When was the last time you read a book that you both loved and hated? I have such a book in front of me now, The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Marketing (McGraw Hill: 2012), by Landy Chase and Kevin Knebl.
First, the good: the book is an excellent primer for the business use of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogging, as well as how to promote your presence online. Chase and Knebl take the most popular social media platforms and discuss in detail how to get the most out of each.
Whether you are completely new to using social media or would consider yourself a fairly proficient user, The Social Media Revolution will probably add real value to your online efforts. Of particular import for anyone wanting to learn how to maximize their impact on social media is the advice on how to conduct yourself on line and how to reach out and influence others.
Each of the chapters that deal with a particular platform such as Facebook or LinkedIn go beyond the platform itself and includes discussions on complementary applications that can enhance your presence and effectiveness on the platform itself.
Now, the bad: Despite how helpful the book is regarding building your presence using the basic foundations of social media, the authors have gone overboard in their buy-in to social media’s effectiveness. In fact I almost didn’t write this review of the book because of their first rule of what they refer to as The Six Rules—abandon traditional prospecting.
That is probably the dumbest piece of sales advice anyone could give. Sometimes when new technologies come along they appear so attractive and so “special” that it is easy to overestimate their effectiveness and impact. Business is full of “revolutionary” technologies such as the phone, fax, copier, and others that were supposed to completely change how business is conducted (only to prove to be nothing more that highly useful time saving tools, not the world changers it was thought they would be). So it is with social media for Chase and Knebl. Their contention is that traditional prospecting is fast becoming an outdated skill due to email, voice mail and the ability to connect through social media.
I would encourage you to pick up a copy of The Social Media Sales Revolution and take to heart the discussions of how to use the platforms discussed and implement the methods presented to expand your relationships and your sphere of influence. I would also encourage you to beware the false god of prospecting panacea of social media—social media isn’t it, it’s nothing but a useful tool to supplement and complement your existing traditional prospecting activities.
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