It’s All About Relationships (& My Holiday Message)

I hope you are not reading this on Christmas Day!  But if you are, I will keep this short to allow you to get to more important things.

The last 2 weeks of December are an odd time for people on the revenue generation side of businesses (aka Sales, Business Development, Deal Makers, etc.).  For most businesses, it’s the last 2 weeks of the business year and the pressure to make the quarterly number and/or the annual number or close that deal are intense.

At the same time, pressures from family and loved ones to disconnect from work are intense.  And the fact that every work team has someone on vacation on the third week or fourth week of December, or both, does not help productivity.  And if you are doing business across the world, it’s even more tricky.  Sure, with laptops and smart phones it does not matter if people are at work.  Not true, things slow down still and everything is more complicated.

How do you get through it? Rely on your relationships.

At work, there are people you can count on that will go the extra mile to get the project done now, get the contract out today, stay an extra hour or respond to an email from the other side of the globe in the middle of the night.  In your business network, there are people on the other side of the phone or email, who will process the invoice today, sign the contract now, review the proposal today, because you asked.  And at home, there are people who will forgive you (again) for a promise half-kept to really disconnect.

That’s who you can count on.

Our Team at Reachable understands that we are here because you, our clients, users, collaborators and friends went the extra mile for us, encouraged us and contributed to our successes.  So, Thank YOU!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Laurent

(Excerpted from the Reachable Newsletter of 12/25/14)

Networking: Is it a bad thing?

It’s December, the holidays are upon us and there are parties everywhere.  Now, I love parties as much as the next guy but I can think of a few friends who are truly compulsive party-goers.  About one of them we might say “John is a networker,” with a bit of better-than-thou attitude.  It’s as if meeting people and having a great time at party is OK, but going to the same party with the intention of meeting as many people as possible and going home with lots of business cards appears less than genuine.

Genuine is a key word in selling.  It’s a rare quality, though.  If you are too aggressive and don’t appear genuine, you will not garner the trust needed to close a sale.  But if you try too hard to appear genuine, you will reveal that this is your modus operandi and lose the trust.  So, bottom line naked aggressiveness won’t work, and aggressiveness cloaked in fake genuineness does not work.  This relationship stuff is hard — an art, not a science.

The compulsive networker has gone online now as well.  He is that guy who boasts “10,000 followers on LinkedIn”.  Do you want to be Connection #10,001 to that guy, or Connection 367 to someone with 366 Connections?  And what about you, will you accept any incoming connection request as a matter of principle, or will you be selective? Do you make the requester wait and sweat it out a bit, or do you accept right away?  Do you personalize the request or just send it?  Networking on a social network often feels as if you emigrated to a new country and had to rebuild your life from scratch, redefine who you were.

Except that you are still here and you have a network, so use it as best as you can.  Reachable uses similar tools to those employed by the giant social networks but it puts these tools in the service of your existing rolodex.  Think of it as having the power of Big Data analytics attached to your rolodex, constantly analyzing it to figure out how your relationships, from the web or real life, can lead to insights and introductions to the people and companies you want to reach.  That’s the big idea behind Reachable (or at least one of them!).

Happy Holidays!

Laurent

[Reprinted from the Reachable Newsletter Dated December 18, 2014]

Creep Factor in Social Networks, not with Reachable

At a business meeting recently, one of my favorite subjects came up: the Creep Factor in Social Networks.

The successful SN’s have become successful businesses because they managed an incredible feat: to simultaneously grow their audience and monetize it by encouraging people to share as much as possible about themselves.  Their mantra is share, share, share and, while that is going on, the SN is observing you, quantifying you for advertisers and engaging you with endless email reminders of why you need to keep on sharing.  It’s a great business, a money printing machine, why didn’t think of it!

But it’s kind of creepy.

So, as we ponder the Consumerization of the Enterprise, will the Creep Factor from the consumer SN’s be imported into the Enterprise?  Gmail managed to go enterprise without too much fracas.  But what about the SN’s whose raison d’etre is to monetize User Generated Content?

Take LinkedIn: it makes money by selling access to the resumes of its members to recruiters.  If I were to use and pay for LinkedIn as my enterprise relationship analytics platform — my collective rolodex, I would be paying for a tool that is responsible for the most successful employee poaching scheme ever invented.  Hmm… Take another example.  You may be happy that your sales team is on LinkedIn amplifying the messages that the marketing department comes up with.  At the same time, if one of your salesperson connected on LinkedIn with a potential customer with whom he’d just had a great sales meeting (the new norm nowadays) but one of his buddies (working for a competitor) happened to notice the new connection and stole the deal from you, how would you feel?

That is why at Reachable, the default setting is PRIVATE.  We keep our users’ data private and our enterprise clients’ data private, and we don’t enable the publishing of data to the outside world thus avoiding prickly compliance issues.  With Reachable you can boost the power of your personal rolodex with the power of Big Data analytics, and you can create Private Contact Networks with colleagues at work but one thing you don’t have to deal with is… the Creep Factor!

[Republished from the Reachable Newsletter dated December 11, 2014]