There’s something a bit frustrating about how difficult it is to get sales leads and how easy it is to lose them. Of course, some people lose their sales leads honestly: they do all the right things, but the prospect just can’t commit. Others, however, lose those sales leads all on their own.

Social media has opened up so many doors when it comes to lead generation and nurturing. But there’s a sense of urgency when it comes to social and leads — you have to act fast or you’ll miss out and lose the lead. This is where a lot of businesses run into trouble. Whether it’s social content, social conversations, or social listening, they’re just not moving at the right speed. Leads are lost.

You need to know what not to do, right?

So how do you lose a sales lead in 10 days?

#1: Be inconsistent.

Post a lot to social media, then inexplicably go silent for days. Maybe even months. Come back, post for a while, and then disappear again. Because you just haven’t got the time, right?

#2: Do not act in a timely manner when it comes to providing responses.

Prospects love to ask questions. They want to educate themselves and learn more about you. If they reach out and you don’t provide them answers in a timely fashion (read: generally within 24 hours), you’re well on your way to losing that lead.

#3: Let your competition answer for you.

Even worse, if you’re not responding in a timely manner and you’re not paying attention, your competition might just start answer your leads questions for you — by providing attractive information about themselves and their goods and services. Before you know it, they’ll steal that lead right out from under your nose.

#4: Don’t use your social channels to share anything relevant that could benefit your leads.

Prospects follow your social channels because they’re hoping to get information about you. They want to get a feel for your brand culture. Most of all, as previously mentioned, they want to be educated. If all of your social posts are irrelevant to your business (and especially to your customers and prospects), not only are they not going to follow you, but they’re probably going to track down the businesses (your competition) who will give them what they’re looking for.

#5: Don’t create content that allows your leads to educate themselves.

Social media is a great avenue for sharing the content that you create. And content marketing is a great way to educate your leads and allow them to make an informed decision when they choose to do business with you.

So if you want to lose your leads, all you have to do is fail to create helpful content. Instead, just go ahead and post all about the things your cubicle dwellers have been up to, company-specific news, and lots of pictures of Fluffy the office cat. When attempting to lose leads, the least helpful and least relevant information is always best.

#6: Misuse your CRM integration.

Integrating your CRM platform with your social media management system is a great way to monitor the conversation happening around your brand. If you’ve already done this, fabulous!

If you don’t know when to act, though, you’re going to start losing leads left and right. Social CRM allows you to monitor the conversations happening around your brand so that you can step in and speak up at the right time to provide the lead with the information he needs at the best time.

This goes back to knowing how to act in a timely fashion. If you wait too long before you say anything, the lead is already gone.

#7: Don’t be proactive about finding leads.

Another great way to put your social media management platform to good use is to use it to find people who don’t even know that they need you and convert them to leads. For example, if, while you’re engaging in social listening, you see someone tweeting that her mobile phone keeps shutting off and you just so happen to sell and repair mobile phones in her area, you might reach out to see if you can answer any questions for her.

On the other hand, if you see that conversation happening and you make no move to convert, you’ve lost the lead.

#8: Go for the hard sell.

On the other hand, maybe you’ve mastered interaction on social media and you’re working on getting the timing down. Not speaking up fast enough is bad for keeping leads, but if you really want to lose them, speak up quickly and speak up often — and always, always, always do it going for the hard sell. Badger your leads about your products and services. Be relentless. Follow up once a day.

Bonus points if you manage to get a few digs in at your direct competition. You’re not just on the train to Lost-Leadsville — that train is an express.

#9: Argue with anyone who says anything unfavorable about your brand.

In the process of monitoring social conversations, you are bound to come across some negative sentiments. It’s just impossible to please everyone. When you see those comments, you have two choices.

If you want to possibly gain a lead, you reach out. You apologize and ask what you can do to help. You ask about the person’s experience that led to such a negative opinion. Remember that, yes, your leads can see those negative comments, but they can also see your reaction to them — even if it’s in replies that don’t go into the public stream. They can visit your page and still see how you handle the situation. If they’re impressed (or the person who previously held negative opinions is impressed), there is the potential to gain a lead.

On the other hand, if you fly off the handle, yell, swear, and act like a baby, you will succeed in losing any possibility of a lead. Bonus: you’ll probably create an even more negative opinion of your brand.

#10: Ignore social altogether.

Social media provides so many lead gen opportunities. If you really want to make sure you never see any of those leads, and that you lose the ones you do have, just ignore social completely. That’s where everyone is, and if you’re not there, they simply can’t bother you. They can stop into the office if they have any questions, right?

Let us know how that goes.

Assuming that you do want to capture and nurture your leads, ignore all of that advice. Instead, heed this one piece: social media management platform and CRM integration will be a huge help to you if you set it up.

Sure, it can seem a little bit overwhelming at first, but once you learn the interface for your chosen solution, you’ll realize the power that it holds. Marketers have long wished to be able to get inside customers’ minds in order to find out what they’re saying and thinking, and to know what it is they want. Social listening with CRM integration makes that possible so that you find, capture, nurture, and convert all of the leads that you can.

What was your biggest sales lead faux pas? How do you make sure you’re attracting and converting the most leads so that you don’t lose them? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.