Monday, March 21, 2011


More and more people are getting hooked on social media.  We are addicted like rats to sugar when it comes to keeping in touch with everyone we know and everyone we don't know.  The problem is starting to cause some serious problems with modular factory sales reps.

I have seen first hand what Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Tuenti, YouTube, Ebay and many other sites have accomplished over the past few years and it's starting to take a toll on businesses. Notice that email isn't one of the obsessions anymore.

The surest way to get drawn into any obsessive or useless behavior is to enter into it or anything around it with no plan.

So how is this hurting sales and productivity?  Isn't this the new way to keep in touch with builders, management and customers?  It can be but what is happening today is getting out of control.

I just read a study that the average sales rep spends one third of their time on social media outlets.  A problem that has arisen in the past year is that people are afraid they are going to miss something somebody posted and not be able to reply in a timely fashion.  Have you ever tried to read the last 200 tweets posted and just as you finish them, there are another 200 just posted and you haven't responded to any of them.  So you vow that you will keep reading them on a more consistent basis every 30 minutes.  Then you have to stay alert for things on Linkedin so you don't miss any important things happening in your industry. 

Then there are the YouTube videos that everyone is tweeting about and you just have to watch it....right now.  Oh, you almost forgot the item you're bidding for on EBay.  You've got to make sure you get it.

Before you know it, the morning is gone and you've accomplished ZIP!  You decide to settle down after lunch and concentrate on talking with your builders and preparing quotes for them.  But after 30 minutes, that itch to check "your" sites start to rear its ugly head and off you go again.

Factory owners want results for the money they pay you but following your social network friends is not one of your employer's priorities. 

Being addicted to these sites during work is the new habit that a lot of sales reps are having a hard time breaking.  But you'll have plenty of time to do it after you're fired!


Anonymous said...

Coach, I can't agree more. As a sales manager for a supplier to this industry, I want personal contact. Phones and emails lay teh groundwork for the actual sales call. If you can't get enough face time with the right people, sales will suffer. i have been asked to join the social network legions and I have refused. At 50+, I have no desire to spend my time using my thumbs more than my brain, ears and mouth. My adult kids and their spouses are all involved and even my wife has started to check FaceBook. And to check on the gandkids, get school and sports updates, I gues that's okay. But, business is business and in my mind, that's not the place for trivial 140 character messages.

Okay salespeople and other sales managers, where do you stand?

David E. Johnson - Ritz-Craft sales person said...

Here's where I stand. Personal contact is extremely important and good business is conducted by good personal relationships. I agree that twitter, facebook, and the other "personal" social sites have no place during the business day unless it is during a break and not against the policy of your company. However, linkedin is appropriate as professional business contacts are established and networking is enhanced by participation. Those who understand that linkedin is for networking and making introductions to others who may / will benefit from these are the ones who are on top of their game. The site also contains a wealth of information available to those who subscribe to them. It only takes a few minutes a day to stay "In the know" and on top of your business. I would not classify it as a social site, rather a professional site for professionals.