"Friend" is a charged word when it comes to sales rep-buyer relationships.
Sure, a prospect would probably be delighted to attend an event put on by your company. A dinner on you? Fantastic! A mini heart-to-heart on a phone call? Sounds lovely.
But whatever you do, do not, and I repeat, do not friend your buyers on Facebook. That is, unless you're actually friends. Or if you want to creep them out.
According to HubSpot's "Is Social Selling Creepy?" survey report, Facebook is the creepiest of all social media networks for salespeople to reach out on. An overwhelming 78% of buyers and consumers said receiving a friend request from a salesperson would weird them out. An even higher percentage -- 81% -- said getting a Facebook message from a salesperson fell into the "creepy" category.
With this in mind, salespeople would be wise not to interact with prospects on Facebook. Some light research? Fine. But even that has its negative connotations. The study also found that prospects do not like to be made aware that a salesperson has looked them up on social media, so you'd be smart not to reference your recent trip to Facebook in a message or phone call. Just congratulate them on the new puppy, and gloss over how you found out about little Fido.
When it comes to Facebook, it turns out that buyers like to keep their friends close, and their virtual friends closer. To explore the line between stalker and totally normal when it comes to social selling, download the full report here.