If you spend enough time on LinkedIn (maybe five minutes or more) you will run across a question or a group discussion that asks the question:

Can you really make any money using social media sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a bad question. Before investing a lot of time or energy into something you should try to find out how valuable it will be – how much ROI you might expect on your investment of time and energy.

You see the same kinds of questions around blogging, free e-books, free webinars, and other “free give-aways” that have become ubiquitous in the free-for-all information buffet that the internet has become.

But if you dig past the hype of the new, the same kinds of questions are directed at communication strategies that have been around for longer as well. People ask if cold calling still (or ever) worked; if it makes sense to invest marketing budgets into trade shows, or print advertising, or point-of-purchase displays in retail stores.

All of these questions are legitimate, and they all miss the point:

Content matters!

The effectiveness of all of the promotional strategies listed here – and those not listed here – is driven by content.

Imagine that a similar question – about intrinsic value – was asked about television, where the answer depends on what you are watching; or music, where the answer depends on what you are listening to; or books, where the answer depends on what you are reading.

Social media, blogs, webinars, and advertising and promotion of all kinds will be effective if the content projected through those mediums is well targeted, compelling, and actionable. If it is not, then results won’t be either.

Does “X” work is just too simple of a question.  Those who ask it are not yet understanding that the message trumps the medium. If the message is right, and well targeted, then any medium could be highly effective. Some are surely better than others, and some work better for some situations than others, but the discovery of which ones are best for any specific purpose is surely more than a binary decision about the fundamental effectiveness of the medium alone.

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David