Is social media the sales tool of the century? Whether you’re an employer selling your company as a desirable workplace to potential employees, or a mortgage broker selling your service to new home-buyers, a presence on social media is a must-have.
We caught up with social selling sorcerer Tim Hughes to hear what’s what right now on all things social selling. Have a listen to the episode embedded below, subscribe to the podcast, or keep reading for an abridged transcript of our conversation. To hear more from Tim, check out the 5 Pillars of Social Selling.
I don’t like to use the word expert, but people quite often place that on me. I’m an expert in social selling and social media. My book is available on Amazon now; Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers. The book really is about how organisations, how salespeople, and how marketers can use social to sell, and use social, in effect, to generate leads and generate revenue.
The fact that people are now using mobile more than anything else, and people are spending more time actually researching things. People are spending more time actually researching the products, and there’s far more products and apps, and the whole thing is getting far more complex.
I don’t want to sound ageist, but it’s that the research shows that if you’re looking at people up to about the age of 40, those people, generally about 35% of them, rather than go to Google when they want to actually buy something and then go to a corporate website, people are actually going and connecting on to the social networks.
Yes. A lot of people come to me and say, “Tim, you post some really interesting stuff.” For me, that’s a really flattering thing, because what I want to do is educate people. And that’s what brands, salespeople and marketers should be doing. So if we think about the traditional sales funnel and the way that people have traditionally sold, is that you’ve probably already spoken to the people. There’s already a lead, there would have been a meeting, and you take that person through a process where, say, software, you’ll do demonstrations and reference visits, and it’s all defined and you follow that process.
I think there should be a new term, whether it’s the marketing funnel, or what I actually call “the relationship funnel”, which is where the people that we’re trying to sell or market to probably don’t know about this already. Or they may be in a position that it’s even above that, where they don’t even know that there’s not even a need for anything that we do. What your role in the way that you can use social is to build a community and network with those individuals, so when they actually come out and buy, they actually come to you.
How do you move from random acts of social to actually getting stakeholder buy in? What happens quite often at that stage is that when organisations realise that there’s this tsunami of social taking place, what they try and do is actually grab hold and try and control it.
It’s about practice, and how do organisations take this opportunity and drive it through the organisation? We’re quite open and honest and say, “You actually need particular individuals to help you do that.” Because social selling is a strategy. It’s a change program. And the only way that you’re going to take it through the organisation and stop people going back to the old way is because none of us like change.