I started golfing when I was 15. A high school teacher was taking students to the course to play for free. Who’s going to pass that up?

It took me about four years to get my handicap down to 5. Is it any wonder I used to whack things with a stick when I was a kid? It’s only later that I appreciated the pleasure I get from swinging the club and hitting the ball… and seeing results. What made the difference? My friends. I started to take a group of friends to the course, and they thought it was fun. But first I had to reduce their golf swing to the simplest form so they could reach the “‘fun level.”

You will not close deals with social selling, but you’ll build new relationships supporting your other prospecting activities. So the results you’re shooting for is getting to a place where you can “feel” that it is adding to your overall competencies, similar to my experience when I taught my friends how to swing a golf club.

Now, fast forward 25 years when I was teaching a social selling class: At the end of a session, someone walked up to me and said: “You changed my life.” In two hours, he felt he could act on the few methods and simple tools that are available to build new connections during his sales prospecting.

Social selling can be over-complicated if you listen to all the gurus. Find something that works for you and go teach it to a co-worker. You’ll have to simplify it and make it accessible so that your pupil will now be able to apply it.

Let’s simplify

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Take 10 accounts you want to penetrate and find 10 decision makers on both LinkedIn and Twitter. You now have 30 people to scan weekly. It shouldn’t take you more than one hour per week to scan their content.
  • Scan their content every week. Respond to 10 LinkedIn updates or tweets per week. By respond, I mean engage. Write back, ask questions, challenge them so they actually pay attention to you in a positive way.
  • You’ll of course need to build this into your routine and sales playbook with other methods. Repeat a few time and observe what happen.
  • When the time is right, you should either add further value to them via LinkedIn in-mail, email or maybe via the phone and try to see if you can obtain some of their time. It’s simple, yes, but to be successful you need to get into a routine just like in golf.

Learn your best routine and then go teach it to someone else. Remember, it takes a village.

About the author: Yann Ropars is the vice president of digital marketing at Miller Heiman Group. Follow him on Twitter @YannR.

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