Tim Hughes is a social selling innovator and pioneer and has been listed by Forbes as one of the ‘Top 100 Social Sellers’ globally. Tim was involved in rolling out one of the most advanced social selling programmes across 2,000 salespeople in Western Europe. He currently provides training and coaching on social selling through The Social Selling Network thesocialsellingnetwork.com
Listen to the Podcast here
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
[01:57] When you say Social Selling, what does it mean?
[02:38] Can you tell us about what is Social Selling and what’s not Social Selling?
[08:01] Who in the company owns social selling?
[16:03] How do we go about finding the right connections on social?
[24:19] What does the future of social selling hold for B2B companies?
Question: When you say Social Selling, what does it mean?
Tim: Social selling is really the change that we’ve had to make to impact the modern buyer. The changes in what we do from a sales and marketing perspective. People are not interested in being interrupted and what they want to do. What we can now do with social selling is that we build relationships with people, have conversations with people on social media, and by building relationships and having conversations, ultimately we can sell things.
Question: Can you tell us about what is Social Selling and what’s not Social Selling?
Tim: You may have used social where someone turns up and immediately pitches to you. That’s no different from what we’ve been doing before. It’s just an interruption and a broadcast on social media. It’s like a cold call on a social network. What we need to do is actually build relationships with people. Our buyers are looking for experts and when they do that, we need to make sure that we’re looking like an expert on social media otherwise they’ll by-pass and just see us as a spammer.
Question: Who in the company owns social selling?
Tim: It’s a good question. I’d actually say that social selling is generally owned by sales. Sometimes by marketing teams too. And at the end of the day, it’s empowerment. It’s not about people doing it for you, it’s the empowerment of you to do it yourself.
Question: How do we go about finding the right connections on social?
Tim: I have a number of target account companies that I will target. And then I look at the people that I generally sell to people who are sales leaders and marketing leaders and I will basically connect to those people in those organizations. What I would say is that if you don’t invest in your LinkedIn profile and you look like a spammer, then you won’t get people connecting to you. We had a company we did some work for where they said that they connected to 250 people and nobody did anything and they didn’t do anything because the people that we are sending the connection requests look like spammers.
Question: What does the future of social selling hold for B2B companies?
Tim: It’s a really good question. I think social is not going away. Social can transform the whole of an organization, not just sales. We launched a social HR program last September, which is where we remained the human resources department in a social age. We’ve just signed our first contract for social marketing, which is where we’re redefining marketing in a social age.