t on social media to be sold to. Now that doesn’t mean to say that people don’t buy on social media. Far from it. To quote Dipak Vadera, Head of Sales at Leadfeeder:

“People love to buy but they hate being sold to”.

This couldn’t be truer for social. With LinkedIn being the most popular social network for businesses, it’s fascinating to see how people use it and for what reason. LinkedIn started out as a place to bring resumés into a digital space but it’s blossomed into a space where people share ideas, collaborate, expand their professional networks, learn, and even be entertained. It’s a place for us to post and express our working lives in a way that doesn’t really fit into Instagram or TikTok in the same way.

Everyone is talking about social selling, very few people are doing it. Most of the people that are, are doing it badly. If you’re selling your product, solution or service then you’re missing out on what you should be selling: the fact that you should be trusted. That’s it. According to this HubSpot study only 3% of people say they trust salespeople or marketers. If you’re a salesperson and connect with someone new the person is likely already sceptical of you. If you then hit them with a direct message pitching then you’ve lost what little trust you did have.

If you’re in sales and you want to make sure that you’re getting the most from social here’s what you should be doing:

1. Post and Post Often

One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make on social is being the silent predator. Watching and scrolling until they see an opportunity to make money and then pounce. Be more visible, be more… social. Here are a few things to try:

  • Your story and experiences working in your role that could resonate with other people. 
  • New learnings that you’ve had which could help other people. Sharing knowledge shows you know you’re stuff.
  • Contribute to or start a conversation. There might be a discussion on the best way to email a new prospect or even the effectiveness of other techniques like video swirling around the team. Try asking your connections to get a more rounded insight.

2. Keep Giving

If you see a post by someone asking a question on a service or solution like yours, don’t just go ahead and comment: 

“Hey, happy to go through this with you wanna get on a call?” 

Or the super creepy direct message of 

“I saw your post on ‘x’, shall we book in a call?”

Instead introduce yourself and link in some relevant content that could help or even tag in a current client that would be happy to recommend you. This will win you way more trust.

BDR Best Practices:
Insights from the sales trenches

3. Own Your Expertise

Nobody is an expert at anything except for one thing: ourselves. Especially in sales where there is no universally agreed way to do things. So don’t fret that giving people tips on what works for you. If you talk about your own experiences or what has worked for you people will start to trust you more because you’re being open and honest with them and at some point people will start to see you as an expert in your field themselves.

4. Be Your True Self

Some people are gonna like your personality, others won’t. It’s just a fact of life. Andre Gide said it best “It’s better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.” Don’t try to be someone you’re not on social. I may not agree with what you say but at least I’ll know you’re honest and open and that counts way more to me if I am doing business with you. 

5. Enjoy It

People are on social media because they enjoy it and it can be anything from educational to entertaining. If you truly enjoy it too you’ll find that not only are you more inclined to use it as a tool but that you get more from it too. A positive attitude can go a long way to influencing your success.

That’s the list! Hopefully you can now start seeing social selling for what it is: a way to become trusted by your audience and therefore your prospects, so that when you are selling to them they are already more inclined to want to work with you. For more tips and blogs please do check out

The Sales Development Playbook:
How to break through to Target Accounts using Direct Mail & Gifting

Ben Smith
BDR Team Lead

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