When Adam Gray and I started DLA Ignite, back in 2016 a proposition based on social selling was seen as niche. For the cold calling experts, the sales "flat earthers" and the vested interest not looking to change in sales, we were laughed at.
, and I, and our global partner network, kept our heads down, found those first customers, transformed those customers in digital businesses and created social selling case studies. Then there was a
How do we know that the world has adopted social selling as the norm?
There is a cold calling conference called "outbound" it was set up as a reaction to us coming in and disrupting the way sales used to be. Here we have a bunch of people that want to keep selling the courses they created 30 years ago and you cannot blame them.
Back then there was a clear narrative, "social selling is rubbish", "social selling is a waste of time", "social selling is just about spam". It played to their audience, an audience that have 1980 mental models that sales is all about how many calls you make and how much spam you send.
And then ...
Last year, Dan Disney the UK based social seller, the one with the memes, did a 30 minute session, at Outbound on Linkedin, remotely. For Outbound this may have been some small sideline session, but for the sales industry, it was massive. It was an admission that the cold callers had it wrong.
This year, Dan is flying over and giving a number of sessions.
It's worth saying that while Dan is a friend, he is also a competitor, that said, when a competitor is given time and space to talk about what we do as a business, this validates what we do.
Again, this is massive, what better, maybe it's my British sense of humour that sees the irony that your cold calling competitors make sure your industry has come of age.
This is the final nail in the coffin for cold calling, with this number of sessions, it's clear that social selling is "business as usual". Maybe social selling will gradually push out the cold calling sessions, until Outbound is a social selling conference? It would seem that this is happening.
It's also clear that if your not social selling as a business, (you cold calling friends are saying) you are clearly leaving money on the table.
As Mahatma Gandhi said
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."