Comments (22)

  1. The “agitated reader” is here again. Actually I am just British, so incapable of commenting without appearing agitated to an American who cannot peer through a thick layer of sarcasm.

    “Fundamental elements of sales—as well as marketing—remain the same. Yet, there are tools combined with an emerging culture that are best embraced if business leaders don’t want to get left behind. After all, the Internet made its appearance over an entire generation ago.”

    This is a straw-man argument. No salesperson or marketing person IS ignoring those tools. I doubt there is a single salesperson in the entire world still cold-calling from the Yellow Pages or lacking a well connected LinkedIn account. But are the best salespeople in the world, the ones selling big ticket technology to Silicon Valley, the banks and the Fortune 500, blogging half of their day away to connect to new customers? No, they are picking up the telephone and, in-conjunction with social networks, Google, ZoomInfo and perhaps a couple of relevant blog postings per month they are connecting to the right people and selling millions of dollars worth of their stuff per year.

    All salespeople have embraced the Internet. I was using it in 1993 before any of my customers had email addresses.

    There are only 100-200 people in the world with the money, authority and the need to buy what I am selling. I don’t need 200,000 readers because 199,000 of them are not going to help me sell more stuff.

    Are we all supposed to just sit around blogging? Who will do the work?

    Social selling in a B2B context is largely unproven hype. The kind of fluff marketers love selling their CEO to keep their jobs for another few months. Eventually he wises up and fires their ass. That is why if you look on LinkedIn, CMOs have the shortest period of average employment of ANY C-suite executive.

    1. Let’s start here. I am Canadian, not American.

      You are a serious and well established big-ticket sales executive with a reputation to match. Your recommendations show they like and respect you. Bravo.

      You also have a history in technology, likley an early adopter. And the niche in which you thrive is very small with decision makers capable of signing serious cheques. Good for you.

      So, this material may not be for you. Several sales teams I’ve studied in the last year simply are not as advanced as you. Their LinkedIn profiles are incomplete…their photos might be missing or taken in university…and their prospects don’t answer their telephone. And don’t even bring up Twitter.

      This is unlike you who has many, many years of developed relationshps, probably with same-aged people who know your telephone number when it shows up.

      But what if you had to start over again? Would your friends pick up your phone or answer your email –just because Greg Grimer was calling?

      What if you had to re-establish yourself in a niche where you were unknown?

      Perhaps then you might agree that writing a blog to establish credibilty might serve your cause.

      Until then, it’s best not to lose your company or place in life.

  2. A number of months ago I had an opportunity for my first collaboration. It was inside an inner circle of a group and we had very specific guidelines. I was paired with an artist and together we created an on-line fundraiser auction. We were able to send 15 children with cancer to camp thru the donations and generosity of the artist community. It was an exhilarating experience and I picked up some new skills as well as a friend and a community along the way.

    1. Fantastic story, Ros. Everyone wins with collaboration. I’m wondering if you could also collaborate on some good marketing with a fashion store…hair salon…and shoe store?

  3. Research shows that we humans as a species have always thrived in an environment of co-operation and collaboration. Collaboration, to me, is about being in a supportive community, so I love hearing that it is now considered a great way to grow our business and that of those we collaborate with. As I am working currently incubating a TV series/Live Event project, I am collaborating with two other people who each bring their own strengths to the table. Alignment yes and follow-up always. Very key components in any kind of successful collaboration. Thanks for the great read again, Sharon.

    1. Thanks, Bev. Everyone wins with a great collaboration. I’m excited to hear more about your TV series as you go along.

  4. Excellent post Sharon and great list of tips to follow. I also agree that marketing isn’t just social or just your email list but a collaboration of all things… expand the footprint of your business I always say. Great read.

    1. We’re on the same page, Kristen. Thanks, again, for the great advice on writing snippets. That set me straight fast!

  5. I enjoyed this article. Also the comment and your reply above mine! I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 30 years and so have used both olden days methods and, sigh of relief, the ones we have available now. So glad to have this era’s tools to use.

    Great points about collaboration.

    1. I’m with you, Beth, on combining mature media with modern methods. Even picking up the phone!

      Yes -the feedback was fun this week. 🙂

  6. Your lessons on collaboration are sound ones. It is too easy to leap in and share from within a group out of a sense of responsibility to the group, without remembering the bigger responsibility to your bigger audience.

    I also believe that marketing is shifting its footing. People want to know more and spot a hard sell at a hundred paces. The “How To” and DIY market it booming and search results are shifting as people type in questions rather than simply keywords. I now think of marketing as Siri based rather than keyword based. People now ask questions and questions demand more than slogans to answer them.

    I get the issue around sitting around blogging your life away rather than doing the work and targeting audience. Everything in life and business needs moderation and a sensible strategy rather than leaping in purely for notches on a scorecard.

    1. I absolutely agree with comment, especially your last line. No question, writing a blog takes time, yet, the purpose is to keep our name in front of customers and prospects. A good mix of acquired and original content works well.

  7. I’m certainly enjoying this spirited conversation. I agree with Sharon that a blog or website is necessary in today’s market. It doesn’t mean that you have to sit around all day and write blog posts but it does give others a way to see if your business is a good fit and it gives you the chance to show your personality.

    1. I admit that writing a blog takes a lot of time, Sherri. Yet, the purpose is to keep our name in front of customers and prospects, so acquired content works, too.

      I do see that people respond more to original content more, though.

  8. It’s great to be able to see that collaboration is one of the keys to successful relationship building & therefore a ‘sales’ relationship (and I mean that in the loosest sense) can naturally develop as a friend to a friend to fulfill a real need. Appreciate your insight and culling information from industry influencers.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Everyone wins with a great collaboration.

  9. I “bought into” collaborative marketing before it was a thing. It’s just my personality to want to give to get. Those still living in the “dark ages” of always taking, taking taking may have some short term success by being loud and splashy but I’ll never go for their shiny objects 🙂

    1. I think collaboration has always been around, as well, Beth. We need to spot them, though. Way to go!

  10. Some great ideas here, Sharon. Being a new business, it’s hard to decide who would be best to collaborate with. However, I think my recent decision to further narrow my target market will help with that. I’m already seeing people step back, which is a good thing. Far more people have stepped forward.

    1. Great move to narrow your target market, Carol. This absolutely will reveal those potential partners –maybe in complementary areas– to collaborate with.

  11. Great presentation of the series of key variables or elements that are varied by those who want to collaborate as part of the customer offering and business productivity.

  12. Thanks for the article! Clear communication when collaborating is so important. I often have to remind myself to do this from start to finish.

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