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by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

We live in a society that has adopted a blame culture.  Nothing is ever our fault and in 2013 during the press conference to announce the mobile phone branch of NOKIA was to be sold to Microsoft, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop ended his speech saying “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. Forgive me, but if you didn’t do anything wrong………

We live in a society where anyone having a different opinion and sharing it on social media can be shot down by a posse of trolls. Constructive criticism or questioning can also be met by a hostile response. I recently sent a message to a ‘star’ (using the term very loosely) of a fly on the wall documentary series on, questioning something about them, I received a response that mentioned the f-word three times and called me a ‘no job c**k jockey’ – that’s a new one to me!

It got me thinking. The way people react to others that aren’t their clone, forces many people in business to sit tight and keep quiet, even if they believe in their thoughts and ideas. Many employees feel too afraid to speak up and many senior managers are too scared to air their views in case their narcissistic CEO shoots them down.

Many of us will know someone that is always open to suggestion and ideas, happy to talk them through but will then go with their own. As if taking on board an idea that wasn’t theirs is a sign of weakness. I say a sign of weakness is not ‘properly’ listening to others.

Regardless of what you may read online from the band of cold calling diehards – the way we sell has changed. The power has shifted to the buyer and social media is their favourite and most valued tool. That’s why programmatic social selling is so important, not just for sales and marketing, but for the whole organisation.

At Digital Leadership Associates we work with big, ok I’m being modest – huge global names! We also work with national businesses that want to remain at the top of their game. They realise that without adopting social selling deals will be harder to come by. The pipeline will become harder to fill and selling will resort to the dreaded ‘hope and luck’ strategy.

I also come across many businesses that are far too busy plugging away with their out of date sales and marketing plans that were born in the 90’s. Businesses with CEOs that still, yes still, think social media is a fad that will disappear. Maybe it will disappear like Kodak and MySpace did – remember them? Maybe it will disappear like the 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist since 2000? Or maybe it’s the CEO and C-suite members that will disappear?

Yes, you can scour the internet and find others that are singing the praises of 1991 style selling and be wowed by the stories of the huge deal closed from a telephone cold call. Or you could read about businesses that have a sales pipeline like never before, businesses that are closing 20-30% of additional brand-new revenue. Or the businesses that are getting more inbound than ever – and spending less on outbound marketing.

However, you may want to rebuff anything that you don’t understand.

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