Why Your Sales Department Should Hire a Blogger
Sean Park, says that CEO’s are “evolutionarily ill-adapted”. I agree and will go a bit further and say that many sales and marketing departments are as well. Nowhere can you better see this than in financial sales. I remember being at Citi at the same time that the “social” web was really getting started, and wondering why the hell I was cold calling these people with no particular rhyme or reason, who most of the time didn’t want to talk to me. My “website” was filled with BS sales articles and looked like every other Citi advisor;s site. To publish something that I wrote, it would have to go through a days long compliance process, where if your article was intelligent, it would have immediately been shot down. And while some regulatory burdens “prevent” them from talking to the public, their sales strategy was preventing salesmen to sell.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, these days the conversations are had on the web, increasingly more in real time. In this new landscape, the good salesman will not be on the phone all day, but the web and those who can reach out and touch the most prospects will win. Who’s on the web more often and has successfully sold on it already? Bloggers.
Bloggers should be the ideal prospect for a position in your company’s sales department, if you want to win on the web. They are experienced at sales and they have enormous real time networks.
Bloggers are Experienced Salesmen
Anyone who has written and maintained a blog with any level of readers has, at some point, “sold” his/her blog. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nobody likes talking to themselves so the first logical step is to go out and get readers. This is not easy. You have to be real, you have to be social, and most importantly you have to go out and find a market for your message. Most bloggers understand the concept of the link economy, and if you have a decent readership its likely that you have succesfully navigated it. They understand the social fabric of the web, how you have to converse on it, and successfully have targetted, built, and expanded a market for thier message. They’ve already run a successful campaign.
So if you plan to do any business in this new environment, I would recommend matching up a good blogger with great products.
Bloggers have Enormous Real-Time Networks
In my short period of time on this planet, I have noticed that the best salespeople really understand the concept of networks. They understand that markets are conversations and they have spent their life building relationships and talking to people. They have established themselves as a hub in the network of relationship that took years of being helpful and social to create.
These days, the web is changing the social network framework. Thinking about spacetime physically and not informationally is wrong. I am not a wildly successful blogger, but through my blog and twitter I can reach out to hundreds of people in almost real time who then can reach out to thousands. As a blogger if there is a market for your message, and you have a good network, the network will help your message find its market faster. Imagine talking on the phone with a hundred people then them talking on the phone w/ a hundred people. How long would that take? While bloggers’ digital networks may not be as rich as the analog networks of past, they are quicker, larger, and are better equipped for 21st century sales.
Some may question the “ethics” of a blogger selling for his company, but those arguments are made by people who don’t get how you sell on the web. Look at Fred Wilson or Howard Lindzon.They always are selling the companies they invest in, but you can tell they are genuine and they have spent a long time building rapport talking about interesting stuff with interesting people (they also have great products). They have mastered how you sell on the web, which is not some lame “pitch” loaded up with corporatespeak, but just being real, awesome, and helpful, and in turn they ask for a little help back. There is nothing wrong with people helping people, everyone needs help and bloggers understand that sales is a two way street, a conversation.
DISCLAIMER: I am an unemployed blogger, and yes, of course I’m selling myself (Shock! Horror!).