around the blogosphere: 11-16
nokia's "2.0 is about..." viral video

social interactions: sales and marketing

Heads Up - while this post starts as a rant about annoying salespeople, about halfway through there is some great social media advice

10 Commandments of Ineffective Sales People

  1. Smile
  2. Close
  3. Close
  4. Close
  5. Close
  6. Close
  7. Close
  8. Close
  9. Close
  10. Close

I am not kidding.  Over the past few weeks I have had more salespeople than I care to count do the following things when meeting with me or my team:

  • lie  
  • spam
  • accuse  
  •  talk down to me or my team on areas we are VERY familiar with (twice)
  • oversimplify (often)
  • misrepresent (often)
  • abuse trust
  • misquote me
  • not take "we don't have any present opportunities but please keep in touch" as an answer
    • I don't know what prompted these interactions, but after speaking with other people in the industry I have learned that these are not unheard of events.

Effect: While I may utilize the solutions provided by some of these companies because they best meet my needs, I would never want to deal with their salespeople again.  Additionally, I would never recommend them to friends or co-workers in the business.  Unnecessary unpleasantness need not be the cost of doing business. 

On the other hand, I have had well over a dozen positive meetings and other interactions with sales partners.  These interactions were with salespeople that were:

  • courteous
  • appreciative
  • respectful
  • professional
  • helpful
  • knowledgeable (about their offering - nearly half of all salespeople I meet with aren't)
  • fun
  • personable

I always look forward to running into these people again.

Bottom Line: Sales is a business oriented a social interaction. 

Takeaways For Social Marketers

Social interactions and their ensuing relationships are only as strong as the least interested party wants the relationship to be.

Which sales approach do you believe best describes your brand?

Consider the value of the conversations and relationships you are building.  Who is the least interested party?  Who is putting more into these relationships?  Who has more interest in the continuity of this relationship?

How interested do you believe your average joe is in having an ongoing conversation with a brand? 
How about with an automated machine representing a brand?
How about with noone at all?

Look at any brand website:

  • How easy is it to locate an instant-on chat with a representative? 
  • How easy is it to locate a direct dial customer support phone number? 
  • How pleasant is this conversation?
  • How hard is it to have this conversation (approximate time until you can speak with a real live human)
  • Would you want to be friends with someone who took this approach towards their social interactions?