I have the best network in the world – by far !!

Posted by Chris on June 23rd, 2012

When Kelly Kim of  Twylah was asked recently ( for Inbound Marketing Summit 2012 ) what defined Internet Influence she referred to someone else’s definition which was that REAL influence generated ACTION amongst the influencer’s ” followers “.

An action could be anything from liking, favouriting, sharing or RT’ing something through signing up for a newsletter or something to attending an online or offline seminar to actually buying something and everything in between.

Amongst the characteristics of a great influencer ( Kelly commented ) was the tendency to share not only their own ( original ) content but also other people’s content.

She often recommended doing ” Things you would do normally ” like ” saying Good Morning and Good Night “. Kelly is one of the best
” Community Manager’s ” I have come across.

I like the definition of an influencer as someone who generates an action in their audience but the reason that I have the best network in the world is because MY network does business. We SELL STUFF !! Of course we don’t ram stuff down people’s throat. We are not in your face, pushy, salespeople but we DO have a goal and an objective ( on behalf of our clients ) which is ultimately, for example, to generate orders, revenue and profits for our clients.  I say for example because some of our clients might not want orders, per se , they might just want, for example, more users, more subscribers or more likes.

You probably didn’t even know that we SOLD STUFF ?? ( That’s because a) We don’t push stuff to people that are not interested in it and b) we research before we approach so you are highly unlikely to get an approach or a suggestion from us that you are not interested in or is not of value to you.

Most of us came from ” old school ” sales and marketing roles in companies that were regarded as leaders in Sales and Marketing. I am talking about companies ( that you would know ) like IBM and Rank Xerox. If you are too young for these companies then try Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard. Yes, these companies are old school now but they were amongst the pioneers of modern sales and marketing techniques.

As those with some years experience in Sales and Marketing will know there was a lot of ” Push ” Marketing and Sales in the ” old days “.  What do I mean by that ??? Well to get people’s attention we advertised, we mailshotted, we ” cold called “, we made appointments and we had clever interview and sales techniques – we closed deals that way.

You must remember that we didn’t have lots of things that are taken for granted these days. Our ” communications channels ” were (snail) mail, the phone, maybe the fax and computers ( or computer terminals ) that accessed customer and prospect databases from our ” datacentres “. There were only just Personal Computers, only just mobile phones, no extensively available Internet, no easy to use CRM software. We did not work from home.

Now we still have the option of advertising ( in various places – tv, radio, print, social networks etc ) , we can still mailshot, we can emailshot, we could faxshot if we wanted to, we can pick up the phone and cold call BUT we can also put up a website and make sure it can be found; we can blog; we can build networks on various Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin and we can research online, using many different tools. We can also use tools like Skype to connect and present at very low cost.

So, in broad terms, instead of ” Pushing ” ourselves on the prospects we can ” Pull ” them towards us using ” Inbound Marketing “. We have many more potential communications channels to add to the phone, mail and email.

Now we use Google, Social Networks and other tools to research. We listen for relevant conversations across multiple social media channels

and bring that information into sCRM ( Social CRM ) software.

We track visitors to the websites that we build. We communicate with the subscriber lists that we have built up for our clients on websites and social media pages. We encourage people towards our clients e.g. Facebook and Twitter pages and then we engage with them. We build landing pages and call to action pieces. We build Internet ” Real Estate ” ( Websites, blogsites, social network pages ). When our clients are Found by prospective customers and converted into higher level prospects we use analysis software to see what worked and how it worked.

All the time we are moving toward our goal of getting more prospects and customers for our clients. We call THIS – ACTION !!!!

Database Marketing in the Social Networking age

Posted by Chris on March 28th, 2010

When I started LanSwitch ( which became Voyager ) in the early 90’s I set aside a bedroom for an office and on my desk I had a telephone, a fax machine and a laptop ( initially not connected to the Internet , later connected with a dial-up connection ) with Office and a Contact Manager application and a printer. Luxury, I thought because it was the same as I had at Fibernet and much better than I had at Memorex.

My target market was basically: Companies that had busy Local Area Networks; that were in either The Midlands ( where I lived ) or London ( where I could easily commute to and knew people ). So, I basically targeted a combination of London based Financials and other general companies in London and the Midlands. I think I bought the Computer Users Yearbook as my basic database. ( Actually a very comprehensive and detailed source of information ).

I went through the process of identifying a target market and building a database of prospects and suspects many times over during my sales and business start-up career.

Typically now I will segment by horizontal ( size of company ), vertical ( type of company ) and geographical ( location ) and then various other factors eg structure of company, people within that company eg IT Managers etc etc.

Then a database can be purchased which is targeted and therefore typically lower cost than purchasing 1000’s of contacts many of which are not within your target market.

There are many database suppliers these days so it is possible to get some great offers on targeted data.

The equipment side has obviously come on in 17 years but not incredibly so – broadband and wi-fi; scanning software and fax software; CRM versus Contact Management; softphones ( eg Skype ) and video conferencing ( Skype, Webex etc ); standalone traditional and IP phones;printers. 

Where there has been enormous progress has been in Internet search and Social Network Marketing.

If you know what vertical you want to concentrate on eg Lawyers in Staffordshire you will find much of the information that you need online via Google or some other search engine.

With great timing ( !! ) I have just been reading this article about Linkedin


that I picked up on Twitter ( posted by Jon Besag who is in sales at Linkedin 😉

This is well worth a read for many reasons. 

This article includes comments about in house and external recruiters using Linkedin to find the people that they/thier clients are looking for . There certainly are a lot of recruiters on Linkedin – in fact when I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is a Linkedin trainer he told me that there were about 68,000 people on Linkedin who called themselves recruiters ( I just did a Linkedin search for ” Recruiters ” and got about 48,000 ) and that there were probably about 100,000 because a lot of recruiters did not call themselves recruiters.

I used this fact recently to help a company that I am working with, who are selling multi job board posting software, to target recruiters. From a small, personalised ” mailshot ” to selected Linkedin recruiters we got a few very positive responses and made a proposal to one within a week and got an order from it.

Recruitment is an obvious thing to do on Linkedin but  as said in the article ” The obvious one is jobs, but it’s not just jobs. It’s also clients and services.”

For me the goal is to make a ” personalised ” approach to potential clients and ” personalisation ” requires research. The difference between what you can do now and what you could do 17 years ago is that you can gather far more information on people and companies before you make any approach whatsoever.

If you combine a targeted database with internet and social media search then you have a fantastic tool to help you personalise your ” intelligent ” marketing and sales approach.





If you are a member of eg Ecademy, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed,Skype or MSN then each of these have thier own search facilities – some more sophisticated than others.

Just today I was asking someone how they prospected on the Internet and they said Linkedin, Skype and MSN.

Using a combination of Internet search and Social/Business networks you can find out an awful lot about people and companies.

Copyright © 2007 M & A Rainmaker. All rights reserved.