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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Web 2.0 in Three Paragraphs

Kent Hammer, CEO of, a hot sales improvement outfit, asked for a short (3 paragraph) piece on how Sales Professionals can best use Web 2.0 without having it consuming all their waking hours for the current issue of “The Hammer Letter.”

LinkedIn (free version) is your personal website. Trick it out with photo, customized URL, and any websites and collateral you want prospects to know. Break the default “resume” format to something that is interesting for your prospects (They really don’t want to start with your “title and company.” They want what you can do for them!) Change the “what are you up to?” box every week so all your links get a weekly email that shows what you are doing for others.

The number of links are your power. When I saw that the real father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, has over 500 links, it was time to take action! The purpose of links is not showing off. They are very useful. Here’s an example: Recently, when the CEO of a federal contractor wanted to team with a software company that does neither online nor federal, he was repeatedly told the company had no interest. It took me three minutes to find the person in the company with the LinkedIn page that said “New Markets, New Products” and put the company in play. Our contact was a friend of a friend I had never met, but he was thrilled to get on our team.

Groups - For outbound credibility, I join groups that interest me and make a point of either starting or commenting on two discussions a week. I offer something useful to others and am amazed at the stream of people who check me out and identify themselves as wanting to buy something. This post is an example.