Episode #260 – Patti Pokorchak

Focus on Social Prospecting—NOT Social Selling

Patti Pokorchak


Patti Pokorchak

Patti Pokorchak (Poker-Chuck) was NOT a born sales professional. She was the shyest female tech pioneer, proving that ANYONE can learn how to sell, AND love it too. Patti now teaches Entrepreneurial Sales at Ryerson University. A serial entrepreneur since 1992, she helped co-found and run a software business, scaling to multiple 7-figures in sales and 20 employees before opening up her own hobby farm and garden centre.  Patti will take you from Sales FEAR to Sales FUN to Sales SUCCESS, so you can do more of what you love to do

According to Patti Pokorchak, social “selling” should really be called social “prospecting.” Any good salesperson knows you can’t walk up to someone at a face-to-face networking event and immediately pitch them your wares. You have to build a connection and a relationship. Selling digitally should be the same way. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Patti’s thoughts on successful social prospecting.

Why does @SmallBizSalesCo believe it should be called social prospecting—not social selling? Find out in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Strategy #SocialMedia #SocialMediaMarketing #Prospecting Click To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] The differences between digital and social selling
  • [2:15] How can organizations improve digital sales?
  • [3:23] Patti’s blueprint for digital sale success begins with engagement
  • [5:38] Attributes or characteristics of a great digital salesperson
  • [6:47] Tools, techniques, and strategies to improve social prospecting
  • [8:08] Patti’s top three digital selling dos and don’ts
  • [12:08] Why email marketing is still a valid marketing strategy

Social prospecting success begins with engagement

Patti’s business partner likes to say, “All roads lead to your website.” Patti believes the most important part of your website is your lead magnet. You need to be able to capture someone’s email address. Secondly, you have to engage with people daily. She points out that you can’t pretend that you’re active on social media if you’re just throwing up a link to your blog post. Being active means having a dialogue with people.

If you comment on large influencer’s posts, you’ll get eyeballs on your answers. Patti gets most of her connection requests and clients through engaging in this way versus engaging on her own posts. She spends at least 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn adding value and engaging on people’s posts. Showing your expertise on someone else’s content helps you become a thought leader. She recommends that you do a weekly blog post, share it, and engage.

Tools, techniques, and strategies to improve social prospecting

Patti notes that social media can be overwhelming. Her advice? Pick one platform. In the B2B environment, the go-to is LinkedIn. Spend your time on that network and get really good at social prospecting. Patti believes that Twitter is a great place to listen and learn, but not great for gaining business. Pick a market that fits your market. If you’re selling to women in the consumer market? Try Instagram or Pinterest. You don’t have to be on all platforms.

Patti recommends that you find ways to always be learning. The Sales Experts Channel has almost 1,000 videos that you can watch. YouTube is full of great content. Follow people that you think are doing social well.

What techniques and strategies does @SmallBizSalesCo recommend to improve social #prospecting? Find out in his episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Strategy #SocialMedia #SocialMediaMarketing Click To Tweet

Top social prospecting dos and don’ts

What does Patti believe is the key to success? She shares some things you should—and shouldn’t—do.

  • Engage on other people’s posts with value-added comments. Don’t just “like” it and move on. It has far more impact than engaging on yours. Read the posts and give your two cents.
  • Be patient. Social media is a long game. No matter what you’ve heard, do your research and be patient. It’s a high-touch, high-volume business that’s worth taking your time.
  • Pick one social media platform and get good at it. Learn to be effective in 15 minutes.
  • Stop selling. It’s not social selling, it’s social prospecting. You don’t immediately sell to someone in face-to-face networking. Get people to take baby steps to learn a bit at a time.
  • Don’t just rely on digital and social selling. It’s a passive approach and one-way dialogue. Patti believes in picking up the phone and leaving a voicemail. Follow it with an email portraying the same message. You have to talk to people.
  • Don’t give up too soon. It takes 10–20 touches before you can even think about giving up.

Don’t forget about email marketing

Patti now owns a hobby farm and garden center. When she started it, she knew nothing about farming and didn’t know anyone. But after five years, she’s built a thriving business. Over those five years, she’s been collecting emails and had about 1500 people on her list (of avid gardeners). Patti wanted to celebrate her five years in business. Her garden center is seasonal, so she decided to open on 5/5 at 5 pm and ran $5 specials.

She didn’t think many people would show up at 5 pm on a Friday—but she was mistaken. She had people waiting outside the garden gate. 50 people showed up in the five hours she was open. She was stuffing money in her pockets. She notes that you cannot underestimate the demand for something people want. A focused email list can go a long way with your target market. Email marketing is a great way to provide value and connect with your customers.

You shouldn’t forget email marketing as a digital sales strategy. Why? @SmallBizSalesCo shares her thoughts in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Strategy #SocialMedia #SocialMediaMarketing #ProspectingClick To Tweet

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Patti Pokorchak

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

More About Patti Pokorchak

Are there any great Digital or Social Selling books that you highly recommend? Social Selling Mastery by Jamie Shanks

Who do you most admire in the sphere of Digital or Social Selling and why? Gary Vaynerchuk – he’s a master at it without being sleazy. He gives a lot FIRST. Ann Handley, Marketing Profs – emphasizes great writing skills.

Are there any aspects of your own Digital or Social Selling skills that you are working on improving at the moment? Being consistent in posting on LinkedIn and blogging and my email newsletter and time management.

Hobbies, Interests? Reading, playing games, gardening, seeing friends and family, traveling

How can our listeners contact with you? LinkedIn or YouTube.