I know what you’re thinking, I get the expert part but what do you mean by spy? Think about the movies or TV shows that have spies, what makes them effective? The answer, the ability to collect and connect information about their target. In Jeffery Gitomer’s book Social Boom, this is also a main strategy for using social media such as facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to make business connections. The book advocates in many sections that you first need to listen before you respond. Both Gitomer and Richard Brasser who wrote the section in Social Boom, The Secret Door: 8 Steps and You are In, believe that it is imperative that you listen to what is going on so you can make valuable contributions to the conversation. It’s like being at a party, you and your group are having a discussion and someone you have never met walks over and starts adding in their 2 cents. Most people feel a little resentful “Who does he/she think they are?” Social media remember, is well social, so many of the same graces also apply here. If you are wondering how to listen, Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works wrote a great blog Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes. It takes you through the steps to creating your own spy worthy listening station. It is important to note you need to not only tune into your targets but into yourself as well.
So how does this help you get a meeting with the ever elusive company executive? Well not long ago you would have cold called on his/her doorstep. If you got past the front door, you most likely talked with an executive assistant whose sole purpose is to keep the likes of you away from the boss. Richard Brasser believes social media can provide you with a secret door into the corner office. (Sounds a little James Bond doesn’t it?) The strategy involves understanding how and why social media works and why so many people are drawn to it. In a nut shell, technology had by and large taken away any real human interaction in our communication. Email, voicemail, texting…all enabled us to communicate quickly but created an environment where no one actually knew anyone. Emails are easy to delete and voicemail messages are often screened, making it very easy to ignore people. Brasser contends to as humans we began to feel a little anonymous. Enter social media and boom, we are connecting on a more personal level, a perfect blending of our need for speed and our need to put a face to a name. Brasser feels that more and more we are seeking notoriety, not fame, but a way to feel that other people know who we are and what we are about (Gitomer,54-55). So how does being a part of the social network find that secret door? First it offers a way to show your personal brand. Second, social media provides a constant ongoing conversation. To be an effective part of the conversation requires you to personally be involved, and a personal investment is what gets you noticed. Third, social networks are transparent. Everyone involved puts themselves out there for the world to see. If you listen long enough you will begin to see what people are like, what they have to offer and know how you can make a connection with them. So what are the steps to opening the secret door? Think like James Bond,
- Find Your Prospects
- Follow Them
- Read their Posts
- Collect Information
- Connect (only after you have done the previous steps)
- Reach Out
- Align Yourself with the People Your Prospects are Paying Attention To.
Brogan, Chris. “Chris Brogan: Grow Bigger Ears.” Home. 28 Jan. 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://www.chrisbrogan.com/grow-bigger-ears-in-10-minutes/>.
Gitomer, Jeffrey H. Social Boom!: How to Master Business Social Media to Brand Yourself, Sell Yourself, Sell Your Product, Dominate Your Industry Market, Save Your Butt, Rake in the Cash, and Grind Your Competition into the Dirt-by the Global Authority on Sales, Attitude, Trust, and Loyalty. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2011. Internet resource.
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