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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Securing Appointments Through Social Selling

Securing Appointments Through Social Selling

The most common frustration I hear from B2B sales and marketing leaders is their inability to secure first appointments with qualified prospects. The common sentiment that I hear over and over again is this.

“We do really well as a sales team when we have an opportunity to tell our story. But we’re just not getting enough at-bats.”

For several years, traditional outbound prospecting methods (cold calling and email) in B2B selling have become less productive. The average cold call success rate in 2024 is 4.82%.

This statistic includes efforts to call into all sizes of companies and levels of target contacts. As you call larger companies and higher-level decision-makers, this number can plummet to less than 1%.

And email isn’t much better. Over 60% of all cold outbound emails go unopened by the target prospect.

Several factors contribute to this trend:

1. Increased Spam Recognition

Cyber security concerns have made today’s decision-makers more suspicious of unsolicited email.

2. Regulatory Compliance

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) have established rigorous mandates for the legal and ethical handling of data.

3. Increased Effectiveness of Gatekeepers

Decision-makers don’t need assistants to screen their calls. They’re limiting their access by closing guarding their cell phone numbers and only answering calls from recognized numbers.

Everything You Need To Know About Social Selling

Does Social Selling On LinkedIn Work?

Consequently, more B2B salespeople are looking for new communication channels to engage their target prospects. Many are turning to social media. According to HubSpot's 2024 State of Sales Report, 89% of companies are using LinkedIn to generate leads, but only 18% of salespeople consider social selling on LinkedIn to be a top area of focus.

Many salespeople just haven’t yet “cracked the code” of social media and figured out how to leverage this powerful tool in their everyday prospecting. But when it’s done right, social selling works.

In fact, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.

The key phrase above is “when it’s done right.” Many salespeople haven’t seen success from social selling because they’re doing it wrong. Their approach looks something like this.

  • Find their target prospect’s LinkedIn profile.
  • Send a non-personalized connection request.
  • And in the off chance that the connection request is accepted, they immediately send a message requesting a meeting.

This isn’t much different than email spam.

Those who succeed in social selling understand it’s not just a different communication channel. Social selling requires an entirely different mindset. One that focuses on the following.

  • Relationship Building
  • Establishing Credibility
  • Sharing Insights
  • Providing Value
  • Showcasing Expertise
  • Building Personal Brand
  • Becoming a Trusted Resource

Using Social Media to Connect with Prospects

20 Ways to Accelerate Social Selling 

Establishing a social selling foundation based on these principles can take time, but following these steps can help accelerate the process.

1. Define your target market. Create buyer personas using criteria based on your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP).

2. Choose the right platform. For B2B selling, LinkedIn is the most appropriate.

3. Craft a compelling company page that showcases your expertise, solutions, and the impact you have on your clients’ businesses.

4. Craft a compelling personal profile that highlights your experience and expertise.

5. Stay active and recognizable by consistently publishing thought leadership content to your company page (whitepapers, eBooks, case studies, Infographics, webinars, etc.)

6. Consistently post from your personal profile as well. Share your unique perspective on your company’s published content or content being published by relevant third parties.

7. Find and join relevant LinkedIn groups and participate in the discussions.

8. Build your network by sending connection requests to people you know.

9. Utilize LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find potential prospects.

10. For target prospects that you don’t know, start by just “Following.”

11. Engage with their posts – “like,” comment, and repost.

12. Review the connections of people in your network who are connected to your target prospects and ask them for a referral.

13. Engage with their posts – “like,” comment, and repost.

14. Research a relevant VBR (Valid Business Reason) for target prospects to connect with you.

15. Send connection requests that leverage the VBR messaging.

16.Don’t talk about products, solutions, or meetings in this message. The goal is to get them to connect – not schedule a meeting.

17. Your message should also include value that you share with them. Share insights, information, expertise, etc. The idea is to give them something before you ask them for something.

18. Even after they accept your invitation to connect, don’t ask for a meeting.

19. Ask their permission to send them more insights and information.

20. Once they’ve agreed and you’ve interacted with them, then you have earned the right to ask for a meeting. But still add value. Answer their unspoken question, “What’s in it for me?”


Remember, social selling is different than prospecting via email. To be successful. You must stay authentic.

Focus on sharing your expertise and building genuine relationships by being helpful. And don’t jump into your sales pitch too quickly. Instead, educate, inform, and guide your prospects.


Topics: social selling getting appointments