Episode 70 of Landscape Digital Show reveals why social selling success is like running a marathon.

Marathon training is a slow process of teaching the mind and the body to take the right actions. Anyone that has enjoyed selling success understands it too requires unique skills that are learned over time.

Last month I began training for my first marathon in over 30 years. Everything was going well until I got caught in a downpour that chilled me to the bone.

That concerned me because I was pushing the limits by upping my mileage too soon to get faster results. Then it happened.

Instantly, I recognized that piercing pain in my calf and stopped, hoping it was just a warning. It wasn’t. I was out for more than a week.

Desperate, I researched injuries and discovered 83% of all runners are injured at any given time, but fixing the running mechanics can actually prevent most of those injuries.

Isn’t the same true for some social media practitioners? They automate and push the limits without giving much thought to their mechanics, the process of serving customers

You’re going to discover it is.

If you build the proper foundation, it will reliably lead to results that far exceed the competition.

Social Selling is Discovery and Understanding

If you are still blasting email messages to your communities like it’s 1999, then you are overselling.

You are like a runner on the path to pain because you are forgetting that social is an essential part of the selling equation today, and ignoring it will quickly get you blocked or ignored.

Social media success starts with making discoveries that can potentially lead to profitable relationships. Maybe your connections will become clients or customers, and maybe not, but you won’t know without engagement and interaction.

Understanding people can be a slow process, but it’s a vitally important aspect of social selling.

Think of it as training that builds the foundation for later using marketing automation and other cool technology that can help scale your human interactions.

There are now 2 billion Facebook users and 65% of them are active. That’s a lot of prospects you can reach with Facebook advertising (good luck reaching them any other way).

But then what? Hoping that people will buy once you have their attention is not an option.

In my opinion, social selling success is using technology right to take relationships to the next level, and then the next, and so on. It’s and ongoing process of engaging and understanding that should never stop.

If it does, you’re done.

Now you have two choices. You can either quit or fix it. Many people quit, but surprisingly most of the others keep going without fixing what’s broken.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Your Overnight Success Start Today

A recent report from LinkedIn shows that 78% of social sellers outsell their peers that are not using social media. That’s exciting, but it requires making good choices for using the social channels well.

You will find many coaches, consultants, and advisors that promise to fast track your path to results, but the truth is you can get good advice by simply engaging with your network.

Fast growth does happen, but not as often as many believe. Those that have reached the top, such as Gary Vaynerchuk or Chris Brogan, point out that it took them 20 years to become an overnight sensation.

That’s good advice for beginners or anyone that wants to get to the next level.

There are more than a few YouTube celebrities that have recently had massive falls from stardom. Better to go the marathon route and build a foundation for your future success. That’s what Vaynerchuk and Brogan have done, and their careers continue to flourish.

They say knowledge is power, but it’s really potential power that only works when you are ready for it, otherwise, it can be destructive.

Think of an automobile. You need a solid chassis to transfer the power of the engine into acceleration without breaking down.

The chassis for runners is a balanced and flexible body that is not prone to injury. For your business, it’s everything that got you here, including the network of people that support what you do.

Your success starts with respecting and building on that. All of us have pain points in our business that need to be fixed to take full advantage of our strengths.

These are obstacles that can be flipped upside down to reveal the opportunities that are needed to create more forward progress. You have to try new methods and shift your thinking, such as erasing the word ‘blast’ from your email marketing vocabulary.

Interact and engage with people. You don’t think of engagement as selling, but if engagement is necessary to succeed with social selling, then it is, isn’t it?

Business owners, marketers, and sales teams are discovering, that social selling is a wonderful thing, but it requires practice, patience, organization and occasional adjustments to make it work.

That’s how selling has always been, a marathon, not a sprint.

Call to Action

The call to action for this episode is to rethink your social selling as a marathon and not a sprint.

You’ll get there faster by steadily using your smarts to build a foundation that respects your customers.