“People often treat social selling like going to the gym,” Tim Hughes, Best-Selling Author and one of the most renown experts on social selling.

To give a short personal impression: let us know what are your top 3 books everyone today needs to read and top 3 tech gadgets one needs to have?

Apart from my best selling book “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” which is available on all Amazon platforms thought out the world (for example available in GermanyUSAUK).  I recommend the following three books.

1. Life 3.0 – Max Tegmark (available in GermanyUSAUKFrance & Spain)

2. Known – Mark W. Schaefer (available in GermanyUSAUKFrance & Spain)

3. The Perfect Close – James Muir (available in GermanyUSAUKFrance & Spain)

The three tech gadgets I recommend are:-

In Germany, in the USin the UK, in Spain)

1. Apple iPhone X (available in Germany, USAUKFrance & Spain)

2. Apple MacBook (available in GermanyUSAUKFrance & Spain)

3. Amazon Echo (available in GermanyUSAUK)

With “Social Selling – Influencing Buyers and Changemakers” you have written a best seller. In what moment did you realize the success of your book?

Our book, “Social Selling – Influencing Buyers and Changemakers” became a best seller even in pre-order.

It was clear before even the book was published that there was interest in the subject of Social Selling.  Matt (my co-author) and I realized early on that very little was being written about social selling and in fact most sales experts had gone back to talk and write about traditional sales processes, leaving Matt and I to lead the way.  We wrote the book as a “how” rather than the “why” that seems to be the fashion.  Everybody we talked to wanted a practical work book to help people how to sell and the business world didn’t need another book that told you why you should social sell but not offer any practical steps.

Besides your success as author you are considered one – if not the – most influential – social selling expert with almost 200.000 follower on Twitter. What is your secret of success here?

I’m not sure what the secret is, when you are online you need to be authentic and have integrity and consistency. There is to many manipulators and spammers. There are also the corporate bores who put out endless corporate content and then wonder why they don’t get any followers.

Some say the hype on social selling and social media is already over. What do you think can we expect from both in the future?

Hopefully the hype is over, there has been too many “Gurus” that don’t understand social selling.  Many Gurus are “just” LinkedIn trainers and don’t see social as covering multiple social networks or treat think that Social Selling is in fact Social Marketing.  Social touches all aspects of the sales process not just demand generation. Social Media is now used by 40% of the world’s population, it’s not going away. Plus with companies now show 20 – 30% incremental revenue increases with social selling, the lack of ROI argument was buried years ago.

A lot of traditional sales people seem to be distant towards social media and social selling – especially since it’s hard to close a deal when you as a salesman are not sitting in a room with your customer. What would you advise them?

People often treat social selling like going to the gym.  They join a gym and then expect to lose weight.  If you want to lose weight you need to actually go to the gym, change your diet and use a personal trainer. Reading an article from Hubspot off the internet does not make you a social seller.

A lot of traditional companies are struggling to adapt to the rapid changes we witness today. In your opinion, what do you think are the biggest chances for traditional companies to use the digital transformation as a chance? What are the biggest hurdles?

Companies seem to think that digital transformation is about IT replacement. It isn’t. There are three aspect to digital, which is people, process and the technology.  Projects need to take into account the change management aspects of the project.

In addition, the companies that survive are those that realize the transformational power and competitive advantage they get from rolling out social across the whole of the enterprise.  This will not only increase revenue, but reduce cost.

What are your Top 3 Do’s and Dont’s for a c-suites when they try to use social media for social selling? 


  • Get outside advice from a social media specialist
  • Check out the social media profiles of those you seek advice from
  • Spend time listening to what others are doing on social media


  • Turn to a generalist to help you, you will get bad advice
  • Just launch onto social without having a clear plan
  • Spread yourself to thinly across too many networks.  Focus then build.

What would you advise young people that are thinking to enter the tech and internet industry?

The tech industry is a fascinating place to work, there is one constant, which it is always changing.  It’s not a place where you can stand still it’s continually changing and you need to be continually reading to keep up.


Tim Hughes is Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Leadership Associates the only Social only Management Consultancy.  He is universally recognized as one of the world’s leading pioneers and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 as the globally most influential social selling person. He was responsible for a large-scale sales transformation within Oracle the result of which delivered in excess of $100m in sales uplift. He is currently leading the sales transformation programs at Avaya, Thomson Reuters and Pitney Bowes. 

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