TALKING SALES 210: "Effective Social Selling takes little time"

John Smibert

"You can get higher, faster with Social Selling than cold calling" - Interview by John Smibert

In my view Social Selling is still a developing discipline. Every social selling specialist seems to have a different perspective of what 'Social Selling' is, how it works and the role it plays in the sales and buying processes. It can be very confusing.

The way many define it, and outline the way it should be utilised, it becomes too time consuming for a salesperson to justify using it so it ends up a marketing only tool.Tim Hughes_400x400

So it was a breath of fresh air to meet with Tim Hughes and be told, if utilized effectively, Social Selling should take very little time.

I asked Tim to explain why this is.

He said with Social Selling, you can get higher faster than you can with cold calling. In other words it takes less time to prospect for new customers than traditional prospecting methods and on top of that it is more efficient and effective.

To illustrate the point Tim told a story about how he gained a meeting with a CEO of a large corporation just last week using pure Social Selling methods.

It has left me wanting more and Tim has committed to many more discussions - keep an eye open for them.

View or read the full interview below to get to learn more. This is likely to be valuable reading for CEO's, CSO's and Sales leaders.

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Tim Hughes, CEO of Digital Leadership Associates, is a Best Selling Author,  Speaker, Social Selling "Pioneer and Innovator", Storyteller, Community Builder.

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Interview

John: I've got a real treat for you today, Tim Hughes from the UK - welcome, Tim!

Tim: Hi, John - great to be here!

John: Tim's been a leader in the sales world in large complex sales for many, many years, and he became a 'social selling' specialist. He's written a book on it, great book, if anybody needs to have a look at it or needs to read up on the subject, and I tell you what, I'm absolutely delighted to have you here.

Tim Hughes Social Selling bookTim: Thanks, John. Really excited, it's a lovely sunny day here in Sydney, and let's talk about things like 'social selling'.

John: Okay, let's do that. Look, you said to me, and this floors me, because just about everybody I speak to that does a lot of work in social says it takes a lot of time.....

Tim: Yes, and I find this is something that really irritates me, because we get a lot of people that say, "What you have to do to do social selling is write some content and then sit back, and hopefully somebody will give you a call," and that isn't social selling at all; it may be social marketing, but it's not social selling.

John: I agree with that.

Tim: And I don't know which joker is going around saying that. Because with social selling, you can get higher faster with social than you can with cold calling. You can use social as a platform in which to prospect. First and foremost, you do need to have a personal brand, you do need to look like somebody that can help the individual that you're contacting, because if you look like a spammer, they're just going to block you or whatever.

John: If you look like a sales guys with a product to sell and I'm going to knock on the door to sell a product, that's not going to work either.

Tim: It's not. I can give you an example. I went to the CEO of Avaya, I approached him on a Thursday, and by the Tuesday I had a meeting with him, his Marketing Director and his Head of PR.

John: You approached him how?

Tim: By using social media and going through LinkedIn.

John: Okay. That's a CEO.

Tim: Yes.

John: A lot of people say CEOs aren't even on social.

Tim: Absolutely. I was actually with a company yesterday in Sydney, where they said, "Actually, the only people that are on social are CEOs, and none of the middle management are on social." Now, generally nowadays most people are on LinkedIn, because they know if they're going to get the next job, or they know that to actually exist they have to be on social, pretty much everybody in the private sector is on social.

Social Selling Flying High 02 - LinkedIn2John: But even CEOs you say.

Tim: Well, if you look up the CEO and you can see that particular person, then there are no gatekeepers. As long as you don't look like a spammer and you are differentiating yourself and you're going to them with a business value statement, then why wouldn't they listen to you?

John: You are telling me, the bottom line then is that it's more efficient, it's more effective, it's quicker, it doesn't take much time to actually get to people on social.

Tim: Correct, absolutely. You can find people, you can do the research to people, and then you can contact them, and you can do that faster than you can with cold calling.

John: Look, you've said a few things there, one is you compared it against cold calling, I'd like to have a more detailed discussion about that. You talked about personal branding a little bit, I'd like to have a more detailed discussion about that. And I really want to drill down and understand the efficiency of social selling from your point of view. Because I think that in the minds of a lot of people out there that's the biggest problem, that social takes a lot of time. Can we drill down in a number of interviews on that?

Tim: Absolutely - let's do that, John.

John: Then I look forward to the next one!

Tim: Great to talk to you!

John: Thanks, Tim!

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