Showing posts with label networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label networking. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Don't Be A Tool, Be A Resource


With all the tools we have at our disposal, the greatest one lies just behind your eyes and between your ears. Your thinking self. Your mind. Your mind provides you with the ability to transform thought into memory, and long term memories into constant resources.

Taking this all a step further, we're not only resources to ourselves but to others as well. Our ability to think interpersonally helps drive us to be all we can be. We weave ourselves into the tapestry of our lives and our business. 

In business though, it's not enough to want it, you have to sell it. You have to ask:  Am I a tool or am I a resource? Am I acting for the sake of what somebody wants or expects, as quickly and long forgotten as a unitasker, or am I the resource:  the person always remembered for contributions to peers, to the industry, and ultimately, to the world-at-large.

Be a resource for your peers.


Helping them understand a different point of view, helps everyone. And since not everyone learns the same way, read, write, & explore new ways to envision the world around you. 

Be a resource for your business plan.

Walking the straight and narrow is a helluva lot easier than making waves, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't splash around. Take an innovative approach to your business model.


Be a resource for your customers and clients.

Today's customer may want a quick fix, but that's not all they want. They want to know more. They want to be more. They want to inspire and be inspired. And since you're the customer too, help others be the game changer you want to be.

Be a resource for your industry.

Profit keeps the business model alive. Given. But when you put money first, you've burdened the industry with the chore of ignoring you for fear you're always trying to sell something. When, in fact, all you're trying to do is be the change you want to see in the world.

Be a resource for the World.

We live, every moment, with each other. And at the end of the day, we can sell for the sake of profit or we can sell whatever makes the world a better place to live in, now and in the future. Reinvent sales and change the story.

Be a part of the story. It's your story. And whether you choose to or not, it doesn't matter because you're already a part of the world around you. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. Ready. Set. Go.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Social Media: A Sales Perspective

I originally wrote this piece from Market Integration's website as:

Social Media - A Salesperson Perspective

posted Aug 23, 2011, 3:51 PM by Stirling Morris   [ updated Dec 12, 2011, 3:12 PM ]


We're all salespeople.  Whether you're a mom trying to explain to your child why practicing good hygiene is important or you're a CEO out to lunch with a new investor prospect, we all have something to sell.  Some of us are really good at it and some of us aren't.  But most of us don't even realize we're selling until our client (or child) agrees or disagrees with whatever we've pitched.

No matter who you are or what you do, social media is a not only a tool for networking but for selling.  Unfortunately, not every company has learned this lesson.  I actually had a General Manager of a sales company in the construction industry once tell me, “Networking must be limited to assure it does not take any time away from selling.”  I don't think he realized the power of social media in sales and networking.

I was asked by a Retail Sales Manager within the same company for advice regarding networking; particularly through social media.  After spending years as a sales / product representative in the construction industry, here are some of the finer points I offered:
  • In addition to joining professional organizations, social media is the key to business relationships for tomorrow to keep you informed when you can't be present or just to stay up-to-date with industry activities
  • Connecting and engaging with individuals and businesses on facebookLinkedin, Google+, and Twitter is vital to a successful, long-term relationship with tomorrow’s customers.
  • Most importantly, actively participating (e.g. joining groups, asking questions and giving answers) is the best way to make social media successful and you potentially seen as a Thought Leader. You can’t just create a social media profile / page and expect customers to come knocking. If people don’t see you engaged, they won’t follow back. And, if you only promote yourself, your business, or your services, you are committing sales suicide and will often be hidden or blocked by your customer's (or potential customer's) social media feeds.
Social Media helps us grow as people by creating interactive dialogue when a phone call or in-person visit or meeting isn't feasible.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We Are All Children on facebook

The recent social media frenzy of people taking opposing positions on gun control after the Sandy Hook massacre reminded me of something I've been thinking about for quite some time. We are all children on facebook. All of us. This is true for social media across the board, but facebook (perhaps because it has over 1 billion users as of 2012), brings out the worst in our interpersonal communication skills.

We are all having to relearn how to communicate with each other through social media.  Personal networking, on facebook in particular, is like being in an elementary school yard playground.  There are different attitudes, cliques, and social perspectives.  All of them impact our interactions online and sometimes even in person.

Facebook is like a toy.  Perhaps what you call a toy is called a tool by some. It can be a tool to learn from, but a tool becomes a toy when it becomes a distraction.  When was the last time you let a week or even a day go by without logging into, reading about, or hearing someone talking about facebook.  

Perhaps it's because we all have different reasons for using facebook.  For most of us, it is about making and maintaining personal connections with new and long forgotten relationships.  But, just like our face-to-face relationships, we have to learn (or re-learn) why we want to connect or even stay connected.  So, what are some ways we can improve our facebook interpersonal communication skills?

Be transparent
Say (comment, post, share) thoughts you would also say in person.  Since thought is nested in speech (and our written communications), there is nothing wrong with speaking (or writing) what's on your mind.  It's easy to be a social media lurker or hide behind snide comments and smiley faces. But if you are transparent, you will soon learn who your online friends really are. 

Take time to read
If you see a comment from someone that relates to an article, read the article before formulating a response.  Comments and quotes taken out of context demonstrate a desire to share but not necessarily a complete depiction of someone's thoughts or intent.

Take time to write
Don't be a victim of the texting mindset.  Facebook offers you a place to form complete thoughts that aren't limited by characters or time.  Even if you're a lousy speller, use punctuation and capitalization correctly to avoid misinterpretations.

Spam happens
No one likes spam in their inbox, so why would you want it in your facebook feed?  By writing, "Touchdown!" you're assuming one, we're watching the same football game, and, two, that we even care about football.  It's okay to say what you feel on facebook; just make sure the rest of us know what it is you're talking about.

Your wall vs your friend's wall

How would you like it if I showed up to your house for dinner, and, while you were cooking, told you how stupid it was to be cooking the way you were?  It's one thing to voice an opinion on your own wall (and expect that others will disagree), but it's quite another to berate people on their own wall. 

Don't take it personally
Unfriending on facebook is not the end of the world just as friending on facebook doesn't create (or re-create long lost) friendships. I have developed many wonderful, meaningful online relationships with people I've never met. Conversely, I've connected online with people I've met in person and ultimately unfriended them.  

You can't possibly predict how others will react to what you say on facebook. But, if you are transparent and true to yourself in your thoughts and actions, you'll soon learn who your real friends are. 

What interpersonal communication skills have you learned from facebook?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thinking About Tomorrow's Marketing

Finding the right person or outsourced business partner to effectively market a company is critical to business success. Marketers represent the constant public face for a company's brand and image even before salespeople get involved.

So what does a business consider when conversing with a person or company that claims to live and breath marketing?

Being on the cutting edge of marketing

Marketers, in today's technological world, need to be on the cutting edge of what’s coming out the day after tomorrow, not just tomorrow.  When conversing with marketing partners or marketing employee candidates, a business shouldn't let the conversation spin around how to leverage today's technologies and online resources. This is an important consideration, but, even more importantly, a business should also ask what technologies and online marketing resources are coming the day after tomorrow.  

An effective marketing person needs to have gone beyond just reading and conversing about tomorrow's resources. Marketing people need to be using online marketing resources in Beta form. Even if the technology or online resource goes bust, at least the marketing person was there to see it rise and fall and learn from it. Innovation and technology are so intertwined any more, that this will give a business insight into whether the person they're talking to has marketing know-how.

Letting go of fads and fashion

It's not about Android being better than Apple or Google+ being better than facebook.  Each of these corporations pride themselves on being innovative and are continously working to strengthen their Research & Design departments to improve the technological world of tomorrow.  

It is, however, important that a marketing person or company understand all of the technology and resource options that each one of these corporations offer, even if they don't use them personally or professionally.  Apple makes great products and has done a tremendous job on being at the forefront of tablets.  So much so, that I know many business people that refer to all tablets as iPads in conversation.  Beware of fashionable technology.  Blackberries were considered the cat's meow in the business community but where are they now?

Networking, online and off

Being engaged online is an obvious must for marketers.  A good marketing person or company should be on, if not just aware of, every engagement platform online.  Like volunteerism, an effective marketing person will be actively interacting, not just signing up for the sake of signing up.  

But, when it concerns marketing without the internet, it seems a lot of marketers may fall short. Holding clout online is important, but it doesn't mean they can represent a business in face-to-face situations. A marketing person needs to write well, speak well, and make effective presentations. If a marketing person can meet this minimum criteria, everything else will fall into place.


There are many important considerations when trying to incorporate the right marketing employee or partner for a business.  The best marketing fit is the one that is actively engaged, not married to one type of technology, and one that never stops thinking about tomorrow.