Episode #122: Tim Hughes

Could Social Selling be Your Legacy?

Tim Hughes


Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes is universally recognised as one of the world’s leading pioneers and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 by Onalytica as the most influential social selling person in the world. He was responsible for a large-scale sales transformation within Oracle, the result of which delivered in excess of $100m in sales uplift. He is currently leading a number of sales transformation programmes in large B2B organisations. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Leadership Associates and co-author of the bestselling books “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” and “Smarketing – How To Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended Sales and Marketing”. Both published by Kogan Page.

[01.36] Tim defines Social Selling – it isn’t selling over social. It is the way sales people need to change or react to the way buyers have changed the way they buy.

[02.25] Why haven’t some companies embraced social selling –Tim relates the reluctance of embracing social media to the way people embraced e-mails when they first appeared, people don’t want to change with the times.

[03.28] Which social media platforms should a modern sales professional be active in – Tim relates to B2B enterprise and feels that here you have to be in LinkedIn and that you need a buyer centric profile not a CV/resume as your profile. If you are selling within IT Tim advises Twitter and Instagram. He also shares that many groups from LinkedIn have migrated across to Facebook as well.

[04.20] Are there any tools that you recommend as part of a successful social selling strategy – Tim shares that he is not a big tool user, however the tools he uses often are LeadFeeder, Brandwatch, and Buffer.

[07.22] Tim shares his top three social selling do’s and don’ts – Do have a personal brand – looking like the person your buyer would want to talk to, do have a strong network – build a network to sell through and do have content – a soft sell, get your message out. Don’t – sell – sell once you get your meeting! Don’t spam and don’t use the tools to replace your interaction, the way in which you act and work.

[12.24] Tim shares his favourite social selling story – Tim shares two stories of how using LinkedIn properly can produce amazing ROI results. One example of a student of Tim’s had developed a good personal brand, he made connection requests into a prospect account which quickly led to a lucrative inbound sale. Another example Tim shared was another client who wrote a blog about his need to fill three positions, the response he got lead to the recruitment of not 3 but 4 staff not needing to advertise led to the recruitment of a junior person.

[15.45] What advice would you give to a CEO who hasn’t leaped using social selling – Tim advices the CEO to think about what legacy they want to leave in their business, if they are not using social then maybe social should be the legacy you leave with in your business.

More About Tim

What was the last book you read?
I’m an avid sales and marketing book reader, the last three books I read are Gap Selling – Keenan, Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell – Mike Adams and Discover Questions Get you Connected – Deb Calvert. All are highly recommended.

Who / What inspires you?
My Team and our global delivery capability here at Digital Leadership Associates, we are transforming sales, for the better, day by day. It amazes me that people are still “social selling”, that is, using methods that went out of use in 2015. It’s amazing how fast the world of social selling changes and how fast “best practice” can turn to spam. Sales has always changed and great sales people love that change it inspires them.

What aspect of your own Social Selling program are you most focused on improving at the moment?
Sales has always been changing it’s a nature of the subject, which is why we continually change our programs to keep up with the innovation in the market. Our clients, of course, are provide us with real life sales situations which we are continually reacting to and then cascading the changes out to our global capability. If we create some new functionality in Singapore, then this will be rolled out across the world. As sales people we work with our clients to help them change, which is why as sales people we thrive on change ourselves.

Hobbies, Interests?
While I’ve always been a keen cyclist, I did the “couch to 5K” app last year and I am now running around Bushy Park in West London or trying to get 5K runs in when I’m visiting Digital Leadership offices worldwide.

How can our listeners contact with you?
We are a “social” company, we do everything on social, thankfully we don’t use much email, so please contact me on https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyhughessocialselling/