27 May: How Social Media Makes You a Smarter Seller

If you’ve been in sales for more than a year, you will have heard someone tell you that social media is a game changer. You will have heard about the power of nurturing leads through social media and the opportunities to identifying new ones. But have you heard how social media can make you a smarter seller?

Over the last few years, I’ve seen hundreds of sales reps go off to conferences and get inspired or motivated about social media. At these events they hear about the power of different channels and a few case studies talking about social…

20 May: Using “Acts of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement” To Get Ahead

In business, relationships are one of the most important assets you can own. The relationships we have with employees, clients, partners and vendors are key assets to our future employers and personal endeavors. Constantly striving to build and nurture these relationships is an important part of business.

Hank Paulson, the former United States Secretary of Treasury and CEO of Goldman Sachs formed a habit that professionals from all industries can learn from. In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Paulson claimed that he would call “60 CEO’s in the first week of every year to wish them Happy New Year.”

26 Apr: Event Follow-up Do’s and Don’ts

I attended a few events a couple of weeks ago. One was a smaller event where we exhibited and the other two were larger events where I attended for a few hours and walked the floor of exhibits. Since then I’ve been receiving a lot of follow-up emails from companies that were involved at these events. A lot of follow-ups. Following up is good, we did it too, but all of the contact got me thinking about the various tactics and how well they work. Here’s what I’ve observed:

Personal Is Best
If you come back from an…

11 Apr: Choosing the Right References Can be a Game Changer

The American Marketing Association published an interesting study on the value of business references in the buying process. Defining, Measuring, and Managing Business Reference Value defines the reference characteristics sellers value when providing client references to prospect accounts. The study also defines the reference characteristics valued by prospect accounts and their ability to positively influence these prospects. Conveniently, the factors chosen and valued by sellers and prospects are the same.

These are the factors identified in the study that affect the value of a client references, from most valuable to least valuable:

Client Size – Defined by both number…

29 Mar: Creating a great work environment

Every company says that people are their most important asset, but I’d argue it’s even more important for start-ups. In a new business you can be light on money or just getting started with customers, but you can’t move ahead without amazing talent. At Introhive I spend a lot of time recruiting and retaining the smart people who work here. This is what I’ve learned:

It’s about people not stuff. We’ve all been tempted in previous start-ups to focus too much effort on the stuff in the work environment. Do we have the right free drinks and snacks? It’s…

25 Mar: Three ways to build valuable relationships


We’re all in the relationship business. While it’s really obvious in sales, it matters for everyone. Whether you’re in sales, marketing, operations, ?nance or technology, successful people are those who can create, maintain and grow their internal and external relationships. We use relationships to achieve our goals, move projects along and expand our business. Here are three ways to build and grow your relationships.

Make a Plan – Successful people spend time planning out their goals and objectives for their life, their business, or their projects. Long term planning for the future means ?guring out people you want and…

22 Mar: Hiring a winning sales team

Most sales leaders and executives I talk to spend a lot of time recruiting and hiring. Consistent and quality hiring is the ?rst step in achieving sales results. When they’re recruiting, they’re looking for proven success, market or product knowledge, good sales skills and relationships that can be leveraged in a new role. It’s hard work. Like the executives we meet with, I also spend a lot of time hiring and recruiting sales people. Here’s what’s worked for me:

A little help from my friends – Rather than meeting strangers, evaluating them, and then checking their references, why not…

19 Mar: Why relationships trump resumes

Relationships have always been a critical part of how any company does business, especially when it comes to the sale and marketing of your service or product. Every single person has his or her own unique circle of relationships. Analyzing the relationships that exist within an organization can provide numerous benefits, including minimizing the need to cold call as well as develop a more qualified pool of potential sales leads. It can also provide human resource departments with an adept group of candidates for filling any vacancies.

There’s no question that internal referrals work. Larger organizations are taking internal job…

07 Mar: Not All Friends are Created Equal

A week or two ago I tweeted an article called The Average American Knows How Many People?. It quoted research that suggested that the average American knows about 600 people and “that most Americans know just 10 to 25 people well enough to say they trust them.” Interesting stuff. A good friend replied to my tweet and suggested that rather than research they could have just asked people how many friends people had on Facebook.

That got me thinking: does my social network reflect my true friend and business relationships and how does this apply to business networking and introductions?…

11 Feb: The Evolution from Social Media to Relationship Capital

There is a quote recycled on occasion on Twitter that is attributed to me. It’s goes like this:

“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” ~David Alston

It does sum up my view of social. Yes social media can be an engagement channel, a source of insight or a content distribution network. For me it’s magic has always been around the topic of relationships. The discovery, building and maintaining of relationships. Social media has done a great job reminding businesses about the power of relationships. It’s also shown business leaders that…