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How to create a business case for a social selling

£20 note fanned outDo you work in sales?

Are you passionate about how social can help your organisation sell more?

Do you want to know what role content marketing and content creation will play in the future way you will  communicate with your potential customers?

This post explains how you can build a business case to help change the way your business sells it products and how your sales process works.

In my previous post on how to sell in a social era I explained some of the differences between a traditional sales person and person selling in the social era. I mentioned that up to two thirds of buying process is done before you speak with a salesperson. With this post I want to go into a bit more depth and help you demonstrate the return on investment to get buy in, so you can focus in this area. This post will give you some ideas how you can demonstrate the concept to the following people:

  • CEO
  • CMO
  • Managing directors
  • Sales directors
  • Sales managers

It will allow you to spend more time in your current role or create a new role so you can help your company do it better.

For the purpose of this post

I define social selling as using the social web to help you sell your products or services

I define content as information which conveys a message, such as a blog, video, podcast, ebook etc

Teaching vs selling

abc writing

There is a phrase which I learnt from a post called assignment selling. The higher the value item you sell –  the more relevant this is.

The concept works like this. When a salesperson goes to a sales appointment they spend a great deal of their time trying to inform the prospect what their product does and why they must have it. If the prospect doesn’t know this information before you visit then you risk wasting time your time with a prospect, who is never going to be a customer.

Continue reading

£20 note fanned out

How do you sell in the social era?

Are you looking to improve or modernise the way you sell?

Do you want to learn how you can use the social web to help you sell more?

In this post I will discuss both the traditional and the new ways salespeople can work.

After reading this post you will have an insight into what the future of selling will look like. Hopefully you will start to see that there are alternative ways of working that will help you to help your customers more, which in turn will help you hit your sales targets.

A salesperson is often one of the highest paid people in the business. I believe unless salespeople change the way they work, they will lose their influence over the sales process, which warrants their high compensation packages.

£20 note fanned out

What does a salesperson actually do?

Wikipedia explains the verb describing what a salesperson does:

Selling is offering to exchange an item of value for a different item. The original item of value being offered may be either tangible or intangible. The second item, usually money, is most often seen by the seller as being of equal or greater value than that being offered for sale

Basically a salesperson attempts to convince a potential customer that there is more value in what his company is trying to sell than what they are charging for it.

Imagine a world without salespeople? The world of business would stop. Right? Continue reading

Why use social media?

why use social media

Are you considering using social media at work or in your professional life?

Are you trying to figure out what social media can help you achieve or see if it’s worth your while?

Read on to help you understand the value social media can bring to your career and some examples of how easy it is to start getting results.

Most people I talk to about social media fall into two categories: those who think it is important but don’t use it much if at all and those who don’t see the point because they don’t think they can get anything out of it.

I want to share some tips on what I have done to achieve a few milestones of success in a fairly short time frame. If you follow these tips you will be able to define what it is you want to achieve and get results a lot quicker than I did.

My social media goals

  • Establish credibility inside and outside my company
  • Build up my personal brand so people know who I am before I meet them
  • Communicate my thoughts and ideas to more people
  • Build up my industry knowledge so that I can be perceived by others as an expert
  • Connecting and conversing with like minded people

If you share any of these goals then read on and I will give you some tips to help you achieve them.

How can you achieve these goals? Continue reading

Can conflict in social business be a good thing?

ted ipad app screen shot

When I work from home and take a break to eat lunch I normally get my iPad out, open the TED app and watch a video to see if I can find any additional inspiration for the afternoon.

Yesterday I searched for leadership and came across Margaret Heffernan’s talk called “Dare to disagree.”

The official description is below

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counter-intuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

Trouble viewing? Click here > >

She talks about a doctor who was investigating why there was a high death rate from childhood cancer in the 1950’s. Continue reading

top five graphic

Top 5 #socialmedia blog posts


I have been blogging for 8 months now and I thought I would do a quick recap of the most viewed posts on my site. It has been a great journey so far and I have loved every minute of it. I would recommend it to anyone. Thanks to Marcus Sheridan for your inspiration and to Michael Brenner for your help in giving me the platform to tell my story to a wider audience.

These 5 posts topped the lists for various reasons including controversy, thought leadership, good search engine optimisation and writing nice things about a bunch of people who retweeted the nice things that I had said.

1. Why @o2 failed with their promoted tweet about #blackberrysale

This post caused some controversy: it was a learning experience for me. I think it was a great idea but the execution probably could have been a little more refined. I want to describe this style of marketing as “Micro-marketing” and copyright the phrase . I think this could be the catalyst for people to change how they market to their customers. It takes marketing to a whole new level of personalisation. I hope you read this in 10 years and think, if I only I had listened to that crazy Chris Heffer guy!

2. Why should you write a blog and what can you achieve in 63 days?

This was one of my early posts which talks about why you should write a blog. It tells a story of how, in 63 days at my company and through writing a blog, I managed to get myself onto the same blogging platform as the CIO, the CMO and many senior leaders. The post performed very well in google which drove a lot of traffic to my site for answering the question “why should you write a blog?”

3. Can social media replace email?

This post talks about how an evangelist at IBM has started a trend of working towards a day where email no longer exists. A quest for a more productive way of working. If you are a senior exec and want to understand more about how blogging and social networks can help you be a better, more productive leader then your should read this post.

4. How do I motivate people to buy?

This post talks about the great ideas and theories of Simon Sinek. I am not a religious man but Simon is the nearest I can get to totally believing in a set of believes from one person. His thoughts, ideas and values deserve the highest level of respect. This post may change the way you look at the world and the way you operate in it.

5. Crowd sourced summary of #SBSS12 in 60 tweets!

In many ways, this was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. It started my popular series of crowd sourced summary posts, showcasing the most insightful messages from the day. This article was retweeted to over 90,000 people within 1 hour of posting, which is one of the reasons it got into the top five posts.

complain on social media

Why complain using social media?

If you complain by phone or by email, how many people know about it? No one. Just you and the person at the end of the phone or opening the email. When you complain using social media, it is as though you are standing on the top of a tower block shouting your complaint to see if anybody cares.

Companies should care what the world thinks of them. If you put negative things out there on the web, other people will read them.

If the company responds publicly and fixes your problem then not only does it make one happy customer, it shows the rest of the world that they are a good company to do business with.

People share good stuff. If someone gets wowed by the great service from an organisation, they might just share the experience.

Put yourself in the shoes of an organisation and think about this situation. You have two customer service issues that you need to fix. The trouble is you only have time to fix one. The first issue was emailed to you from a random Gmail account. The second was a tweet sent to you by somebody with 1000 followers on twitter. Continue reading

first day at new job

Why should a new employee use social media?

Here I am, 3 months into a new role. I thought I would let you know what YOU can achieve in the right environment with the right mind-set. If I can do it you can too.

I firmly believe that social media can help the business world be a better place for everyone. I have jumped in at the deep end and given myself a self taught crash course in social media. I was inspired by a guy called Simon Sinek, who I talk about in one of my other blog articles, which contains a very inspiring video. I have embraced his goal of wanting to “inspire others to do what inspires them”. I have made it my mission to tell the world how I think they can help achieve their personal business goals using Social Media.

For me to be successful in my role I set my self two goals. Continue reading

no emails

Can social media replace email?

How many emails do you get each day? 25? 50? 100? How many of them do you actually need to read or actually act upon? Do you get asked a lot of questions by the people you manage or work with? Well I may have the answer. Read on…….

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Are you leaving behind an iPad widow?

I’m just sitting on the tube looking at a guy reading the Metro news paper next to another guy reading the interactive version through the Metro app on his iPad.

For those of you who haven’t embraced the tablet movement, I thought I would give you an idea of my experience of having bought one.

I guess I went through a similar thought process before buying the iPhone 4 Continue reading