Day 25 What Did I Do Wrong? (revisited 2013)

So I was unable to post my blog yesterday due to all the crazy good stuff that is going on with my business. Not a bad problem to have but I did hate that I missed blogging yesterday. Going through this journey again has really focused my “chi” for success and allowed me to expand my business by just doing the things that I am discussing in this 30 day journey (revisited) on a daily basis.

Hope you are seeing the same success. Enjoy Day 25 and yes we are close to the finish line,. But remember that is where the real work starts!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post -Posted on November 7, 2011)

 

So I hope everyone had a great weekend! Now getting back to our 30 day journey. If you started your daily journey when I did (October 1, 2011) you have completed your journey and have a focused outlook and more definition around:

Living Life Outside the Comfort Zone

But if you just joined us or started your journey somewhere in the middle you are still on Lifeyour journey and following these Monday through Friday daily blogs.

Businessman Thinking on StepsSo it is now Day 25, What did I do Wrong? As an international sales trainer and speaker  I focus on several things when speaking to audiences. But when discussing Sales I focus on two big things when you are in a meeting with a prospect.

#1. Executives and business people are too busy to meet with you just for the heck of it. So if you set a meeting there is something your company offers that they are interested in.

#2 If you don’t close the prospect (get the sale) one of three things has happened.

  • You did not show the value of what you were offering to their business.
  • Your service or solution did not meet their needs.
  • And the BIG One – They did not trust you or felt that you could not implement the services or solution that you were offering.

So I recently had a big presentation. I did the discovery meeting (the initial meeting where you discover what their needs are), and I did a ton of research on their industry, their competitors, and even talked with local store managers.

But- Guess What? They did not buy!

So what did I do wrong? That’s what I need to figure out for myself.

Did I not build the trust?

Did I understand the individual needs?

Did I not show the value?

Whatever it was I was asked to come back in a year. So as you can guess I was pretty bummed. But when I told one of my colleagues about what happened they made the statement:

Well at least you were able to present to them.

I thought about that and realized he was right. At least I got the chance to present to them and maybe down the road they will move toward needing or wanting the services I have available.  One of the main things is I got in front of them, many companies and sales people don’t even get the chance.

So what did I learn? I may not win every single company that I present to, but at least I was given the chance. And who knows what happens down the road.

As in life, and as in business you need to enjoy and learn from the journey. It makes you better, stronger and allows you to improve. If you won every one, you would never take a hard look at yourself and your company and ask.

HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER!

So you must always continue the journey! And always ask the question. “What Did I Do Wrong?” and then turn right around and ask “What Can I Do Better the Next Time?”!

Who We Are

Day 25: What Did I Do Wrong?

So I hope everyone had a great weekend! Now getting back to our 30 day journey. If you started your daily journey when I did (October 1, 2011) you have completed your journey and have a focused outlook and more definition around:

Living Life Outside the Comfort Zone

But if you just joined us or started your journey somewhere in the middle you are still on your journey and following these Monday through Friday daily blogs.

So it is now Day 25, What did I do Wrong? As an international sales trainer and speaker  I focus on several things when speaking to audiences. But when discussing Sales I focus on two big things when you are in a meeting with a prospect.

#1. Executives and business people are too busy to meet with you just for the heck of it. So if you set a meeting there is something your company offers that they are interested in.

#2 If you don’t close the prospect (get the sale) one of three things has happened.

  • You did not show the value of what you were offering to their business.
  • Your service or solution did not meet their needs.
  • And the BIG One – They did not trust you or felt that you could not implement the services or solution that you were offering.

So I recently had a big presentation. I did the discovery meeting (the initial meeting where you discover what their needs are), and I did a ton of research on their industry, their competitors, and even talked with local store managers.

But- Guess What? They did not buy!

So what did I do wrong? That’s what I need to figure out for myself.

Did I not build the trust?

Did I understand the individual needs?

Did I not show the value?

Whatever it was I was asked to come back in a year. So as you can guess I was pretty bummed. But when I told one of my colleagues about what happened they made the statement:

Well at least you were able to present to them.

I thought about that and realized he was right. At least I got the chance to present to them and maybe down the road they will move toward needing or wanting the services I have available.  One of the main things is I got in front of them, many companies and sales people don’t even get the chance.

So what did I learn? I may not win every single company that I present to, but at least I was given the chance. And who knows what happens down the road.

As in life, and as in business you need to enjoy and learn from the journey. It makes you better, stronger and allows you to improve. If you won every one, you would never take a hard look at yourself and your company and ask.

HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER!

So you must always continue the journey! And always ask the question. “What Did I Do Wrong?” and then turn right around and ask “What Can I Do Better the Next Time?”!

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

Join us on FB as well.

 

 

Day 14: Blog, Blog, Blog

So if you are not blogging; why not?

If you have a business you should be blogging about the industry you are in and giving helpful information, that adds value.

What am I talking about? I hear you out there saying, shouldn’t I be selling my company on my blog? Well have you read a blog lately? Most of the good one’s give valuable information without asking for anything, and that is the way it is supposed to be. Yes you can mention your company but only in your bio at the end. Here’s why:

Home Depot was starting to lose sales to Lowe’s. They came up with a great idea. They decided to offer free workshops to the communities where they were and provided these workshops usually on the weekends. Amazingly enough most of the materials that they used in these workshops were also sold by them, but at the end of the workshop there wasn’t a “sales pitch”. They really didn’t care if you went somewhere else to purchase the materials needed. So what do you think happened? Well there sales went up because they became a trusted partner in the community.

That’s the reason. Here’s the how.

You can use a number of different free blogging tools here’s a couple.

WordPress

Blogger

Now there are a number of different free tools out there that tell you how to blog. Click on blog for a great site on “How Blogs Work”.

Your blog should be concise, short (as possible), and informative. But why should you blog and also why should you comment on other blogs.

Influence! When i write this blog it is networked and goes on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I then post it on Google + and a few LinkedIn groups that I participate in.

If you only blog and post but don’t interact then your missing the point. There have been many ‘Blogs’ written about blogging, but you need to understand that as an individual or business you need to engage with your audience and others and a ‘Blog’ is an easy way to do this.

Social media is about interacting. In order for you to grow your online influence you need to make sure you are initiating dialogue with others. Not just for the sake of selling, but to truly provide helpful, insightful, and inspirational information to others.

Happy Blogging!

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

Join us on FB as well

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6: STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING!

“Chronic worrying affects your daily life so much that it interferes with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.” WebMD Health and Balance

So that is the bad part of worrying so how do you stop worrying and start living. Well I recommend getting and reading the book. “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” Dale Carnegie it’s only $7.99 on Amazon. So first let me tell you just two methods that worked for me in the past and I have to remind myself to use these methods daily, weekly, and monthly.  It comes from the first chapter of Dale Carnegie’s book, titled “Live in ‘Day-tight Compartments'”.  There was a young man in the spring of 1871 who was a medical student at Montreal General Hospital. This young man “…was worried about passing the final examination, worried about what to do, where to go, how to build up a practice, how to make a living”.  he picked up a book and read 21 words by Thomas Carlyle that changed his life. This young man then went on to become the most famous physician of his generation. He was knighted by the King of England, organized Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and became the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. What were the words?

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. –  Thomas Carlyle

On a ship the captain can press a button on the bridge and with the sound of machinery various parts of the ship are immediately shut off one from another into watertight compartments.

Get on the bridge of your life and…Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, the iron doors shutting out the Past – the dead yesterdays. Touch another and shut off, with a metal curtain, the Future – the unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe – safe for today!…Shut off the past! Let the dead past bury it’s dead….Shut out the yesterdays which have lighted fools the way to dusty death….The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter. Shut off the future as tightly as the past….The future is today….There is no tomorrow. The day of man’s salvation is now. Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps of a man who is anxious about the future….Shut close, then, the great fore and aft bulkheads, and prepare to cultivate the habit of a life of ‘day-tight compartments.’ – Sir William Osler speaking to Yale Students

The second method is the magic formula of Willis H. Carrier:

a. Ask yourself, ‘What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve the problem?’

b. Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst if necessary.

c. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst – which you have already mentally agreed to accept.

I used these two methods in the late 90’s and after the millennium when I was working for a small company called Gateway. I was having the best year of my sales career, at the time, and the company was getting ready to lay off hundreds of workers. The work environment was tense and by living in day-tight compartments I was able to have the best month ever in revenue and was bringing in the highest revenue of my 12 man team. My wife and I discussed the magic formula and prepared ourselves for the worst possible result, but thinking that because I was doing so well it was a long shot that I would be laid off. Well you guessed it, I was.

I look back on that time now and believe it was one of the best lessons that I learned in life. The beginning of my journey to live outside of the “Comfort Zone”

So remember the crippling effects of worry and “Stop Worrying and Start Living”!

 

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

Join us on FB as well

 

Social Media Expert?

      So is there such a thing as a “Social Media Expert”? Lately I have been seeing a lot about this subject on the group “Social Media Today” on LinkedIn  and Google +. As well as several other blogs. Yesterday I was in a meeting where I was called a “Social Media Expert” several times but I do not consider myself an expert, just someone who has been working with Social Media for over 6 years and understands how to make it work and also I keep my eyes on what’s new and what the new trends are.

I don’t believe anyone can be an expert on Social Media or any industry for that matter unless you keep learning about the industry and the changes that happen within that industry.  When I first started working in Social Media I used to love to ask people who said they knew all about Social Media if they had heard of Second Life and Kaneva. Most said no, so that told me something.

For those of you who don’t know they are virtual worlds that allow individuals to interact in a social way using an avatar and many businesses are using this as well.

Here is what I wanted to say. I have seen many lists and many opinions on what to look for when looking for a Social Media Strategist or so-called “Expert”. I agree whole heartedly with most of these but I have one big question.

How are the people who are deciding what’s on these lists coming up with the information. Yes it needs to work, it needs to be more than how to create a FB (Facebook) page, and it needs to be a part of a holistic strategy. But who is right?

One of the big ones I see all the time is that if you have 1008 followers on Twitter and you follow 1010 people this is a flag that you may not be a social media ex… But I have to ask the question, does having a large following on Twitter make you an expert or does what you communicate to that audience, no matter the size of the audience, matter more?

I have been thinking about this for a while and just wanted to state that just because someone thinks that you have to be a certain way in order to be a Social Media Expert doesn’t mean that you should let them have the last word. You should pick consultants and firms to help you with your Social Media based on your relationship with them, their knowledge of social media overall, their knowledge of integrating it into your current business processes and (here comes a big one) – helps you build trust and affects behavior with the social media strategy and implementation you are, or plan on doing.

See, couldn’t help myself, had to give my own opinion. But keep in mind that this is a young industry and remember that the “Experts” used to state without a doubt in their mind with many measurable results that the “World was Flat”. This was a common and accepted thought for years. So the next time you see a list (and I have some out there) or someone stating how to pick a Social Media Expert just keep in mind that it might be a good idea to think that it is just their opinion.

The World is not Flat it is round but we did not figure that out until one man overcame this old thought which was prevalent in the first half of the 20th century. Not that long ago. So lighten up out there on what you think or don’t think a Social Media Expert is.

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and a Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

Join us on FB as well


Last 5 Signs You Have Strong Social Media Consultant or Agency

 Social Media is a strange and bizarre world for some. When reaching out for help from a Consultant or Agency how do you determine who is good and yes who is bad and everything in between?

Hopefully this week we have given you some insight into determining a Strong Social Media Consultant or Agency and check out all 25 signs from the original blog, without my comments and some outdated examples. But a complete list.

Today we are going to give you the final 5 signs.

Here we go:

Are you ready?

“21. Understands the difference between social media tools and communications strategy (example: Rohit Bhargarva)

So Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite, Vocus, Radian6 and other tools are just that tools. (some Great tools, though). A communications strategy relates to your audience and presents a cohesive message that causes action or discusses vital information open to dialogue among your employees, customers, prospects and vendors. So beware any organization coming in and saying you need to start posting on ….(name your tool) if they first don’t understand your company Objectives, who your Audience is and what you want that Audience to do.

“22. They won’t recommend blogging as a first step into social media (example: David Armano) and when you are ready to begin they consult you on how to be successful (example: Drew McLellan)

Blogging has had some bad press lately,  but it is not the first step in your social media strategy. Remember it is about your audience and your objectives and developing a strategy around those two factors. Your strategy is unique to you and your organization. Blogging should never be your only strategy for social media.

“23. Doesn’t allow clients to be affected by Shiny New Object syndrome (example Beth Kanter)

I once had a client who kept trying to get me to recommend the best monitoring tool out there for Social Media. I kept telling him that it is not about the tool but what you do with the information you get from the  monitoring tool/station/software.

Companies will always come out with a new shiny app, platform or other tool. Remember that whatever you use it needs to help you implement your strategy to your audience. Therefore your audience needs to be able to be reached by any new tool or shiny object you use.

“24. Understands that social media is more than just creating and delivering content or regurgitating existing promotional copy (example: Joseph Jaffe)

This is vital. If you are looking for someone to create content for you, you should go to an Ad Agency or marketing person that writes professionally (that is not social media). Remember it is about the conversation. Join the dialogue and join in your audiences dialogue. Even if they are discussing your competitor in a good way.

Remember social media is not about you, it is about your audience and their thoughts and opinions.

“25. Understands that social media isn’t the sole terrain of marketing or PR, and helps clients educate internally to other departments” (example Chris Brogan)

Social Media, beyond all the fun shiny new objects, is a way to build trust with your audience. This audience should include all employees, all customers, all prospects and all vendors- or at least be open to all. This goes well beyond PR and Marketing. SM consultants are currently facing a struggle in education and there are a lot of companies getting hosed by Marketing and PR firms claiming to do Social Media.

I tried to update the examples where I could and also add some additional insight to the original “25 Signs..”. My strong hope is that this helps you the next time you are looking for a ‘Strong Social Media Consultant”

Have a Great Weekend!

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS and a Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

Do you have a Strong Social Media Consultant?

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction” Albert Einstein

I wonder what Albert Einstein would of said about Social Media today? His quote above is appropriate because Social Media Consultants, strong ones, tend to go in the opposite direction of accepted, traditional,  business practices.

So continuing with our next 5 Signs “You’ve Got a Strong SM-(Social Media) – Consultant or Agency”  Please see the first 15 signs of 25 in previous blogs on MySylbert.com

Here we go:

“16.) Listens to you when you are discussing your challenges (example: Connie Reece)”

This is a very important one. Make sure that the consultant is using a methodology similar to POST created by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff  that can be found in the book Groundswell.

P eople = audience

O bjective = what do they want their audience to do, what behavior change?

S trategy = the strategy to affect a behavior change and action and build trust

T echnology = implementing the strategy where your audience is.

The only way you can do this effectively is to listen to the challenges and truly listen through active listening not waiting to sell you their platform.

“17. Helps and guides clients so that they can understand the benefit of social media and implement it properly (themselves) (example: Amber Naslund)”

This one goes against what most so-called consultants are telling you, but the goal of a strong consultant should be to build an internal team around them that allows the company, or organization, to implement and maintain any social media strategy themselves, internally.

They should work with those currently involved in the company’s social media implementation and help them improve or focus what they are already doing into a true strategic part of the companies communication to employees, vendors, prospects and customers.

“18. Knows that social networking works best when they are conversing, sharing, and being human (i.e. doesn’t self promote)” (example Chris Brogan)

Remember there are other ways to promote your organization and business. Social Media is more about building Trust, and this involves adding value to your audience without self promotion.

I was asked the other day about companies that do Social Media but provide a proprietary platform. My thought is that although some of them may provide great knowledge their ultimate goal is to sell their own platform whether it fits your needs or not. Beware the platform based Social Media pitch.

“19. Educates clients on understanding that they no longer own or control their brand and educate them on how to create customer evangelists (example: Ben Mcconnell & Jackie Huba)”

This is a hard one,  but one that any strong consultant should be conveying to their client. As we have said previously it goes against that old traditional business model of control, control, control and protect your brand.

“20. Won’t act as your social media ‘voice’ or ghostwrite for you (example Laura Bergells)

This debate is continuing as I write this, as there are several agencies doing this and making quite a lot of money. The question is really of time and resources for the company. I do agree with #20 very strongly and if you must have another agency or someone else write your posts, make sure they are writing “on your behalf” and that is stated clearly. Don’t let them make it look like it is coming from you!

Work with a consultant to define your audience, form your message and strategy but ultimately you or your internal staff need to do the actual implementation. You can always consult but beware having someone else do all of it for you.

Tomorrow we will disclose the final 5. Have a great day!

Les Adkins –  Orange SMS CEO Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant, author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn