My Blog is Dead …. Long Live my Blog! #SocialSelling

blog-pic-b2cPublished my first blog on the 25th February 2014, following that I’ve publish 65 posts.

My objective was to get read, never thought I would get some many followers, retweets and meet so many interesting people. Back then I didn’t really understand what community meant, I do now.

But the time has come to move on. Wednesday 5th August, will be the day I cut new blog and a new adventure.

I’m hoping you will stick with me.

SP_the_aft_lounge_03socialsaleslounge.com Will be the same me, writing about Social Selling and as I’ve always written. No fluffy, meaningless slogans, but real solutions you can implement to over achieve your number, quicker.

In addition, I’m going to invite the people that influence me to guest blog.  (If you are interested in guest blogging then please contact me tim_hughes1@hotmail.com )

There is a new Twitter handle @SocialSalesLnge to support this community, and you can still find me at @Timothy_Hughes

My partner in this new adventure @Mbrit will make his own contributions as well has support the venture from a technical nature.

Do hope we can count on your support.

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

 

Marketing for #SocialSelling Success, an interview with @Timothy_Hughes by @traackr

tim_hughesInfluence Marketing software company Traackr interviewed me on Social Selling and the use Of Influence Marketing.

The full interview can be found at the link here

@delph003 EMEA Marketing Manager for Traackr asked me a number of questions and we chatted for such a long time that we split the interview into 2.  This is part 2.

You can find Part 1 here

The questions I answer in this second half of the interview are:

Q1 – What is the role of marketing for social selling success?

Marketing Content

Marketing Automation

Q2: How can influencer marketing support social selling efforts?

Q3: Where do you source your best content?

Would be interested in your comments.  Have you come across something similar?

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

The Rise Of Influence In Sales #Socialselling

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 16.11.20Influence Marketing software company Traackr interviewed me on Social Selling and the use Of Influence Marketing.

The full interview can be found at the link here

@delph003 EMEA Marketing Manager for Traackr asked me a number of questions and we chatted for such a long time that we split the interview into 2.  This is part 1.

The questions I answer in this first half of the interview are:-

Q1:  How has social media impacted the sales process?

Q2: How do you see social selling evolving over the next few years?

Q3: How did you become such a social selling influencer?

 

Would be interested in your comments.  Have you come across something similar?

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

Millennials are Making Decisions in your Accounts #Socialselling

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 14.26.12November 5th 2014, Google published a report “Digital Tipping Points for 2015” written by @Tuomisto my blog is based around the findings.

Millennials Don’t Make the Decisions in My Accounts the C-Suite Do!

Hopefully if you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know that people have or are in the process of switching to digital and mobile.  But many of us are wedded to the fact that the C-Suite make the decisions in our accounts and while (in our sales roles) we should always target them, as the world changes, there are other influences impacting in our accounts.

Many people say to me, “I don’t have time for Social“, “Social’s for kids“. Really? In my blog “22% of B2B Sales People will be Replaced by Search Engines by 2020“, I talk about how the buyer process has changed. (Note I’m talking past tense here, not, it may change, it has changed.)

Forrester talk about 22% of B2B Salespeople being replaced by search engines and Youtube videos by 2020. In that blog I explain you have to “Move Up, Move down or Get Out” of your Sales role.

Using Google research I’m going to explain how decision making in your accounts has shifted.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 14.12.40We all Start our buying process in Google

The number of people using Digital as a method of finding information and researching has increased from 71% in 2011 to 89% in 2014.  Not sure about you, but if I’m going to buy pretty much anything I go to Google and type some words in, refining my search.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 14.15.30The C-Suite Still Make the Decision, Right?

If you look at the research from Google, the C-Suite have Final Authority on 64% of decisions.  But layer on Non C-Suite Decision making and you can see that non C-Suite can have influence on 81% of Purchase Decisions.  How can that be? Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 14.16.30 It maybe that the C-Suite have signed off an overall project budget, but the components of that project are passed / delegated down the organisation to “People in the Know”.  For example, there might be an overall Customer Experience Transformation project, but the individual software components that make that up, are purchased lower down the organisation.  Add to that in the new world of SaaS / Cloud, as software can be switched off as quickly as it’s switched on and short timeframes of implementation, there may not be need for traditional IT involvement.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 14.19.28Based on Google’s research the “people in the know”, 48% of them are 18- 34 and 24% are 35 – 44.  This is placing B2B Enterprise decisions in the hands of “Millennials”.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 14.20.52In What Way are Millennials Involved in the Decision Making Process?

Using Google’s research Millennials are digital natives, their first computer was probably a mobile phone.  They are confident using mobile, in fact probably prefer it, when they do research on potential suppliers it is self-directed.  Google research also states that they are probably 57% of the way through a decision cycle before contacting suppliers.  Google also state that a researcher will do 12 searches until that point of engagement with a supplier.  Content that will be consumed includes video, blogs, customer comments etc.

Traffic to B2B websites has doubled in the last 2 years and this is because they have become a central point of research for potential customers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 17.53.04Zero Moment of Truth (ZMoT)

If we go back to our own purchasing habits such as looking for a local plumber.  We might, search on the web, we also might seek references from friends, neighbours or relatives.  As we are all busy people, having a short list of more than 2 or maybe 3 is going to cause us a lot of work.  So while we might want to get “several quotes” that is a lot of time I need to invest, when I probably know which plumber I want to use from a short list of two.

Google found something similar for B2B purchases.  60% of customers only consider 2 brands, maybe your internal Purchasing department place on you the need to look at 3, for due diligence purposes.  Many organisations have an supplier option on a short list that nobody intends to use, just to make up the 3.

In Google’s findings they found that people often search by Brand and not product or process.  Note to self:  It would be good to scoop these searches at the point of search on Google.

In 2011, Google came up with the term the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMoT).  In the past, when people purchased B2B products, they would go to the supplier and get all of the information from them, they would then make a purchase (First moment of Truth) and experience that product and service (Second Moment of Truth).  Now there is this new research phase, where people will do research on the product and service they intend to buy.  They will then move to purchase, having consumed content, blogs, video etc.  They may even have become pretty expert in the products or services they intend to buy.

I’ll leave you with one last fact from Google’s report – They reckon that in 75% of purchases a Millennial will make only one visit to your corporate website.  So you had better make it easy for them to use

There’s a great two minute video on ZMoT from Google.

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – A New Mental Model https://youtu.be/b8zRfiPfGTw via @YouTube

 

Thanks Joe Edwards @BrandJoe for bringing this report to my attention.

 

Really keen to get your comments, agree or disagree, help shape the debate.  What are your own experiences in your customers and prospects?  Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

 

 

 

Using Foursquare, Swarm, Instagram and WordSwag to get C-Level Meetings #SocialSelling

social-selling-one-more-thing-to-doIn my discussions with Paul @snapdragon_paul which became the post Using Twitter to get C-Level Appointments a Case Study there was more material for just one post, so created two blog posts.

This highly successful blog, has created significant discussion, debate and traffic.  It really “blew the notion out of the water”, that there is no ROI in Social Selling.  Well worth a read, if you haven’t already.

In this blog I will go through some of the ways Paul is using other forms of Social Media to get C-Level meeting.  (In the previous week to this blog, he made 12 appointments!)

4SquareUsing Foursquare and Swarm for Prospect Engagement

When I did some training on cold calling the advice was to move the discussion away from a decision on a meeting, yes or no, to an option.  The advice was also to pose a question such as; “Can we get together to discuss this?  I’m in the area next Tuesday or Thursday, which is better?”  Thus moving the emphasis from yes or no to the meeting, making the dilemma over Tuesday or Thursday.

Foursquare and Swarm let’s you “check-in” to locations, it uses the geo-location functionality of your phone to do this.  Thus you can see where you prospect currently is.  Paul has used this in a number of situations where he has been able to say “I’m in the area, or just down the road’ why don’t we have a quick 30 minute get together?.

IFTTNote: Swarm is not linked to Klout, (this blog isn’t about the the pros and cons of Klout), he is therefore using If This then That (IFTT) to take any Swarm update and post it to LinkedIn.  While this is “good” for his Klout score, it also “double dips” the information so he is also getting traction / engagement on LinkedIn as well as Swarm.  He gave me an example, where he got a meeting with a Marketing Director where he had posted on Swarm but the post was picked up on LinkedIn..  As many Big Brands are now “listening” to Social Media, the fact that somebody is checking in with them means (based on your well crafted message) they may want to engage as much as you do.

Paul is also using Foursquare and Swarm to contact somebody to help him “piggy back” off that person to get to the true target.

InstagramInstagram Usage by C-Level People

He and I are not seeing Instagram being used by C-Level people, but if you find them on there, it is often a good way to listen to somebody or get an understanding of their wants and needs.  For example, they are posting photos of their dog, cats, coffee etc.  More on this in a bit.

Riffle GoogleChrome Plug-In

Riffle by CrowdRiff teaches you about a prospects Social community.  It’s a good way to learn about your prospects to enable you to “break the ice” it also gives you the top 5 people they interact with, which enables you to build out your network.

IMG_0389WordSwag

WordSwag is an App the Paul and I use that allows your to create quotes against a pictorial background.  This type of personalised Micro content is getting Paul a 90% response rate.  An example WordSwag is to the left.  Paul has got inspiration for a WordSwag that he sent over Twitter, based on a contacts interests and posts on Instagram.  For example, Paul tells me how he researched a senior influencer, nobody had been able to track the person down on email or the phone.  He researched them on LinkedIn and Instagram, sent over a Wordswag and he has them presenting at one of his events.  Boom

 

If during your journey you come up with other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer, his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips on Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com

 

Social Selling With @Timothy_Hughes – Interview with @KymLamSam #socialselling

tim_hughesLink to interview with Kym Lam Sam @KymLamSam.

Kym writes blog for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses and was keen to understand how Social Selling will / can impact SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) and Sole Traders.

He is also keen to understand the impact of “rejection” in sales and how Social Selling can reduce rejection.  In other words, how can we increase the chance of success.

Over the 30 minute interview Kym asks me the following questions:-

Q1. You have 25 years of sales understanding under your belt. Is the practice of social media selling the same as traditional real world selling? If so, what are the similarities and if not, what are the differences?

Q2. Personal branding is becoming more and more of a necessity with the increased use of social media. People are wanting REAL connections. What are some of the most important things to consider when you want to get noticed online?

Q3. Rejection is a big fear that a lot of people share. It can also be quote deflating when you’re excited about what you have to offer and somebody throws it back in your face. Is there a way for someone to minimize the chances of rejection?

Q4. On the topic of rejection, when one is rejected, what is the best way to review/analyze your rejection in order to learn from it?

Q5. How can people be assertive without being pushy?

Link to interview is here http://www.kymlamsam.com/?p=11272

 

If during your journey you come up with other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer, his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips on Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com

 

Social influencer Tim Hughes: Big Ideas for the next Industrial Revolution

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 08.30.16The Procurement Social Network Procurious interviewed me about a number of subjects and below is a link to that interview, the questions being:-

Procurious asks: In your Twitter bio you call yourself a pioneer of Social Selling – could you distil it for the uninitiated?

Procurious: Mastering social selling – if you were to promote best practice, what would be your top 5 tips?

Procurious: Innovation in the social space – your thoughts on the likes of Periscope and Meerkat. Will they stick around, what do they offer social storytellers etc.

Procurious: Gamification – is it important/how can it be used to effectively breed user loyalty?

Procurious: Why should we be encouraging procurement professionals to face their fears and get on social networks?

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 08.30.31Procurious: Can you recommend some actions to help social-networking newbies spread and grow their online influence?

And finally, look forward to 2030. How will the social landscape have changed, what’s your Big idea for social?

https://www.procurious.com/blog/generation-procurement/social-influencer-tim-hughes-big-ideas-for-the-next-industrial-revolution

 

If during your journey you come up with other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer, his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips on Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com