10 Ways You Can Start #Socialselling That Don’t Take a Lot of Time

The number one objection I get from Sales People about Social Selling is “Tim, with all the other pressures I have, I just don’t have time for this.”

While I can give many arguments about changing your priorities, new ways of working, etc etc. Here are some ways you can short cut the time you spend on Social Media. Of course, don’t expect the same results, but it might get you into a Social Selling habit.

harry-potter-hd-wallpapers-free-download-4-what-do-you-think-of-this-deleted-scenes-listA member of my family, who is not a big reader, once asked me, what books should I read to get me into the reading habit. My advice was to start with magazines, start in small chunks then to move onto a Harry Potter or Dan Brown book. George Orwell, (as one person suggested) might not be the best place for her to start.

This blog is about how a new starter can start the Social Selling journey. If you are a purest or a long time Social Seller stop reading now this isn’t for you. In addition, thsi won’t get you thousands of followers but let’s get in to the habit first.

First things first. There are many Social Networks but unless you have a particular reason to get into YouTube, Pinterest then as a B2B sales person I would focus on LinkedIn and Twitter.

How often should I post? At least once a day. You can post the same content on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.  Here are the ten things you can do to Hustle your Social Selling

20110816earlymorningtweets1. When you get into work in the morning and you get your laptop / Mac out, post something to Twitter and LinkedIn. There must be something you read in the paper on the train on the way in or came in on email overnight.

2. Use automation. If you have read my post “Why don’t we just automate Social Media, we can then go back to doing our day jobs”  you’ll know I’m not a big fan of automation but Buffer and Hootsuite can be used to help you “batch” up a bunch of tweets in advance.  When you get in the office in the morning, why not batch some Tweets or LinkedIn posts?

Team3. Work as a Team. In all of the presentations I’ve seen on Social Selling, Social Media is positioned as a solo effort. Rather than searching for content, why not retweet others?  Form a team with work colleagues and agree to retweet each other or like posts on LinkedIn.  Don’t expect an explosion of followers, but you will start building a presence and (hopefully) start getting into the habit.

Marketing-4-1-1-Rules4. Your Marketing department should be providing you with content. Agree, in many cases this can look very “corporate”, but using tools discussed in 2. You can batch this up and schedule a number posts.  Check out the 4.1.1 Rule.

5. Reuse content. Why not use meeting notes to create Points of View (POV) LinkedIn / Blog posts. “These are the top 5 issues we see in Accounting systems in Media today” for example.

6. Take corporate videos, events, areas that interest you and write a LinkedIn post. 5 lines of introduction and context and then post the video / link to the event. Not the most elegant way of working but it gets you started.

7. What is your passion? Ask anybody about their passion and their eyes light up and immediately they become positively animated. Why start blogging about serious subjects, why not start with your passion? Sailing, Photography, etc

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.45.048. Download a content curation tool like Flipboard or Klout and find content, there must be time waiting in reception at a customer or on the train where you could find something relevant to Tweet?


9. Create a list on Twitter of Influencers or subscribe to one of my lists and as mentioned in 3. retweet that content.

Big_Four_29038u_original10. Stop being a corporate suit and be human. OK, so it’s a terrible clique but why not post a photo of your lunch / dog walk / airport lounge you are sitting in? In her book “Social Executive Dionne Lew says ….. “Why not take a photo and post it, show your human side.”

Finally I often get asked how much time should I spend on Social Media?  In my view, the world has changed and this requires us to change with it.  On that basis, 30 mins a day would be a good target. Yes this is a lot of time, but what worked 20 years ago might not work now.  Many Sales people I talk to work out what old ways they need to drop and find time for the working practices of the 21st century.

If during your journey you come up with other ideas that can help Social Sellers out there, 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 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

Podcast: How to Master #SocialSelling with @Timothy_Hughes #SMKnowHow

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 15.18.20Please listen to the audio podcast or read for an abridged transcript of the conversation. Questions by Jorgen Sundberg, answers by me.

http://linkhumans.com/blog/social-selling-tim-hughes via @linkhumans

There is also a Slideshare deck on my 5 Pillars of Social Selling http://www.slideshare.net/linkhumans/how-to-master-the-5-pillars-of-social-selling via @SlideShare also created by @linkhumans

If during your journey you come up with other ideas that can help Social Sellers out there, 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 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

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 15.36.26

Using Twitter to get C-Level Appointments a Case Study #Socialselling

Using Social Media to get C-Level Appointments – A Case Study

Loews-Hotels-to-allow-booking-of-rooms-by-TwitterThis blog is about how a sales guy is using LinkedIn and Twitter to get C-Level Appointments.  People often say to me “Social Media is for teenagers, give me an example of where people are using Social Media to create, real, tangible, business.”  Here is that example.

Paul @snapdragon_paul contacted me over @Twitter, he lives close to me, so we agreed to have a coffee.  I was interested in his story on how he had saved £70,000 on recruitment fees by using Cloud and Social Media. We got talking, and Paul talked through his sales career (story was very similar to mine) and then talked about how he was using Social in his current sales role.

What hooked me, was when he told me he had made 10 C-Level appointments in a week!  This blog will now share with you his secret.

Sales – Starting at the Bottom!

telesales-and-telemarketing-servicesWhen Paul and I got our “big breaks” in sales we started from the bottom. Both of us had been given a Telephone Directories and told to “call that”.  There was no @LinkedIn, we didn’t know what a Value Proposition was, we knew nothing about how to conduct ourselves on the telephone.

Maybe it’s down to personality, but actually we were both pretty good at it. My view was, well I’m probably never going to meet these people, so if I make a fool of myself, who cares?

Cold Calling – Things have Changed

Paul then expanded on how over the last 20 years making cold calls had got more difficult.  More voice mail, more gatekeepers employed to keep us sales people away from “Decision Makers”.  There are many Social Selling articles written that you don’t need to make Cold calls anymore, I’m not so sure about it, but it has got harder and harder.

shutterstock_46389259How Do you Book C-Level Meetings using Social Media?

Paul started doing all the things I write about here from a Social Selling point of view.  He set yourself up with a buyer centric profile on LinkedIn and Twitter and started curating and posting articles that he thought would be interesting to his audience.  The day before we met, he had got a C-Level meeting purely from an Infographic on LinkedIn.  He showed me the dialogue on LinkedIn.  As simple as that, decent content on LinkedIn and Bam!  A Meeting.  Anyway back to how he gets 10 appointments a week.

As all good sales professionals do, he researches his target accounts (no different than we have done for the last 30 years) but this time he does this in the Social world of LinkedIn.  (Paul and I both recommend you pay the subscription and get access to the Sales Navigator.)  He researches the organisation, business issues, news items and Executives and then looks for the people from the target Account on Twitter.  Paul, follows all his target accounts and the C-Level people he has researched on Twitter.

His usual, approach to a C-Level contact is “Noticed you were talking about XYZ have you considered this?”  This, being some content that the contact will be interested in to drive the conversation forward.

post officeHe got a meeting with a C-Level Executive in the UK’s Post Office.  There is a roll out of technology that this Executive has responsibility for.  Paul took a photo of this particular technology in his local Post Office and Tweeted to this individual “Great to see this technology being rolled out”, the Executive replied and they got into a dialogue.  Paul telling the Executive he had a presentation that might be of interest.  The executive then followed Paul back so they could have a Direct Message (DM) conversation.  Paul shared the presentation.

RoomsUsing Twitter Rooms – “Tag” Selling

With some good research and a degree of luck, Paul usually gets a follow back and then enters into a (DM) Direct Message conversation.

As with many sales organisations, Paul is a sales “generalist” so once he is in a DM conversation he brings in a colleague with specialist domain experience.  He does this using Twitter rooms.  He always asks permission to bring in the colleague.  At the point the specialist is engaged, he closes for next action, which in his case is a meeting / appointment.  He calls this tactic “shared Twitter Rooms” or “Tag Selling”.

Paul says he gets a far better response in Twitter room and says he never asks for the sale directly, by then there should be trust built between the two parties.

0221_lebow_630x420Results so far – 10 C-Level Meetings per week.

Now I agree that maybe your product or service isn’t the same as Paul’s but you have to admit that using Social this way is pretty impressive.

There’s One More Thing

doughI asked Paul how he researched the contacts on Twitter and he said that standard Twitter functionality, where it suggests three additional people to connect to, Twitter often picks “interesting” contacts.

He described this as “rolling out dough”.  The three people that Twitter suggested were often of a similar quality.

NB:  While recently talking about this article to @desalescoach he said a common objection from sales people, was you need thousands of followers to make this work.  At the time of writing @snapdragon_paul has 542.

I welcome comments and for your to share your own experiences in the blog comments below.


Part 2 of this discussion is to follow, where I share more of Paul’s Social Selling best practice.


Tim Hughes is the number 2 Social Seller Globally and is a pioneer and innovator in the world of Social Selling.  He speaks and coaches sales teams to help them start a journey to support Social Selling in their organisations.  He can be contacted at @timothy_hughes.




Me being interviewed on #SocialHangout about #Socialselling

Was recently interviewed on Social Selling by the guys from the weekly #SocialHangout webcast.  Their 9th (and first non US) guest, you can access the interview video here or a Soundcloud version here

Twitter – The Power of 3 Technique #SocialMedia #SocialSelling

the-power-of-3I’ve been on Twitter since April 2009 and in that time I’ve been able to create a community an with an amazing bunch of followers.

This is one of many articles about how I use Twitter, my intention is to help you and maybe help you, get more, from what is a great modern medium.


Twitter 4The Power of 3

I’ve written many times about the power of Twitter for engagement, the expansion of ideas, debate and learning from meeting strangers and making friends alike.

Twitter should be a two way dialogue. Tweet something and people will make a comment or better still, start a conversation.

During my Twitter travels I often come across somebodies Twitter profile. It is always interesting to read a person’s Advatar and see their last few Tweets.

Automated tweetsBut People Let Themselves Down

Too often when I look at a person’s profile, last few Tweets are full of automated messages, Corporate “let’s throw something at the wall and hope it sticks” Tweets or conversations where I don’t understand the context.  I’m sure that is meaningful to them, but not meaningful to me.

Your Twitter Profile reflects You

Sorry but I treat a person’s profile, like I treat mine. It is an extension of myself.  When I visit your profile, I get a feel for the type of person you are.

retweet-viralSorry But I Never say Thank You, I Retweet (RT)

Many people say Thank You on Twitter and there is nothing wrong in doing that.  I never do, or rarely do, sorry but after hitting 30,000 followers something had to give. I try and answer all conversations and comment personally and that takes a lot of time.
My way of saying Thank You is to Retweet somebody. For me, that is the biggest (flattering) thing you can do on Twitter.

Thank you tweetSo What is the Power of 3?

Whenever I sit down and work through the interactions on my Twitter accounts, I will always try and finishing by leaving 3 Tweets / 3 Pieces of Content at the top of my Twitter stream.  It does not matter how many conversations I’ve had, if you come and look at my profile, there should be content.  A reflection of me.  Better still, content you will feel to interact or even Re-tweet.

Turning round what i said above. If anybody visits my Twitter profile, it should have something interesting for that viewer. No conversations and any follower will know I don’t do “Corporate Boring stuff” and no boring automated Tweets asking you to like my Facebook page.  Stuff you it will hopefully want to interact with or even RT.

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaRemember Your Twitter Profile Reflects Me and You

Twitter is the ultimate in democracy, tomorrow everybody can unfollow me. By following me everyday people “vote for me”.  When people, prospective followers and myself visit your Twitter profile, what is it do you want to be famous for?

The Power of 3, may take some organisation and a little effort, but the benefits in terms of growing your own platform and community, should pay off.

Hope you enjoyed, would welcome your comments on the Blog below.


Tim Hughes is a leading person in Social Media, based in the UK. He has been described as a Social Selling innovator and Blogs on Social Selling and how Social Media will impact companies now and in the future.

Tim can be contacted at @timothy_hughes and @OracleTim

15 Realisms Of Modern Marketing via @WeRSM

WErsmWas recently asked by the people at We Are Social Media, if I would write an edgey piece for them and here it is – 15 Realisms Of Modern Marketing

http://wearesocialmedia.gr/15-realisms-of-modern-marketing/ via @WeRSM

State of #socialselling 2015 – Industry Leaders Review @ArtesianS

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 20.00.13Was recently approached (as were a number of other Social Selling Thought Leaders) by Artesian to submit my thoughts on the current state of Social Selling.  My input, plus that of the other Social Sellers can be found at this link.


My #SocialMedia Contact Points, Please Connect with me #Socialselling

Thanks for reading this, if you want to connect with me or follow me elsewhere in Social Media here are my contact points.  Clicking on the link below, should, take you direct to me, in case of an error, I have provided the name I am registered under.

DSC_0072xxxxx copy 2My Blog on WordPress

Personal Twitter @Timothy_hughes

Work Twitter @OracleTim

chiefmarketerPlease click on the links below to make contact

LinkedIn – Registered as TimothyHughes1

Facebook – Registered as Timothy Hughes (Tim)

Google+ – Find me at google.com/+TimothyHughes1

Pinterest – Registered as timothyhughes

Quora – Registered as Timothy-Hughes-4

Storify – Registered as Timothy_Hughes

Conferize – Registered as timothyhughes

Instagram – Registered as Tim_Hughes1

Strava – Registered as TimothyHughes

 Foursquare – Registered as Timothy_Hughes

I’m a member of Procurious – the world’s first online business network dedicated to Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals, to connect with me click on the link

Using Gamification to Build Community and Create Leads #SocialSelling

Gamification is a very trendy term right now, what does it mean?

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 17.50.15The main purpose for employing Gamification is to incentify, engage and improve user engagement.  In devising a “game” you work out the particular behaviors you want and then give points when people exhibit those behaviors.

For example, at a recent conference I attended, an App was provided to download.  Gamification was “provided” by offering points for leaving speaker feedback, looking at the exhibitors details, etc etc.  The organisers then hoped that people’s natural competitive streak will mean they will compete (results published on a “Leaderboard”).  To get further up the Leaderboard you need to leave more speaker and session feedback, all good behaviors.

Gamification is for Trendy Marketing People it has no Place in Sales, Right?

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 17.56.34Recently had a demonstration from a Gamification company called Rise (previously called Leaderboard) and it got me thinking. This is all very well and good but how do we monetize this? Better still, can we use such technology to create leads and make our quota?

The value proposition of Rise (as with other Gamification platforms), allows you to create Leaderboards based on certain criteria, hashtags, Klout etc.  Leader Boards allow people to track progress of their journeys and by doing this a program and individual achievement is more likely to be a success.  For example, tracking progress of salespeople, as part of rolling out a Social Selling program.

How Gamification Creates Community

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 17.50.15If we take the Social Selling leaderboard (to the left), which I am a member of. My position or ranking does not really concern me. That said, I am in contact with all the people on it. We follow each other on Twitter and I try and contribute to debate in a subject matter area such as Social Selling, a subject I am passionate about.

Thus by tracking my Leaderboard Colleagues, making contact with new entrants, (always keen to support and nurture new talent) a community is created.

Another example is by the Procurement Social Network, Procurious – They created this article “24 of the most influential people in procurement on Procurious http://tinyurl.com/omvltat” immediately the people in that article started to network with each and Tweet the article.  Creating a community and reach of the article across Social Networks.

But let us take a step back here.  Who are we trying to sell to?  Let us not forget, you know the prospects and customers in your forecast.  The people you are trying to speak to, are those who are “thinking” about buying.  But we can go one better than that!  If we have community, we can pull in those that haven’t thought about buying.  Your competitors or prospects that might not even know they have a problem OR that your solution exists.

This is the true way that we can find people before our competitors.

How Gamification can help you Create Prospects

gamification-largeIn the recent meeting with Rise they showed me how their customers were creating prospects. One customer a small enterprise needed to compete against larger completion. So they set up a Leaderboard in Stealth mode.

They then tracked people who used certain hashtags.  Then in a way I discuss in previous blogs they engaged with Influencers on that board. They also watched for newcomers.

If you are interested further in Influencer Marketing then check out this article on my blog 

They have since turned that into a public Leaderboard, by taking it public a community forms.  As people start networking with people with a common interest.  It is at this point that prospects turn to leads as they start to engage with the board leaders and members.

Gamification for Lead Generation in Target Accounts

Rise also suggest running Leader Boards against target accounts so you can see who in that account is “influential” and you can then target them as part of your Account Prospecting   For example, Rise is running a Leader Board on my employer and they approached me as my name was 2nd on the list.


Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 17.56.09Creating Community is now seen as an imperative in Social Media. Doing this through customer interaction, growing followers or creating a social network.

Rise is just one technical solution (there are others) that can be used to support you in prospecting accounts, creating leads and achieving your quota.

Hope you can see that using Social Techniques and “sprinkling it” with a little technology can help you and will make an impact on your quota achievement.

If you have any experiences of using Communities for creating leads or have a platform that can do something like this, please let me know.


Tim Hughes is a Blogger and Speaker on Social Selling, he can be contacted at @timothy_hughes

Please be aware that I am not using Rise, have not been paid by Rise and this blog is not an endorsement of the Rise product.  There are other competitive products to Rise in the market.  Thanks to Rise for the discussion and for allowing me to publish what we discussed.

My 17 Predictions for Technology in 2015 #Cloud #Wearables #BigData #IOT #3DPrinting #Selfie

computer-shopper-crystal-ball (1)It’s that time of the year where people make predictions for the coming year and I’m not going to be any different, here we go:-

Smartphones – Yet another Apple iPhone, the iPhone 7 will be released.

iWatch – Will be launched and people will go wild over it.

Cloud – Will be come the “standard” platform for Business Application purchases.  Spending on Cloud will increase, more companies will have “Cloud First” policies.  Innovation in Public Cloud will continue.

PaaS – Platform as a Service (PaaS) will become to be seen as the way to deliver application extensions or bespoke developments.

scottevestfleece7.0_338-100392286-origWearables – We will start to see “Wearables” clothes in High Street shops, as they make the leap from Geek to mainstream.  Google Glass was never going to make the mainstream.  In my experience, Google was never really behind the project, plus they made you look a little silly.  Maybe with the skill of Intel behind the next version, it will give it that much needed push.  That said, I’m more tempted with an iWatch or Wearable in terms of Clothes.  I attended the Google Glass UK launch and wasn’t very impressed and the fact there was zero follow up made me think are these guys really into taking this mainstream.

Internet of Things – The public will see Internet of Things (IoT) functionality in everyday household items – Starting a revolution in replacement of everyday household items.  It is expected that in the level of maturity we will see a move from “dumb” to “smart” household items.  Many manufactures will jump on the band wagon and push for massive appliance replacement, what they will call “new and improved” will actually be just a chip being stuck in today’s products.

crowdfunding-photo1Crowdfunding – Will become mainstream and there will be more bizarre items, services seeking funding as people push the boundaries of any new way of working.  Next year there will be more calls to regulate Crowdfunding.

Amazonation – Of Retail will continue both inside of Amazon and across retail.  Apple and Amazon will continue their “arms race” to get access to the consumer transactions.

3D Printing – Will become more mainstream (rather than experimental) with more everyday items being printed.  Don’t expect to own a 3D Printer until 2017.

Marketing ROI – Marketers will be under more pressure to prove ROI and will become under increased pressure to get closer and work with Sales.

Big Data – The privacy debate will continue.  People will realise that maybe people don’t actually tell the truth when they fill in questionnaires, which will place a question mark over Big Data results.  One area of Big Data that will expand is the use of Big Data for Healthcare.

Technology Shift – There will be a continued shift from PC to Tablet, from Smartphone to Phablets and from On Premises to Public Cloud.

Wendys-Twitter-campaignHashtags – Hashtag Tedium will take over as a hashtags become another “tick box” “must have” for a brand to look cool.

Mobile – Delivery of services to mobile (in many cases via an App) will become a business imperative.  The move to mobile and “Mobile First” started in 2014.  Customer Experience has to be delivered via mobile in 2015.

Security – Hacking of sites will continue.  There is a “Keyboard War” of Hackers Vs the Rest of the World.  Users must be ever vigilant, not click on URLs, install a virus checker, etc.  IT Departments must “assume you have been hacked” and work back from there.

fcuk_selfie_campaign-300x300Selfies – The selfie trend will continue having crossed over into polite society in 2014.  2015 will be a year of Selfie Tedium as big brands see a “Selfie on Instagram campaign” as a “must have”. Yawn.

Instagram – Will continue the almost unnoticed march to become the Social platform of choice for teenagers and the mainstream.

Tim Hughes is a blogger and speaker and can be contacted at @timothy_hughes on Twitter.