How to Build a Relationship-Driven Company Culture ~via @MarketingScope

How to Build a Relationship-Driven Company Culture ~via @MarketingScope

HOME » FEATURED, MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA/MARKETING » HOW TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP-DRIVEN COMPANY CULTURE ~VIA @MARKETINGSCOPE

 BY • WITH NO COMMENTS

What’s the one thing that’s lacking in business culture today that has the potential to bring in more revenue than anything else? I’ll give you one word: trust. It’s not something you can buy with advertising dollars. It has to be earned through the actions of the people in your company, from the executive office all the way to the mailroom. Unfortunately, many people seem to have forgotten the impact that this little 5-letter word (or lack of it) has in their personal and business relationships.

I’ll give you a recent example from LinkedIn — the generic LinkedIn request to connect, followed closely by a sales pitch. I’m sure you’ve received some of those, right? Who hasn’t? Now I’m not objecting to the connection request—after all, LinkedIn is for connecting. Maybe they’re new to the platform and don’t know how to personalize a connection request, maybe they made the mistake of using the mobile app which for some reason doesn’t allow for a personal note. That’s understandable. But connecting with someone just to pitch them (without building a relationship first and developing trust) is inexcusable.

I posted my “new reply” to those types of pitches on Facebook, and it goes like this:

“So you connected in order to simply pitch me… not even a hello, how are you, buy me a cocktail before propositioning me? You don’t even know me, sent me a generic connection request, then when I open the door for you, instead of shaking my hand and getting to know me… you come right out with a sales pitch.

Seriously??? Dude… time to get some relationship building game. Good luck on your next pitch… not interested. Make it a great weekend. “

The post received 42 comments and over 211 likes, and virtually every commenter was in solidarity with me—many having had the same experience.

I don’t know a single person who likes to get pitched via social (or any communication channel) before a relationship is established. Do you? Yet we see this all the time—especially from sales people more interested in meeting quota than doing the work of building rapport.

Rajesh Setty, co-founder and President at WittyParrot, illustrates this concept in his LinkedIn post entitled “The Forgotten Art of Asking Right.”

He hits the nail on the head with this post, using an ingenious, color-coded “Request Spectrum” illustration of the four zones of relationship maturity and where it may (or may not) be conducive to ask for something.

TedRubin-article-reqspec1

Zone 1 is where you first meet, and the illustration shows the trust-building track along the relationship as you get to know the person, develop rapport, etc.

In my opinion, Raj’s spectrum should be required reading for any sales or marketing class, and it should be built into every organization’s employee guidebook.

Are there some people that will ignore it anyway? Sure. There are lots of folks out there who could win awards on pissing off their co-workers, alienating customers and driving away prospects. It’s a personality thing. However, if more companies ask the right questions on interviews, they could weed out those potential employees who will never “get it.” And by actively teaching this concept to current employees and making it integral to company culture, organizations could scale their relationship-building capabilities both inside and outside the company via both face-to-face meetings, and especially via digital and social channels.

However, I also think that companies must do a better job of building trust with their employees. It’s a two-way street. The key lies in revamping the employee-employer relationship. Employers have to understand that the “buyer’s market” they’re in right now will not always be the case, and even if it is, that attitude is no way to build brand loyalty that can go well beyond time on the job. If you want to build a winning team that stays with you, advocates for you and helps you get ahead as a company, you have to treat that team with respect. Treating employees like a commodity and/or a cost center eventually backfires because it leads to constant turnover, which is counterproductive in the long term.

Another way employers can build and nurture this type of culture is byempowering their employees and recognizing the fact that social connection is an integral part of all of our lives now. Remember that in today’s social world, every person has an extended circle of personal influence and an opportunity to build their own personal “brand.” By helping your employees build that brand rather than squelching individuality, you could build an army of very powerful advocates. Most people, when given the opportunity will advocate for their brands, when they feel good about where they work.

Start thinking of your employees as an investment instead. If you look out for them and help them when they need it, they’ll be there for you when you need them. It can be as simple as creating a nurturing workplace that encourages growth and innovation, versus a culture of fear fostered by so many companies today.

Maybe we can’t teach everyone how to #JustBeNice, but we can definitely do a better job of building trust with our employees and teaching them to do the same with co-workers, vendors and customers.

#JustBeNice   #RonR

Share

Why the Best Marketers MUST Embrace Social

 

123

From the simplest to understand perspective… the socially nimble company tasks its employees with “opening their listening ears” and tapping into community intelligence (both the company’s and the employee’s communities), then acting on what they’ve learned. This can put you in a much better position than your competitors in two ways: 1) getting a well-focused product to market much faster, and 2) earning a higher level of marketplace trust and identification with your brand.

Everybody knows that the faster you can innovate and get things moving, the better—and every brand wants to build trust—but identifying and listening to social advocates is still not considered a “best practice” in much of the corporate world, much less empowering employees to take advantage of opportunities outside the company’s social community. Instead of looking at social advocacy from a “win-win” standpoint, brands would be much better served to adopt “learn-learn,” as their social philosophy.

Every business function depends on the quality of the human relationships needed to perform that function. The more we practice using social to learn more about who makes up our communities and how we can serve them better (at every level), the more in-tune we’ll be and the more harmony we can create both inside and outside our companies.

Want your brand to be more successful? Wrap social around every business practice. And while you’re doing so, ditch the win-win mentality, which denotes an ending—not a continuation. Embracing learn-learn increases the value of relationships for all parties.

Those who adapt to social engagement will drive more business and stay competitive—those who ignore it will not. #RonR

From the simplest to understand perspective… the socially nimble company tasks its employees with “opening their listening ears” and tapping into community intelligence (both the company’s and the employee’s communities), then acting on what they’ve learned. This can put you in a much better position than your competitors in two ways: 1) getting a well-focused product to market much faster, and 2) earning a higher level of marketplace trust and identification with your brand.

Everybody knows that the faster you can innovate and get things moving, the better—and every brand wants to build trust—but identifying and listening to social advocates is still not considered a “best practice” in much of the corporate world, much less empowering employees to take advantage of opportunities outside the company’s social community. Instead of looking at social advocacy from a “win-win” standpoint, brands would be much better served to adopt “learn-learn,” as their social philosophy.

Every business function depends on the quality of the human relationships needed to perform that function. The more we practice using social to learn more about who makes up our communities and how we can serve them better (at every level), the more in-tune we’ll be and the more harmony we can create both inside and outside our companies.

Want your brand to be more successful? Wrap social around every business practice. And while you’re doing so, ditch the win-win mentality, which denotes an ending—not a continuation. Embracing learn-learn increases the value of relationships for all parties.

Those who adapt to social engagement will drive more business and stay competitive—those who ignore it will not. #RonR

 

Share

Most Brands Don’t Look People in the Eye Digitally on Facebook ~@Progressive

 

Screen-Shot-2015-04-14-at-8.58.43-PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ttps While I can name several big brands that are killing it on Twitter for relationship building and engagement, I don’t think I’ve actually seen one that’s getting Facebook right. Sure, they invest quite a bit in making their business pages look great—they might even have a powerful content strategy for posting and curating things their audience finds valuable, and an ad budget to boot! But the one thing that all brands could be doing better on Facebook has nothing to do with cranking out more content or spending more money on ads—it’s developing a one-on-one strategy.

We’re Lazy Marketers

 

 

 

In my new book, How to Look People in the Eye Digitally, I talk a bit about how lazy we’ve become as marketers. We want to get in front of a zillion people. We want to send them a bazillion messages. We feel pressured to publish lots of content. We want to do it all NOW. But we’ve lost touch with how to listen to people—how to watch them when they’re talking to us. People on social channels have become data points instead of human beings, and we spend way too much time trying to get something from them.

On Facebook we measure all those things we want to get from our audience whether it’s likes, shares comments or clicks, but we miss the most important part—the ability to look into the life of a person and see what they’re really about, and open up a one-on-one dialogue.

Granted, it’s a little easier on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, where everyone that’s connected can see the other person’s profile and browse their posts. But not everyone’s on Twitter or LinkedIn. If your audience primarily hangs out on Facebook, that’s where they want to converse with you. You need to find ways to get to know them there.

Time to Get Personal

I have a personal profile on Facebook, and I use it to get to know people. If you have a brand page, that’s great—but someone on your staff needs to also leverage their personal page to “friend” members of your audience. This is a must, because watching a person’s profile is the best way to find out what makes them tick, and to start up human-to-human conversations that build trust and loyalty.

Use it to reach out to people who have commented on a post or have sent a private message to you. Check out their “about” section, their photo albums, the places they’ve been—and delve into their timeline to see what they like to share. Get a sense of them as a person.

Whether you’re a CEO or a Customer Experience Manager, this exercise is invaluable. It reveals so much more about a person than you can glean from an email, message or phone call. Even from a purely informational perspective it’s a goldmine, but don’t stop there. Use what you learn to be more proactive at human business. Here are just a few ways you can leverage this knowledge:

  • Research for product launch: Pure listening helps build stronger buyer personas, which helps you design a better product or service.
  • Survey customers to get feedback: Personally reaching out to get honest feedback makes people feel valued. It’s priceless!
  • Give better customer service: People just want to be heard, and have their concerns validated by another human being. If they reach out to you on Facebook—answer them there—and give it a human face.
  • Nurture your best advocates: The first step in developing an advocacy program is to reach out to each person who supports you. Make it personal. Let them know you appreciate them as an individual.
  • Get to know new business friends: Connecting on Facebook with people you’ve just met in person or at an event is a great way to get to know them quickly and strengthen your professional relationship.

Once you’ve found out more about these people, take it to the next level. Keep track of them in Friend Lists. Like their posts. Comment on them. Share them. Ask questions or just say thanks. Once you’re friends, Facebook’s video cards featureis a great way to send a personalized message of appreciation with the punch of a visual component.

In fact, going this extra mile to get to know your customers, vendors and others on Facebook can be a unique differentiator for you, simply because most brands aren’t doing it. Whether you’re a start-up restaurant owner like guys in the video below, or the head of a seasoned company looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, think about how you can turn connection into something more. Looking for ice breakers makes you more humanly engaging, and people will respond.

These guys are definitely on the right track. Their passion is infectious, they’re warm and personable, and they’re excited about developing their “uniqueness.” If they can translate that into their social conversations and go the extra mile to get to know their followers on Facebook, it will go a long way towards building social advocacy—word of mouth on steroids.

Most brands aren’t doing this, so you’ll stand out if you put it into practice. This might mean dedicating some staff to the process, or earmarking a certain amount of time to it yourself. However, the rewards of deeper connection will soon become evident in better insight, more trust, improved brand perception in the marketplace and stronger relationships. #RonR

*This post was written in partnership with Progressive Insurance. I have been compensated, but the thoughts and ideas are my own. For additional small business tips, check out Progressive’s Small Business Big Dreams program.

 

 

Share

Blah, Blah, Blah

BlahBlahBlah

Writing and speaking (essays, non-fiction, copywriting, direct interactions, speeches) can be easily sorted into two groups:

                  The expected                                                  The unexpected

We don’t remember what most people say when they greet us (at a party, or even a funeral) because it’s banal. Most college essays, tweets and advertising copy fit right into this category. The prose we consume every day gets instantly processed, filed away and ignored. … Read more

Share

How to Build a Mobile Community

Building a mobile community is the same as building any community… engage, interact, add value and show support for the group and what is important to them. In today’s digital world it’s all too easy for us as brands and individuals to let our relationship-building muscles atrophy. We get caught up in a multitasking whirlwind of emails, social updates and text messages where it’s easy to let a connection or a conversation fall through the cracks. We’re super-connected, yet somehow disconnected at the same time. This puts us at risk of losing the very relationships that help us prosper as companies and people. … Read more

Share

RFIDpalletTwo early pilots were facilitated by Supply Chain Network and carried out in 2003 and 2006 with both representing successful demonstrations of the potential supply chain benefits available through ‘Internet of Things’ implementations.

Key to both of these pilots were RFID enabled pallets and the first project was the SCN Grocery Pilot which was carried out utilizing RFID at the pallet level for automated Distribution Centre (DC) receiving.

For the second pilot in the Office Products Industry, a combination of both pallet level and case level RFID was utilized to deliver significant results for both automated Distribution Centre Receiving and automated Direct to Store Delivery receiving. … Read more

Share

Seven Signs Your Retail Business Needs an Omni-channel Makeover

Makeover
Are your retail customers finding you less attractive lately? Consider your position on the seven signs shared below and you may decide your retail business needs an omni-channel makeover!

This is not just an idle suggestion we’re making as the omni-channel retail buzz is quickly becoming a roar and with good reason.

Not since the advent of price tags, cash registers and the ubiquitous apparel hanger has there been a retail industry innovation poised to create such major change. … Read more

Share

The CMO Technology Conundrum And How To Solve It

CMO copy

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” —Bill Gates

Given the vast array of technology, data points, channels, and tactics available, new technology and marketing automation has stepped in to help CMOs bring all their activities together and support the delivery of the ultimate customer experience. But has it really helped so far? Or has it simply created another overwhelming challenge for the CMO who now must become a technology expert to apply it efficiently?

The above is an excerpt from a recently-released guide the Oracle Marketing Cloud created along with The CMO Club entitled the CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms. The guide, which I co-authored, contains results of a survey of over 100 marketing leaders plus the five key solutions we identified to help CMOs and marketing leaders tackle the challenge of providing a seamless customer experience across all marketing channels via the use of technology – the right technology that is.

Read more

Share