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by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

I recently watched a ‘conversation’ on LinkedIn rumble on because, to the dismay of many, someone had said ‘I’ve been social selling since the 80’s’. From the responses it became clear that some people thought social selling didn’t exist before social media. Of course, it did!

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at why.

SOCIAL has been around since year dot and the Oxford Dictionary states:


  • Relating to society or its organization.
  • Relating to rank and status in society.
  • Needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities.
  • Relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.


  • An informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group.



  • The media treated as singular or plural the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.



  • Give or hand over (something) in exchange for money.
  • Have a stock of (something) available for sale.



  • The exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.
  • Sales      
    • A quantity or amount sold.
    • The activity or business of selling products.



  • Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

So, social and selling were around before social media and media was around before social media. Selling by default is a ‘social’ act and social selling can also be referred to as social sales. They are all interlinked.

If you still believe social selling didn’t exist before social media than you probabaly also think social selling is ‘online only’ and negates the need to have face to face meetings. It also means you are probably following and listening to self-proclaimed sales trainers, gurus and proverbial bores that don’t actually understand what social selling is.

If you aren’t social selling – then you’ll be finding it harder to build a decent pipeline, harder to close new business, harder to get inbound enquires and wasting money on outbound, digital marketing and events. And you’ll be selling on hope and luck.

I’ve also been social selling since the 80’s and today social media makes selling so much easier.

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