Why Reachable is not sending these “need to improve our Privacy and Data Policies” emails?

In the last few weeks, every Social Network, web service, advertiser, marketer and data company has been sending you emails announcing they were “improving” their privacy policy.  Indeed, they do need to improve it because for the last 25 years it seems that every web company was operating on the assumption that “Privacy was dead” (a statement attributed to Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, who since then has added $500B of value to FB…).  In fact, the Silicon Valley Credo was and still remains that PRIVACY SHOULD BE DEAD.

The impetus for this frenzy is the effective date (May 25th) of the stringent European Union regulations privacy (GDPR) that have come back like The Ghost of Past Human Values to remind web companies that people do care about privacy.  GDPR will soon become universally adopted by the web industry not just for European users but for ALL users. All that Reachable can say about that is: it’s about time!

I always thought that privacy was a good thing and it should be protected even if it interfered with user growth and profits.  Privacy is one of these things you don’t value until you lose it or someone else abuses it. Apple calls it a Fundamental Human Right.  I agree.

You might be surprised to hear that Reachable’s privacy policies and data policies have not changed much since we built the service.  It’s the web industry that is finally adopting our core principles. The idea that people should not have to give up their privacy and data to get a good web service was enshrined in our product from inception in 2008.  

On Reachable, you are not the product.

I’d like to remind you of what we do and don’t do with your data when you join:

  1. We ask you to upload your Contacts from as many sources as you want. It’s a one time thing.  We don’t automatically go back behind your back and constantly sync your contacts. You want to sync?  Click a button and do it. Do it 4-5 times a year, it’s enough (really). You don’t have to worry that just because you uploaded contacts that somehow you opened the gates to hell and we can just get in and do whatever we please.
  2. We store the name, title, address, phone number and email address of each of the contacts you upload. We don’t upload any notes or comments you may have on your contacts.  And we don’t read your email, we don’t need to track who you emailed when and what you wrote. Pretty much every web service thinks “let the user open the door to their data and take as much data as we can, we’ll figure out what to do with it later.”  Look, if we ever think of another service to offer you and we need more data, we’ll just ask for it.
  3. We don’t sell your contacts.  (Is that clear enough?)
  4. We don’t share your contacts with other users behind your back to help clean up their bad data.  Pretty much everyone else does that. We don’t do it because we are not in that business. Clients who have spent lots of time and money to clean up their data and upload it to Reachable don’t want their clean data to help others who did not make that investment.
  5. You can delete your contacts and go, anytime. We won’t keep a copy. Period.

So bottom line, you upload contacts, you use our platform to analyze them to see how they can help you connect to others.  The data you give us to analyze for you remains yours and you can take it back anytime. That’s it.

But there is more.  

A couple of years ago, we asked ourselves how do we remain true to these principles and allow people to work in teams and leverage their contacts as a team?  It’s a universal need — who hasn’t sent an email asking “does anyone know someone at XYZ company?” LinkedIn has grown so big and the number of connections people have accepted has increased so much that LinkedIn Connections are have become less and less useful for intros and referrals.  LinkedIn Connections is the new mailing list.

This was the impetus for “Reachable Teams.”  It’s a quick to way to create a private network of people who want to aggregate the power of their connections without giving out their contact data to other members of that network or to their company (as would happen if you upload you contacts to Salesforce.com).

Here’s how we created contact collaboration in Teams without compromising our principles:

  1. When you create or accept an invitation to a private Reachable Team, you can see the name and email address of the other members of the Team and the number of contacts they have in their Reachable contacts file.  But you can’t see their contacts.
  2. When you search Reachable as a member of Team, in addition to analyzing how your personal contacts can connect you to someone, Reachable analyzes the contacts of each of your Team members to find connections.  It shows you which of your Team members can be a helpful connector to someone you need to reach and whether they know your target or know someone who knows the target. Reachable does not give you the details (phone, email, etc) of your Teammates Contacts so you need to ask your Team member for the intro and the contact info.
  3. You can leave a Team anytime and remove your contacts from the private network, all with one click.

That’s it.

Laurent Ohana


The Shrinking Value of LinkedIn (Where are the Buyers?)

Why would one of the most prolific, contact rich people on Reachable ask us to remove more than 8,000 contacts from his Reachable account?

It’s the simple result of LinkedIn-automation, and fully expected and anticipated collapse of LinkedIn’s value as a Referral Engine.

If you are using LinkedIn by the book, then you are using it as a marketing tool, to amplify your or your company’s voice on this extraordinary social network.  Some companies give quotas to their salespeople for how many new connections they need to make on LinkedIn per month (Tens and Hundreds).  There are bots that will click on pages for you so that people who are glued to their “who viewed my profile” page can discover you and reclick on you.

Go through all these motions, and you too will accumulate 8,000 contacts.  

What is the value of these contacts?  If you import their email addresses into Constant Contact and email them something, will they have a high click-through? If you post something on LinkedIn, will you get a lot of these Connections to engage with your post by commenting?  And if you ask anyone for a referral based on a Connection path discovered by LinkedIn, will they do it?

I think the answer to the above is NO.  LinkedIn is not a marketplace for goods and services.  It is a marketplace for talent.  It has been invaded by an army of sellers, people who are hawking something.  But where are the buyers?  Everybody who is posting aggressively on LinkedIn is selling something.  But with no active buyers, sales automation on LinkedIn will piss off the people on the network who might otherwise been occasional buyers.

Enter Reachable.

Our team built a product that is intended to help you leverage the relationships that you got — by forming a private network with people you trust, by aggregating public or commercial data on the Companies and People you are tracking, and showing you the way that through your relationships you can move a sales conversation further — with referrals and insiders’ insights.

Today some of the most sophisticated companies are using Reachable to connect the dots between the people they know, as individuals or as enterprises, and the companies they would like to do business with.

Shouldn’t you be contacting us today to figure out why?

Laurent Ohana


Trust but Verify (Who You Hire)!

“With the advent of LinkedIn and many other smart recruitment tools, finding resumes of candidates is not an issue anymore.”  This was the conclusion that the head of a top Human Capital Management Venture Accelerator shared with me recently.  He is right.
Matching the right candidate to the job and company — that’s the key job right now.  There are lots of filters that can be applied to do proper matching, and machines can be really useful at reading hundreds of resumes, picking up keywords and concepts and narrowing a big list to a handful of candidates.  Of course, good recruiters perform the same function, usually better than machines.
This is where Reachable can help.  The firsts to notice (and tell us) were Talent Acquisition Partners in PE and VC firms.  VCs and PE firms have Talent Acquisition Partners because subpar portfolio talent leads to subpar IRR.  No need to explain to a PE or VC partner what subpar IRR will do to their lifestyle…
At some point in the recruitment workflow, you will receive a list of candidates. You will then need to check references.  It always starts with the 5 references you asked for.  But these volunteered references are always good.
So, you need to come up with your own references.  It’s hard, time consuming and really, really important!
You (if you are the Talent Partner) could post the resumes of all your candidates on a secure web site and ask every single one of your partners, LPs, portfolio CEOs and friends to check them out and give you a “like” or “don’t like” vote.  And if you do that, may be they will respond “hey, do your job and let me do mine, OK?”  You’d be left thinking that leveraging your firm’s network as a selection filter would be really valuable.  Isn’t there a way to use it without looking like you are off-loading work on everyone?
Reachable is being used by Talent Acquisition Partners to do just that.  Reachable will reveal who in your firm and its extended network has a professional connection to the candidates you are vetting.  Reach out to them and reduce the risk of a bad hire and protect your IRR.  Sure, you say, our recruiters will refund their fee or do a new search for no money. Really? Wouldn’t mitigating the risk with Reachable be better than relying on a refund? And look at the math: Cost of Reachable < Lost Carried Interest income for VC / PE (and lost profits, market share, etc for every other company.).  You just can’t afford to make a bad senior hire. Period.

Sales Automation will Soon Hit the Wall

Dear Friends,

If you Google “Fallacy,” one of the first results you will get is Fallacy of Composition.  It’s one of the best known fallacies, yet it would seem that anyone who (ab)uses marketing automation and cold calling tools has never heard of it.
Here’s an example:
  • If you stand up at a Football game, you will get a better view of the game.  If everyone stands up, no one will.
Translated into the Cold Caller’s lingo:
  • If you send me more emails, my open rate of your emails will increase.  If everyone did that, my open rate of everyone’s emails, yours included, would go down.
Hence, automation is contributing to the decline in effectiveness of many digital marketing tactics.
You see the problem now?  We are in this situation where everyone’s doin’ it but everybody knows it’s not really working.  But you have no choice till something better shows up.
Until that day when your “sales stack” can automatically sell to a client’s “buying stack”, the better mousetrap people have been waiting for is Reachable — but registered users of Reachable already know that…
Reachable automates the process of selling by referral — from colleagues, people you know and, ultimately, anyone willing to assist you (for a price or freely).  Reachable helps you set up a Team, create a list of Accounts and Prospects, identify who best to ask, and request an intro to or intel about an account.  Imagine running your key target accounts through our engine.
Use your Team (or create one now) by logging in to www.Reachable.com.  
Need the grand tour?  Ask for one here.

Cold Calling is Useless!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Prospects ask me “what can you do with a Collective Rolodex?”
I usually answer with one of these questions:
  • Have you ever sent an email around the office asking “who knows someone at XYZ, Inc., we are trying to win a big deal over there!”  
  • Are you one of those companies that has an intern or executive assistant with access to everyone’s LinkedIn passwords and charged with downloading them all into a big spreadsheet?
Now these are all examples of companies reacting to the lack of a Collective Rolodex.  Instinctively, everyone knows that if your work group or company had a way to leverage everyone’s contacts, it would lead to better outcomes.
In a highly competitive world, every service provider gets easily commoditized.
Are you really that different from your competitor? How will you get the sale or assignment or project?  
Relationships give you an edge with the information you need to win, and a foundation of trust to differentiate yourself.
This past week I was speaking to a CEO who manages a successful software services business that he grew to $20M in the last 3 years.  His secret? Nearly 100% of new business generation came from referrals from a network of “super connectors” linked into a Collective Rolodex with his sales team.  The sales team develops the target list, then runs it through the Collective Rolodex to discover how the Super Connectors could help with a referral.  To that CEO, building a strong network of Super Connectors is a key growth initiative.
With Reachable Teams, you can do it too.
Any Reachable user can create a Team with their Basic, Pro or Premium accounts, automatically becoming the Administrator for that Team.  As the Admin, you can invite anyone to your Team.  People from your organization or outside it — you decide.  So, if you want to invite people you know that would be happy to make introductions for a commission, or even just give you some insights about a target account as a courtesy, you can invite them to your Team with a simple click.
In a connected world, your company is as strong as its network.  
Reachable Teams give you an affordable way to build a Collective Rolodex to leverage that enterprise network.
Use your Team now by logging in to www.Reachable.com.