With the advent of social selling, sales conferences have been devoting an increasing amount of time to the topic. However, at every session on social selling, one question inevitably comes up: "Isn't this a little creepy?"

For every salesperson who's hopped on the social selling bandwagon, at least three others stand skeptically to the side, wondering if social selling tactics come off as "creepy" to buyers. After all, there's nothing more unsettling than the knowledge that you're being researched by people you don't know.

Will a cold email that references a prospect's recent LinkedIn post or tweet be more off-putting than engaging? Do such interactions actually scare buyers away instead of draw them in? Social selling experts and evangelists are quick to dispel the rumors that social selling is creepy, but the sentiment persists among sales professionals.

We decided to get the answer to the question "is social selling creepy?" once and for all by asking buyers and consumers what they thought. A thorough survey was deployed to dig into specific social selling techniques across multiple social platforms in order to separate the "creepy" tactics from the totally commonplace. For example, what bearing do shared LinkedIn connections have on buyers' perceptions of cold messages? What's the difference between a tweet that references a buyer's social behavior and one that doesn't? 

Data included in the report reveals:

  • What kinds of outreach are "creepiest" to buyers
  • Which social networks are strictly hands-off for social selling
  • A cognitive dissonance between how consumers say they'd like to be sold to, and what they really want

The answers surprised me, and they might surprise you as well. Are you ready to cut through the creepy? Then download the full survey results today.

free report on social selling

Originally published Apr 27, 2015 8:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Social Selling