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]

Social Discovery of Business Relationships

Enterprises big and small are realizing that the capabilities introduced in consumer social networks can add immense value and productivity to the corporate world.  The growth in adoption of enterprise social networking tools like Yammer, Chatter and Jive is evidence that the way companies communicate internally among employees and externally with customers and partners is changing dramatically and permanently. (more…)

What the Yammer Acquisition Says About Microsoft – and Enterprise Social Networking

Editor’s Note: This article by Reachable CEO Al Campa was originally published on PandoDaily.

Much of the recent analysis on Microsoft’s $1.2B acquisition of Yammer focused on the slick application Yammer had built, their rapid viral adoption, and how it represented the assent of the social enterprise as the next hot category. (more…)

A Q&A on Social Proximity Selling

Editor’s Note: The Q&A below was conducted between Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing and Reachable CEO Al Campa.  It was originally published on the Heinz Marketing website.

Many forward-thinking sales professionals have built their own social selling platforms and strategies, but more and more start-ups are attempting to systematize and scale the execution and impact of relationship-based selling. Reachable is doing some particularly interesting things in this regard, and CEO Al Campa below shares some of his perspective on what social selling means and how to scale it. (more…)

Business is All About Relationships

Editor’s Note: The article below by Reachable’s CEO, Al Campa, was just posted on Startup Beat.

I’ve been in the technology business for more than 20 years, including a stint as an executive at Taleo, a leader in the talent management sector. The talent management industry is centered on people. But if you think about it, so is every other type of business. (more…)