Every day, I read a lot of blogs and articles and it amazes me which topics are ‘re-purposed’. I take my hat off to Brass Tack Thinking for their post titled, “Social Business: Far Beyond the Like”. The sentence that really resonated with me was – “All of the presence tools are the visible tip of what should be a deep and broad social iceberg under your company’s surface.”
I do quite a bit of presenting to a wide range of audiences and once a quarter I present to a “group” (notice group, not just an individual) that doesn’t understand the basics of the Internet and Internet marketing. If we don’t take time to educate everyone rather than just the Internet intellectuals then we risk leaving many behind.
Yesterday I spoke to a group of juniors and seniors at Widener University. I have been doing this now for 5 years. I love interacting with the students to see what they understand about the medium they have grown up with and use at dizzying speeds. The change is dramatic and yet the biggest surprise is the lack of understanding about fundamental marketing principles which is precisely what the Brass Tacks post talks about – fundamental marketing.
Selling has always been about using new tools to engage with folks in an ever expanding network and the foundation is still the same. Have you taken the time to ask the pertinent questions? To exhibit caring? To talk about what I care about? This has always been the difference between good sales people and “great” sales people – they take the time.
Many years ago I was made a sales manager of a Yellow Pages team (remember them? Yeah. They used to actually print phone directories). Part of my job was to ride with the folks on my team to see how I could help them. This is an interesting proposition when one of the team has been selling for the Yellow Pages for over 30 years.
One day, I watched as a seasoned colleague went into a radiator repair shop and spent 45 minutes talking about his business and all kinds of other things. At about minute 30, he discovered that the owner had a salt water aquarium. For the next 15 minutes there was no other talk but the aquarium. If you’ve sold ads for as many businesses as this fellow, you get know a bit about a lot of things. Five minutes later we walked out with an order.
The ‘Like’ button is a shortcut to the start of an engagement. Do you have anything more for me? After you have attracted folks to your blog, Twitter, or Facebook page – what then? If you can’t answer that, your driving force is wrong. Decide what you want to do next and ask if it fits within the overall plan and goals of the organization. Let’s stop the ‘ready, fire, aim’ of social media once and for all.
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1285834