Last year it was all about 'Bitcoin', Blockchain, GDPR and other key buzzwords, people everywhere seemed 'addicted' to the latest buzzword.
Everywhere you look you see the next big thing 'Social Selling'
Even the guys at 'Linkedin' are pushing all sorts of training video's to help boost 'employee engagement' and brand alignment on the platform, the site is littered with ads for 'Sales Navigator' and the like.
The reality is that whilst having a number of tools can be helpful, this is more about mindset, and your ability to adapt to forces beyond you and your companies control. If you can't change your behaviour there isn't a tool around that will transform your business, because its all about 'people'.
Well to be honest, 'Social Selling' is not actually the 'next big thing' the concept has been around for many years, its surge in growth and use has come about due to the significant adoption of people like you and me, along with companies using 'social media'.
I came across this really great infographic about The History of Social Selling from Koka Sexton, which highlights (amongst many things) that the term can be traced back to the 1940's & 50's during the what we laughingly call the 'analog age'.
When Tim Hughes & Adam Gray envisioned the DLA they did it with an aligned vision that's shared with all involved in Digital Leadership Associates, especially me, which is a deep desire to transform lives as well as companies.
In sales we transform people every day (through our Social Selling programs) but outside of this we are also empowering and transforming people in roles across the Enterprise creating the classic “more for less” scenario, the impact of this means that “legacy process” competitors may never catch up.
I find it both amusing & confusing that people are now translating 'social selling' as a way to avoid one on one conversations - Oh great, I don't have to actually meet or speak to anyone.
What utter nonsense!
Quote from Tim;
"I'm not sure where this myth comes from that social selling means that the whole sales takes place on social, it doesn't. Social facilities a meeting and meetings are conducted the same as they always have. Social also speeds prospects through the pipeline. What it does replace is the constant interruptions by phone, email and adverts which piss us all off"'People do business with People' - an undeniable FACT.
The term 'Social Selling' is loosely based around the concept that we are more open in a 'social' environment because, well, its meant to be social.
Today's focus for companies should be based upon understanding how the traditional 'buying' funnel has fundamentally changed, and the key driver of that change is the maturity of social media platforms, which allow potential clients to perform their own due diligence around your company, its employees - and this of course means YOU!
If you take the time to really understand the value of social networks, and how we help weaponise companies, leadership teams and employees with an aligned 'social strategy' you will start to see tangible transformation taking place - Why?
I'm a marketing guy, over the years I have worked with a number of 'Multi-Channel' (eCommerce, Retail, SaaS) companies, global media agencies (including PR), brilliant internal teams and visionary boardrooms, as a result I have been involved in numerous re-brands, re-positioning,and when relevant re-engineering of a brand/company.
Throughout this time significant budgets & resource have been spent in that mission, that was until I took a long hard look at the declining returns from what we in the trade call 'outbound' marketing strategies.
For the record and to avoid confusion I'm not one of those 'doom-mongers' who promote the myth that advertising is dead, however I can strongly evidence that people have the ability to skip those TV adverts, Block those online ads and perform their own due diligence on me and my company in a way they never have before, ergo the landscape is shifting beneath our feet.
You could say I'm an 'intrusive marketing poacher, turned social selling gamekeeper'.
We can either choose to keep doing what we have always done, or take the time to study & digest the facts and options.
With the growth of social media at no time in the history of the Internet has it been easier & with a relatively low cost to raise your brand and personal profile, establish trust and integrity in your brand/company and generate sales opportunities.
- You don’t need a database (no GDPR issues).
- You don’t need to advertise. (Cost don't increase with reach)
- You don’t need a media team (all can be done with in-house talent)
- You don’t need to do outbound cold calling (less said the better)
- You don’t need to do mailings (print works, but the attribution is still a tad difficult)
The ability for you and your business to connect with potential prospects (vice/versa) is right in front of you & your team.
If you focus on you and you're companies personal brand, ensuring its internally aligned with your brand & company ambitions you can start to engage in new relationships, and utilise the trust & integrity you have built up with existing clients as 'social advocates' of what you do, and most important 'why' you do it.
Yes, it takes a lot of effort, leadership & consistency. It requires you to to share what you know, why it can help your connections and deliver consistency in the messages and signals you send out..
The answer to all the above is something that’s been used for centuries, and it’s called storytelling.
If you are an open minded member of the C-Suite and to want to find out more (we don't do cold calling) by all means drop me a DM.
As at end April 2019: Almost 3.5 billion people around the world now use social media, with roughly 98 percent of them accessing social platforms via mobile devices.