Social Selling Index (“SSI) is a statistic that LinkedIn developed years ago to give you an idea how you stack up against other social salespeople (and we all are, at the end of the day).

An idea. IMHO, not reality.

While you might think I would be jumping up and down to tell you how wonderful SSI is, I won’t.

It evaluates only a few aspects of your profile, your activity there, and how you express your brand. More exactly:

  1. Not everyone is selling the same thing: some products, some services, some experiences, some a viewpoint. So how can we be compared empirically? Mathematically? Intellectually? Intelligently by artificial intelligence?
  2. And the pièce de résistance: you can subscribe to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator stating at $69.95/month and somehow, mystically, your SSI can rise 20%. That seems eerily similar to spam email I receive offering a sure-fire way to relieve toenail fungus by eating Indonesian food, (and for the record, I did not make that up…I did receive that!).

Indonesian food and fungus? SSI and joining Sales Nav for $69 a month? No way!

Just a waste of time and money.

OK, confession time:

my SSI is 77.

But, compared to whom, compared to what?

What does that mean if you are in commercial real estate or an attorney or own a chain of retail stores or an interim executive director at nonprofits?

If your SSI is higher than mine, good. If it’s lower, good too.

Don’t be like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. I’d advise you to point your sales and marketing energy in a better direction: be effective selling to warm prospects, and continually servicing your real clients, not competing against a barometer that measures nothing truly substantive. It’s just a number.

Be proud of an account you persevered to open yourself, rather than any statistic that you may hope/wish will sweep you in the door, because it will not, and no one hires a statistic. That’s a “what.”

And your SSI is static, stuck in the moment of now. Today and in your rosy future, you will be hired for your bravely pursuing and refining your “why.”