Why CEOs Should Care about Starting a Digital Conversation with Expert Tim Hughes (S3:Ep13)

Nov 1, 2022 | Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast

The world of selling has irrevocably changed. Buyers no longer want to be sold to and especially not as a result of a cold call. They want to get to know a company by getting to know and trust the people who work there. Starting digital conversations is the first step to build this trust. As CEO, it’s imperative that you lead by example.

In this episode Alice talks with Tim Hughes who explains how to change your sales approach from “interrupting to pitch” to “gaining trust”. Simply put, you and your team use social media to start conversations that both expand your network and build trust for a future opportunity to sell. He explains the three how-to steps: Creating the right social profile, expanding your network, producing content that engages.

Many salespeople don’t know how to use social media to connect and build a trusted network so they simply have a meager profile and don’t do anything else. In fact they may even be afraid because their previous company may have fired employees who posted on social.

If you expect your sales or better yet, your Go To Market team to build networks and share content on social then as CEO, model the behavior and create the proper framework for success including training, guidelines and content strategies.

Tim goes on to explain the opportunities for B2B CEOs to dominate their vertical as thought leaders by producing content designed to educate target customers.

Unless you are one of a handful of CEOs like Bernard Looney of BP, who already have it down, it’s time to watch, learn and do social selling.

Watch the podcast below or on our YouTube channel.

Highlights of this Episode:

[3:02] In the past our sales and marketing used interruptive methods, cold calling, email, billboards. We interrupt you to pitch. And now, the buyer just won’t put up with that.

[3:24] …buyers are digital. What can we actually do to be where the buyers are?

[4:23] Gartner research is telling us that more and more people are saying ‘I’d like a seller free buying experience. I’d like to be able to learn on my own.’

[5:11] What we’re doing on social is trying to create a conversation. There’s three things that you need on social media. One is you need to have a great profile. A great profile as in what we call “Buyer centric.” So when a buyer looks at you, they go, “That person looks interesting, that person could help me.”

[9:14] So the second thing you need is a wide and varied network. And that’s about you building out contacts in the people you want to influence, so the accounts you want to sell to, yes, but better yet, people who could introduce you.

[11:08] And the third thing that we need is content. And the reason why we need content is buyers are online looking for information and advice.

[16:31] If you are not connected in your digital network to enough people, it’s going to be really hard to get introductions, or if you connected and then spammed me, I’ll never give you an introduction , because I know you’re going to do that to the next person.

[20:03] CEOs, senior leaders, lead by example. If you want your teams to be digital, you have got to be digital.

[21:01] Look at people like Julie Sweet, who’s the CEO of Accenture, or Bernard Looney, who’s the CEO of BP. Bernard has done an amazing job at repositioning BP in the world via social media.

[24:41] I ask CEOs who is the leading technical and commercial influencer in your market or vertical?” And the answer to that usually will be, “I don’t know. There isn’t one.” Well, why not? Why isn’t it you?

[29:40] It’s about digital dominance. Owning the narrative out there on social media.

[37:18] I don’t think we realize how much it’s changed, but COVID has changed the world, it’s changed society. And so it changed the way of business. It sped up our need to be digital.

About Our Guest:

Tim Hughes is universally recognized as the world leading pioneer and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 by Onalytica as the most influential social selling person in the world. In 2021, LinkedIn said he was one of the top 8 sales experts globally to follow.

He is also Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite 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.

Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers

Company Website: DLAIgnite.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Timothy_Hughes
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TimothyHughes1
Clubhouse: @timothy_hughes
Tik Tok https://www.tiktok.com/@timothy_hughes

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.




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