Henry Ford said: "If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse." Alan Kay said: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." The thing that makes humans unique is not that we can both laugh and cry; it is our ability to create. We are endowed with a soul, spirit and mind capable of dreaming an incredible future that we can bring to life through our words and actions to create a better world.
Everyone reading this has access to an invisible network, Social Selling 3.0, where connections are created between people, ideas, resources, technology and tools that enable us to become a force to be reckoned with like never before. We stand on the cusp of a new era in business and selling but many will create nothing but noise, some will destroy their brands with narcissism or negativity, others will create value and success.
Beyond the continued mega-trends of social, mobile and cloud, here are some predictions for 2015:
1. It will be a tough year economically so get good at creating value for your customers.
2. The rise of "LinkedIn Centers" will begin to replace outbound telemarketing and demand generation.
3. Personal reputational brand on the internet will become a prerequisite for new business development success.
4. Integrated publishing in B2B social networks will emerge as a critical success factor for B2B sales stars.
5. The rise of big data and predictive analytics for capturing trigger events and demand generation will come to the fore
If you're young, break the Gen-Y and Gen-Z stereotypes and learn the timeless principles and techniques of solution and value selling. Differentiate yourself by going deep in domain expertise and become a good writer. Adopt old school methodology and discipline to combine with your tech-savvy ability to leverage relevant social platforms.
If you're older, break through the Gen-X and Baby Boomer stereotypes and learn to embrace technology and become competent in using social platforms, especially LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published in LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award winning blog. Also visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.
Main image photo by Flickr: MiiiSH
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