My Last Post On LinkedIn!

Tony Hughes


This is my last post on social media or blogging of any kind in the foreseeable future. It's been a tweetin wild ride but I've made a fortune in social selling and I'm retiring to become an organic farmer and micro-brewer. But I'll also be working with Professor Neil Rackham to create his biography and document the history of modern selling.

All this became possible with just 4 months of manic activity in LinkedIn where I made enough money from Social Selling to pursue my dream of living on an organic farm in Tasmania to brew a revolutionary beer infused with beetroot juice. It's a Blue Ocean strategy inspired by an Australian juicing documentary that I saw in 2013. Now I've literally 'bought the farm' to start a healthy alcohol revolution. Tasmanian Red Beet Beer will be potent in vitamins and antioxidants to transform the inner-health of millions while masking digestive realities, eliminating any stress caused by visible blood in the stool or urine.

But back to Neil and the book we will co-write in Tasmania on the farm. The tome will be titled: The Consolidated History of Modern Selling - From SPIN to Social Solution Challenger Value Selling With All You Need To Know To Sell Succinctly In The Digital Age.

Neil visits Australia regularly and I remember him telling me the story of when he bought a Driza-Bone coat in Adelaide many years ago while on a wine pilgrimage down under. He has a love of the country... and goats, but not in any sort of inappropriate way. Goats are an important part of the blue ocean strategy because they weed and fertilize the farm and they're much cheaper than importing child labor from the third world. The goats on the beetroot farm will live on blackberries, themselves fertilized by the hops left over from the beer brewing process and goat fecal pellets. It's a virtuous organic circle of goats-cheese-fertilizer-beer-blackberry-love-goats.

During the day, Neil and I will walk the hedgerows of blackberry bushes and beetroot stalks with loyal goats in tow, positing the future of B2B social selling spiced with challenger solution value techniques jacked with back-to-the future ninja warrior social principles. Every evening we'll riff over organic red ale gazing down the valley with Tasmanian Devils howling in the distance.

Organic beer will be the fuel for our writing; but Neil was initially skeptical about the benefits of beets and he told me that beet-beer is only a benefit if it solves a specific problem articulated by drinkers.

The SPIN Selling courses I attended earlier in my life enabled me to nail the perfect response: "Imagine that you're being intimate with someone and they ask you if they're bleeding. You can provide great comfort in simply telling them you're sure it's just the coloration of the beets. But the benefits are not just psychological, beets can do for beer what red grapes did for wine, but without the tannin. Guinness pioneered with black but now the new black is a darkish red."

Neil had nothing in response and then I hammered it home: "The benefits of combining beer and beets are compelling! We all know that with enough beer ugly people appear to be attractive but the properties of beets provide clarity amidst the fog of inebriation. Surely everyone would like the ability to articulate their wisdom in a more compelling way while also uninhibited by intelligible thought processes at the end of a rollicking good evening at the pub." He was speechless. No objections - closed.

I plan to spend many evenings on the porch with Neil in Tasmania on the micro brewery beet farm with our goats, ideating the future of B2B professional solution social selling. Mentor and mentee masticating on goat cheese, chugging beet-beer, ruby red lips waxing lyrical about the tremendous cottage industries that are micro brewing and sales training.

Only wankers drink Corona with a pretentious little lime wedge shoved in the top but we'll each have a beet stalk hanging out of our brew which is actually the most nutritious part of the plant and provides valuable fiber... another benefit on top of your nasal hairs being caressed by the beet foliage as you sip away. Using your tongue to maneuver the stalk to the side while swallowing provides a playful challenge and the whole experience truly engages all of the senses to deliver a genuine drinking solution and the ultimate customer experience.

Every morning we will emerge from the homestead a little hung over and milk the goats before checking on the micro-brewery copper vats. Then we'll stroll back to dig-in to writing the book. When we need a break we'll turn to poetry... most people don't know that Neil is actually a poet and it's one of the reasons he was invited to contribute to The Challenger Sale (see page 82) with his SAFE BOLD sonnet. I've entered us into a poetry competition at the local town pub where we've instigated the Community Poetry Night and we've already made it to the final with this.

All that is told is not Twitter,

All blogs in LinkedIn are not lost;

The told that is true does not wither,

Deep beet roots are not reached by the frost.

From the likes in social we'll be woken,

A goat from the thickets shall spring;

Reviews and shares shall be spoken,

The crownless again shall be king.

The publican, Mike Blunt, is quite sophisticated and I helped him optimize his LinkedIn profile on the basis that we all sell naked these days on social. Now the other 17 people who live in town, plus the 43 who dwell in the shire, can see his personal brand and comment in his LinkedIn group about why he prefers eloquent pros instead of karaoke or open mic nights with people singing off-key. My first act of philanthropy will be to provide WiFi for the whole town so that we can end face-to-face talking and drive real connection through social.

I've begun ghosting his profile to drive engagement and we're promoting "Professor Neil Rackham - International Poet Laureate Sales Anthropologist" as the major draw-card. I'm confident we can quadruple numbers - who says there's no ROI in social. Mike has no idea and reckons the only social feed that matters is a good T-bone counter lunch sold to a mini-bus tour group. Goodbye and farewell for now. Thanks for following my posts here in LinkedIn over the last 4 months and keep an eye out for Tasmanian Red Beet Beer and Neil's biography later this year... I am not fit to tie his sandals but it's such a privilege to serve the sales training industry in this way.

Sayonara ~ TJH (12:01am April 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand)


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 or his sales methodology website at


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