The CEO of Sales for Life Jamie Shanks recently sat down with content lead Julia Manoukian to talk about why social sellers are here to stay. At a time where Pokémon Go tops Twitter in daily users, it almost seemed inevitable the conversation would end up drawing parallels between the augmented reality smartphone game and the recent surge in social selling tactics. Both touch on the powerful digital trend that’s revolutionized how people communicate, conduct business and live their lives. This is their interview.
Julia: We hear all the time, from comments on our blog and from our sales team, that social selling is just a trend or a fad. Sales professionals don’t believe it’s here for good. Jamie, what would you tell them? Why are social sellers here to stay?
Jamie: I laugh that this is even a question anymore. If you look at all business consumer trends, the world is becoming so digital and communicating every day in a digital and social format that I can’t even imagine one that’s ever going to regress.
Let’s use this example: Two weeks ago, I didn’t know what Pokémon was. I’m born in 1978. I have never in my life seen a Pokémon. And in the last two weeks, on my drive to work, I’ve seen kids piling towards an intersection onto the freeway all on their phones trying to “catch a Pokémon.”
The past week I’ve been on vacation up at my cottage. We often have a lot of family and friends up, and this has been the topic of conversation for the entire week: that not even just kids, but people in their 20s and 30s are “catching Pokémon.” It’s just become this digital obsession.
I want you to think about the logic of digital and social communication. Ask yourself: is this something that is going to continue? Or is this something that is a fad?
As a senior leader, you’re most likely in your 40s, 50s or 60s. That means you have children who are teenagers or in their 20s. I want you take this Sunday evening to sit and watch your kids and people in the neighbourhood who are on their phones all day long. They’re texting, they’re on social media and now they’re playing Pokémon. This is the future.
If you find yourself saying, “This doesn’t do for me,” you’re acting like a luddite. That sounds like my grandmother when my mom tried to get her on email. You are becoming a dinosaur. And you may say to yourself, “That’s fine. I don’t need to change. I’m only going to be in my senior leadership role for a few more years. My industry won’t progress fast enough, and by the time I leave, somebody else will have to worry about this.”
But if you have any intention of staying in a senior leadership role that’s involved with sales and marketing for any longer than a few years, you need to think differently. Otherwise, your organization will be left behind.
This is not just a Silicon Valley thing. I’m watching transformation happen in the manufacturing space, the financial services space and the healthcare space. I’m watching it emerge in Southeast Asia, in Eastern Europe, in Latin America. Everywhere around the world, every industry, and all you need to do is check out people playing Pokémon.