Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

The New Year is just around the corner and people all over the world are making resolutions, measuring previous performance and benchmarks, and deciding on what changes they want to make and implement in their personal lives.  In the business world, professionals are hopefully doing the same thing.  Although we should be thinking about this on a constant basis, what better a time than the mark of a New Year to stop, take a breath, and ask ourselves, “How can I improve?”

In 2011 I, personally, am going to throw away my Social Media crutches.  The way that we interact with clients and prospects and our methods of lead generation have changed drastically in the last few years.  The way our brains work and process information that help us decide who we want to trust our business with, however, has not.  I have had the opportunity to work with and alongside many sales professionals and sales leaders over the last five years.  During this time, I’ve seen many different types of approaches work or fail, and many sales people come and go.  One of the biggest reasons that I see good sales people fail, however, is because they forget to realize that Social Media is merely an enabler for sales and recruitment, not the “end all, be all.”  They hide behind their computer, their “social network”, and their e-mail waiting for customers to come to them.  Social Media needs to be incorporated as merely a small component of your lead generation means — it should not encompass your entire strategy.

Call me old fashioned, but deep client relationships are established by a series of interactions and a realization of value over a period of time.  LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter provide us with a way to facilitate interactions and reach out to prospective customers and in some cases even establish credibility, but there are a lot of key pieces to the sales process such as trust, repoire, and the overall ability to make a strong impact on a prospect that simply cannot be transferred via anything “2.0”.  Any YoYo can can write a nice introductory paragraph and hit send and hope that the person on the receiving end replies.  The problem with doing this is twofold: 1) 20 other YoYos just sent the same message to the same person today, and 2) actions are stronger than words.  Your ability to make an impact or an impression decreases by 85% when your means of communication is typed or written.

Nobody likes traditional cold-calling, but if you are good at what you do, you believe in your product or service, and are able to effectively communicate the value-add that your product or service will have to the customer, than every time you pick up the phone or meet with a customer face-to-face, you have the ability to make a positive impact and leave an impression.  Mannerisms, tone, confidence, body language — every aspect of interpersonal communication that lead customers to want to do business with you — cannot be done by using social media or sending somebody an “InMail” or “Tweet” that says “Happy Holidays, Please Be My Client.”

As you think about how you want to tweak your sales and marketing strategy moving into 2011, I urge you to follow my suit and throw away your social media crutches also.  Use Social Media wisely to compliment your strategy — but for the love of St. Nicholas — get on the horn, hit the pavement, make an impact and leave an impression. 

May everyone have an incredible Holiday Season, a Happy New Year, and top sales performance in 2011!!!

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by Lisa Barone on 04/17/2009

 Out of Work

Are we really going to spend our entire Friday talking about Oprah’s caps locked Twitter debut? Or invest more time discussing Ashton Kutcher and his one million followers publicity stunt? Seriously? Do you ever think that we’re wasting far too much time on stuff that isn’t making us any money or helping anyone? And maybe that’s why you lost your job/can’t get clients/haven’t produced anything exciting recently?

For the past few months you’ve had an excuse for when life didn’t go your way. Every time you borked something that you were maybe never qualified to do in the first place, you had THE perfect excuse just waiting to be pulled out.  It was like the economy dug its own hole just so it could bail you out in your time of need. W00t!

You couldn’t pay your mortgage and your house was foreclosed on? Don’t worry, it wasn’t you, it was the recession. You lost your job and now you’re stuck at home cruising Twitter ‘looking for a new one’ all day? Don’t fret. It wasn’t you, it’s the recession. Can’t find new clients so you’re left bitterly blogging that clients suck and the frauds in the industry are stealing your dollars? Calm down, pretty, have a cookie and take a nap. It’s the recession.

Actually, it’s probably not the recession. It’s probably you.

On January 19th I became an entrepreneur, despite the crap economy. I stopped relying on a company to support me and my cats and instead learned to hunt for myself.  And because I’m smart and I work hard and I surround myself with people who challenge (and threaten) me, I haven’t gone hungry (yet). But I’m not alone.

Entrepreneurs are ruling this recession.

Why? Because they’re hungry and they’re motivated. That means they can’t spend their whole day getting caught in the fame game or in office politics. It means when they go to a conference or a networking event, they’re not there for the booze. They’re grabbing handfuls of business cards, talking to people, and then following up. And they don’t just say they’ll email you after the show. They really do. Actually, they email you as soon as they get home. They’re nurturing leads and finding clients and creating opportunities. They’re marketing themselves. They’re not tuning in to Oprah this afternoon to get Twitter tips from Ashton Kutcher.

In fact, there’s not even time to whine about how unfair the world is and how this recession is taking away their business. Because they’re out there finding business from places you wouldn’t have even thought to look. Or maybe you would have, if you worked as hard as they do. That’s the thing, people don’t want to work. They want a job and a paycheck. And those cushy jobs with those cushy paychecks are the first to go. Because really all those people are doing is taking up space. So it’s not so much that the recession came around and took your job, it’s that you allowed yourself to become expendable.

no whining

You want to ‘survive’ this recession? Stop talking about Oprah and do the following:

  • Learn something new. Go beyond your bubble and learn how to do something that makes you stand out. Be it HTML, PHP, blogging, SEO, etc. Whatever that one thing, or that combination of things, is that makes you more competitive and stronger than the person next to you – learn it and do it. Hard.
  • Work harder than everyone else. I don’t mean longer hours or just saying you’re working, I mean really work harder. In general, the working population has done a stellar job at getting lazy and thinking that job security was no less fictional than the Easter Bunny. There’s no such thing as job security, there never was. Unless you own your own company. If ‘job security’ is your fallback plan, well, then I hope you didn’t buy a house with that.
  • Do the leg work. Follow up on everything. Every lead, every call, every email. And do it in a timely manner. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t or why it’s not worth it. Just shut up and do it. You’ll never be anything more than what you are right now if you don’t take it. The only thing more frustrating when someone drops the ball is listening to all their excuses for why they dropped it.
  • Surround yourself with fighters. Most people are lazy and a waste of your time (sorry, but it’s true). Cut them loose and seek out the other fighters. They’re easy to recognize because they’re online at 3am just “finishing up”. They’re the ones who “get it”. They’re self-starters. They’re trying things, even if those things fail, they’re still trying them.
  • Take risks. We’re in a recession, right? Technically you have nothing to lose if everything is supposed to be shit anyway, right? Create that Web site you’ve secretly been wanting to. Launch that business. Just do it. There are a million reasons why right now is a bad time, maybe even the worst time, to get involved with a new venture. Ignore them all.
  • Shut up. Yes, you. Stop whining. This has been my biggest lesson as an entrepreneur. Yes, the hours suck, and it’s scary, and sometimes all I want to do is put a blanket over my head. But that’s too bad and not going to happen, so I should just shut up.  And it’s almost working. Rae and Rhea report my whine level is down to 85 percent, with 15 percent actual intelligible conversation! W00t, growth!

And before I get flamed, I’m not saying there haven’t been people legitimately affected by the recession. I know that there have. Good people who have lost their jobs because the economy is in the tank.  However, I think A LOT of people are beside themselves to finally have an excuse for why the world is out to get them. The world is not out to get you. There are rainbows and butterflies and bunnies all around you. You can either keep complaining how about The Recession is some Blob-like creature taking away your clients or you can break open the box, see it as an opportunity and create your own success. The choice is yours.

Have a killer weekend.  And stay away from Oprah.

Have you ever heard the old adage, “the plumbers are always the ones with the leaky faucets?”  Have you ever hired an Executive Search Firm/Staffing Company to help you find your talent and realize that you’ve been introduced to 4 different Account Executives/Recruiters in the last 4 consecutive quarters?  If I were to put myself in the client’s shoes, I would be asking myself, “How is this company going to help me protect key domain knowledge when they can’t protect their own?”

The Staffing and Recruiting industry is one of the top victims of high employee turnover, for numerous reasons.  In a world filled with non-compete clauses, staffing organizations are often forced to hire young, new employees that lack the required experience — specific to their industry and their respective verticals — in order to be successful and efficiently grow and effectively serve their client-base.

Every company that I work with that is proud to boast of a low-turnover rate has two things in common:

1) They recognize top talent

2) They pay for top talent

As IT staffing professionals, we are constantly preaching compensation best-practices to our clients in order to help them understand what they need to pay technical employees in order to reduce turnover and protect key domain knowledge.

In a world that has been tyrannized by Social Media and Web 2.0, you can bet your bottom dollar that your clients are paying just as much attention to your internal turnover and your LinkedIn profile as you are to theirs.

Take the time to align your internal practices with the ones that you preach to your customers, and protect both of your best interests.

Hello world!  I have finally turned over to the dark side and succumbed to  building a blog page.  I look forward to blogging and re-blogging creative and useful information pertaining to technical staffing, cutting edge Microsoft technologies, and sales & marketing best practices and methodologies.  While I jog my brain for an interesting first blog, please visit my company’s web-site at www.ensynch.com, visit my profile on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/bmbrennemanjr .