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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

According to Wikipedia the term social selling was first defined in 2006

It was Nigel Edelshain who was first coined the term sales 2.0. The name came from the web 2.0 development in 2006. Edelshain suggested in an interview that he felt the biggest problem with selling was regarding the prospecting phase. The reason is many sales techniques during the 1990s and early 2000s often could only be put into practice once a salesman had contact or was in a meeting. Following the development of sales 2.0, the buzzword social selling emerged.

I published the article How I use Twitter to get 10 C-Level Appointments Per Week — A Case Study #Socialselling on the 23rd March 2015 and my book “Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” was published on the 3rd July 2016. (Available on Amazon).

Since the beginning in 2006 to the present day, Social Selling has been building, from hype to reality. From the initial articles and books, to the articles Digital Leadership Associates produce daily on our blog.

While many people think that social selling is new or hyped or untried or tested this is certainly not the case. Over a 3 year period, I was involved in a social selling roll out for 4,000 people across Europe, where we tried and failed many times.

We tried teaching social selling over webinar. Get 200 people on a call, give them a 60 instruction and expect something to change. It didn’t. Or sit people in a room for two days where we taught them what to do on Linkedin. Of course people went back to their desks and carried on what they did before. We took all those failures and created a program at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) that works. Our secret sauce? We are the only company, as far as we are aware that builds habit change into the program.

What do we mean? 8 years ago, I had my gall blagger out. It’s a pretty easy operation nowadays, all achieved through pin-hole surgery, I went under at 08:00 PM and I can go home the next day. My surgeon said, that while I was an active person, I needed to lose 10Kg in weight or have a heart attack by the time I was 55. I therefore set about losing weight.

This required me to start cycling again, to go back to the gym, I got a personal trainer (PT) and she, then he, would push me further than I did by myself. I also went on a course on how to get the right diet, cut-out carbs, ate more protein and cut out all the rubbish we all generally eat.

That requires me to change a whole load of habits, the pudding here, the chips there, the sugary drinks. It also required me to exercise three times a week. 

Now I cannot lose weight by sitting on webinars, well they can tell me what I can do, but the critical thing for me was the mentoring and coaching. My latest PT put me on a food diary, that’s when the cheeky croissant for breakfast has to go. He also made suggestions and tweaks through then mentoring, nothing you could get on a syllabus driven course. It also required me to have the discipline to go training 3 times a week. I’ve subsequently taken up running, which requires less time invested than cycling. Spending two days in the gym doesn’t work. It’s three times a week, after week, after week.

Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) has been helping clients now for 2.5 years at the time of writing in November 2018. We have built on the failures of our previous company to offer success to a long stream of logos in Agriculture, Media, Manufacturing, Hi-tech, Professional Services, Legal, Property Services, Accountancy, Management Consultancy, Waste Management, Education sectors, etc etc. 

In fact, pretty much all types of companies, people like your company so much that we see social selling as selling. It’s the way that we sell and it’s the way we all sell now.

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