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Human Resources

EPISODE

38

Sales Training on Social Selling with Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes

30 minutes

May 26, 2024

Sales Training on Social Selling with Tim Hughes
Interview Highlights

Using social media for selling is super important for businesses nowadays. But, surprisingly, only 31% of salespeople use it. Lots of people use social media to research products (about 54%). So, both businesses and salespeople must hop on the social media train.

In this context, we turned to Tim Hughes for insights.

With over 25 years of experience in corporate sales, Tim transitioned from traditional corporate sales to focus on the transformative power of social selling. In a recent interview with us, Tim shares his insights and strategies for training sales teams to excel in social selling, emphasizing digital networking and relationship building.

 

The Power of a Buyer-Centric Profile

One of the foundational principles Tim emphasizes is the importance of crafting a buyer-centric profile on social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn.

Rather than focusing solely on oneself, Tim advises sales professionals to understand the perspective of their potential buyers. By curating profiles that resonate with the target audience's needs and interests, salespeople can establish themselves as valuable resources rather than mere sellers.

Tim suggests avoiding the common pitfalls of generic LinkedIn profiles resembling CVs. Instead, he advocates for creating a "shop window to the world" that intrigues viewers and prompts them to see the value in connecting with the profile owner. Through strategic profile optimization, sales professionals can attract prospects organically and initiate meaningful conversations.

 

Building a Wide and Varied Network

In the realm of social selling, the breadth and diversity of one's network play a crucial role in success. Tim emphasizes the importance of expanding connections strategically, focusing on quality over quantity. A wider network increases visibility and fosters engagement, allowing sales professionals to leverage digital corridors for networking and conversations.

However, Tim warns against the common practice of spamming connections with sales pitches. Instead, he advocates for genuine engagement and conversation starters that resonate with the audience's interests. By participating in relevant discussions and adding value to online conversations, sales teams can establish credibility and attract potential buyers authentically.

 

Creating Engaging Content

A key aspect of social selling is the creation of insightful and engaging content that resonates with the target audience. Tim stresses the importance of humanizing content and steering away from traditional corporate propaganda.

Instead, he encourages sales professionals to share personal insights, anecdotes, and industry expertise that spark genuine interest and conversation.

Tim's approach to content creation focuses on providing value and fostering connections rather than hard selling. By sharing authentic stories and expertise, sales professionals can position themselves as trusted advisors and thought leaders within their respective industries.

 

Conclusion: Embracing Social Selling for Sales Success

Tim Hughes insights offer a roadmap for sales teams looking to thrive in the digital age of social selling. By prioritizing a buyer-centric approach, cultivating diverse networks, and creating engaging content, sales professionals can harness the power of social media to drive meaningful relationships and ultimately, sales success.

In a landscape where authenticity and human connection reign supreme, Tim's strategies empower sales teams to adapt, evolve, and excel in the ever-changing world of social selling.

As businesses continue to navigate the digital landscape, embracing Tim's insights can catalyze sales transformation and sustainable growth.

Official Transcript

How do we best train our sales teams to leverage social media for their advantage?

Of salespeople, only 31% say they use social media content for sales enablement, according to HubSpot’s 2023 Sales Strategy & Trends Report. Yet, social media continues to be a major vehicle for finding new prospects. In fact, 54% of social browsers use social media to research products (Formulates.io)”, which means social media has become an indispensable tool for businesses, and ultimately sellers.

It offers a unique platform for companies to engage with their target audience, build brand awareness, and foster meaningful relationships with customers with billions of users across various platforms, social media provides businesses with unparalleled reach, and the ability to tailor their marketing efforts to specific demographics.

Our guest today is Tim Hughes, universally recognized as the world's leading pioneer and innovator of social selling. 

 

Felicia Shakiba: Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim Hughes: Thank you, I'm really excited to talk to you.

 

Felicia Shakiba: I am so excited to chat with you and learn more.

And so my first question is, can you actually tell us about your background, and how you transitioned from corporate sales to focusing on social selling?

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