We asked a group of business leaders in professional services one important question:

“What do you do to build valuable relationships with your key clients and prospects?”

As world-leading experts in social selling and digital influence, this question strikes to the core of Digital Leadership Associates. The firm advise their clients on how to fill pipeline gaps, deepen engagements and open closed doors at prospect organisations. 

We wanted to explore what successful leaders were doing in this space where there is a heightened need to build 1-2-1 relationships and show more value for their clients.

Below is the excellent answer from Tim Hughes, CEO of Digital Leadership Associates. 

How the social selling experts market and win business

At Digital Leadership Associates, we don’t do any outbound; no cold calling, email marketing or any other advertising. The business comes to us.

Our strategy is about forming relationships and having conversations through content marketing so that when a potential client recognises a need for someone to help in social transformation and social selling they go online and find us.

We post an original piece of content every single day. Against our competition, we have something like 60% share of voice

As a salesperson, rather than a marketeer, content is the way that I prospect. We use short form blogs to deliver strategic messages. I think that having different types of content in the funnel or the strategy helps us to cover the different types of people that are going to be consuming that content.

The type of client we are looking for is enterprise, we deal with large IT companies, professional services and the way these companies are selling has changed. If they ring up a company out of the blue they’ll get nowhere. A relationship needs to be formed through the web or social networks before a commercial conversation can be had.

It's important to have a well developed social profile to build trust and credibility with prospects who are doing their due diligence and researching you. What we are finding is that we need to be on social networks and showing our expertise. 

As a salesperson, I’ve always been an expert in meetings and now we need to be doing that on social networks so the buyer, who’s going through their shortlist says - “these are the people we need”.