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On You Will Probably Share This Without Reading It

This is a really interesting topic.  In responding to Robin"s question about whether it's wrong, the answer is it depends.

The issue is really "what do you want to stand for to your followers?  For example, I want to "stand for" pointing my followers to quality, provocative, and thoughtful content or points of view.  This means, I have to read every piece of content I tweet or RT. 

I would never think of tweeting something I haven't read or that doesn't fit my assessment as quality content.  Likewise, I would never use any of the automated tools like Triberr, etc. because I would be betraying the implicit commitment I've made to my followers.

Does it pay off?  It seems to for me--at least I get feedback from followers who "get" and appreciate what I'm doing.  Does it take time, Yes--but if I want to provide quality impactful content to my followers, aren't I obligated to take the time.

Where motives seem very transparent, those who position themselves as "quality content curators," who autotweet a chicken soup recipe, or some other nonsense.  They've betrayed the "relationship," and betrayed motives around escalating the volume of noise, etc.

But using those tools, not reading the content, etc. will work for people who have a completely different engagement strategy.  And that will attract followers who appreciate that.

June 12, 2013    View Comment    

On A Missed Customer Service Opportunity (Oh No, United)

Jem, Paul:  Great comments and thoughts.  I'm a big (now bigger) fan of Dave Carroll. 

Jem, in response to your thoughts, all the people were very polite and courteous.  They understood the situation and did what the could.  I think the issue is more systemic in the informaiton United (and other airlines) give their agents.  I think they give agents very restricted information, so the agent's ability to help the customer is limited.  For example, when I first learned of the problem and sought to go back onto my original flight, the agent said there were no seats on the original flight and the standby list (even with my high placement on it) made things look very questionable.  About 10 minutes before that flight was scheduled to depart, I passed the gate.  Out of curiosity, I checked with the gate agent.  He said, they had boarded lots of standbys and had I gotten on the list when I originally attempted to, I would have likely been seated.

What happens, is the airlines only make seats available at a certain time.  While the agents can see it, they can do nothing with it. I could go on (as you might guess, I had hours of idle time to start researching the airlines).  But I really think the issue is more systemic than individual agents.

It points out a fundamental issue on customer service that I think too many companies miss.  Regardless how well you train your agents to deal with upset customers, if you don't give them the informtaion and tools they need to be really helpful, then there are limits to what they can do.  What's worse, is these poor agents bear the brunt of the customer ire.

July 5, 2012    View Comment    

On Who Are You Building Your “Customer Experience” For?

Gregory:  I'm not sure I agree with you.  I think many companies are getting it right--or at least on the path to getting it right.  There are examples  of large companies that create good customer experiences.  Those that are successful have a culture of customer  centricity--driven from the top, throughout the organization.

October 2, 2011    View Comment    

On Who Are You Building Your “Customer Experience” For?

Glen:  Great comment and observations.  I'm not sure I intended to describe  the sales person as a conduit to all customer interactions and experience.  I think there are probably many good designs for customer experience.  What you do describe--which is part of what I was trying to write about, is that too many organizations design the "customer experience" based on their internal needs, efficiencies, etc, not based on making it easy/attractive for the customer to buy.

If one of our goals is to expand our wallet share of customers, it seems that we should do everything possible to make it easy to be a customer.  That's making it easy to buy, easy to get answers, etc.


October 2, 2011    View Comment    

On Relationships Don’t Get You The Order!

Thanks Gregory

July 25, 2011    View Comment    

On Sales Drivel: When Will Sales People Stop This Insanely Stupid Behavior?

Thanks Pat, it's a shame that millions of dollars and hours of time are wasted in alienating customers and prospects.  When will managers learn?


May 15, 2011    View Comment    

On Buyer Persona’s — A Great Starting Point For Sales!

Ardath and Tony:  Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post---you both were inspirations in writing it.  Too few sales people understand the power of leveraging personas to accelerate their abilities to connect in meaningful ways with their prospects and customers.

Likewise, I think too many marketers view personas as a tool for marketing—for building content, nurturing and communications strategies.

Marketers and sellers need to work together to leverage the power of personas in all their efforts.

Perhaps, together, we can start driving this change.

May 10, 2011    View Comment    

On Price Is NEVER The Only Decision Criteria!

Dale, thanks for the comment.  Unfortunately, I won't be at the conference--sorry to miss it.

I'm not sure budgetary pricing is addressing the issue I'm thinking of.  There are times early in the cycle where you need to provide budgetary pricing.

My key issue is too many people stop at price when they are understanding the customer's criteria.  The customer will always respond with price.  It is their "moral obligation" to do so.  The sales person can't stop the conversation there, they have to say, "I understand pricing is key, what other things are you looking at, as well?" Then they must wait.

Thanks for the comment Dale.

April 22, 2011    View Comment    

On Losing A Mentor: A Fond Farewell to Mack Hanan

Adrienne:  Thanks for the thoughtful comment.  Mack and I were having a lot of conversations about the Future of Selling.  I suspect he may have had another book in mind ;-)

He was an exciting person to work with and learn from.  He was always eager to learn himself and explore new ideas.

By the way, I should thank you for the editing---his books are classics---extraordinarily well written.  Still references that I use almost daily.

Finally, you may be interested in looking at a blog post I wrote on Selling At An Inflection Point  (Much of the conversation Mack and I were having).  I cite the last inflection point being driven by Mack and Neil Rackham.

Thanks for remembering Mack!

April 14, 2011    View Comment    

On Adventures with LinkedIn

Colin:  Thanks for the comment.  All these things are great tools, but also present great temptations for bad behaviors.  Like anything, they can be well used or poorly used---but it reflects on the sales person.

I do have to admit, my Twitter Feed is tied to LinkedIn.  Possibly I should reconsider???  Thanks for getting me to think about my own bad behaviors.

April 1, 2011    View Comment    

On Who Owns The Customer?

Marshall, thanks for the thoughtful comment and great idea.  Clearly, organizing itself around customer centricity and responsiveness will create new designs, differing metrics, and new possibilities.  We are seeing virtual teams being organized in ways like you recommend--creating some very compelling results with global accounts.  Clearly much need be done.

Thanks for the great comment!

March 11, 2011    View Comment    

On Are You Selling To Where Your Customer Is Going To Be?

Wilson, Robin:  Great point--you actually added a twist I hadn't been thinking of when I wrote this.  I'd been thinking about where the customer needed to be strategically--intersecting customer where they buy is critical--and they are increasingly making buying decisions on the web.  Thanks for the comment.  Dave

March 9, 2011    View Comment