Archive for the ‘communication skills’ Category

Twitter goes ‘pop’?

Is Twitter peaking or perching?

Is Twitter peaking or perching?

For those of you who hate Twitter, then this chart might be music to your ears (rather than tweets). For those of you who actually find the service to be rather useful then you might read this chart with a sense of incredulity. Take your pick.

BBC – Has Twitter’s popularity peaked?


The next thing from Google – Wave

Get your online conversations in sync

Get your online conversations in sync

I was reminded of Google’s new communications tool today by the article below in the Telegraph.

Google demonstrated this some time ago and it looked like it was a very good tool indeed for keeping your online conversations in sync. The challenge with when you chat online is that your conversations with a friend can become disjointed.

For instance, while you are answering your friends last question they ask you another one. You hit the return button and your answer looks as though it is answering the current question. See what I mean? It can become confusing.

Google Wave synchronises email and instant messaging. You need to see it working to see how good it is and to understand it.

Google Wave: Why we’ll soon be waving at each other – Telegraph

I linked, I found, I met

06/02/2009 1 comment
Facebook, Inc.

Image via Wikipedia





One of the most challenging aspects of anyone in sales is finding new prospects and then getting to meet them.

There is a whole industry built around getting sales, closing deals, sales techniques, using the right language, what not to wear and how to win. Most of them don’t tell you how to find them because that is what marketers do, so all of the sales skills in the world are no good unless you can get in find and meet the right people.

There are some good books, of course, and everyone in a business should read at least one sales training book or attend one sales training course in their careers. Knowing how to sell is a life skill.

However, how do you find the new prospects you would like to speak to in the first place?

Of course, you launch a marketing campaign which is put together by a marketing team who generate leads for you. Or you could hire a telemarketing firm to find your prospects for you and book appointments for you.

But, that takes time and money which, if you are a small business, you may not have.

So, to cut to the chase, if you are getting bored of the ‘hype’ around ‘social networking’ and how it is changing the world but you have not participated in any social networking, then WAKE UP!

It’s not all a fatuous exchange of photos taken at student parties (much as though I used to enjoy them). It is an extremely efficient method for finding who you need to speak to for free.

Drop the telemarketing company, and don’t buy a list of names of which you have no way to check its accuracy. Sign up to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and make sure you have your paper address typed into Outlook.

Your basics do not change in identifying the type of people in the roles within the type of organisations you need to target. It is just the ease with which you can find them using tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

I have recently carried this exercise out for finding new prospects for a business I am part of and I have made appointments within the target clients I am looking for within three days of starting my campaign.

Previously, to find new prospects would have been a laborious and expensive task and some companies still expect their people to plough through directories from A to Z.

Those days are gone. Get signed up and get prospecting using social networking tools. It is not the waste of time that some employers think it is. It’s saving you time and enabling you to get sales quicker. 


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Talk to me, listen to me, lead me!

Visiting clients to help the sales people within the business I work is one of the most enjoyable activities I do each week. Much of my job is spent at a desk, but each week I make one or two customers visits to understand their challenges and how we can help.

Each client has a a similar set of challenges with varying degrees of severity in them. For instance, this week I visited a client that wanted to discuss how we could help them with their internal support desk teams. The team who help staff with PC or application problems.

The brief was to discuss how we could help them with reducing the amount of complaints they were getting from the staff about how quickly and efficiently people’s support requests were being dealt with each week.

After seeing how the group was structured, it became clear that there were some points of weakness in the support team which needed addressing.

The first one was leadership. The team managers were technically capable people but they were not leading and managing their teams effectively. They were too involved in taking support calls themselves to be able to provide any guidance or direction to their subordinates.

Secondly, the support team members were also technically capable to varying degrees but their ability to communicate effectively with other staff was poor. Also, the support team had no structured way in which to deal with support requests which led to confusion about who had helped who and what had been done about it.

Finally, there was no formal way in which individuals in that that group could see how their career in that organisation could progress.

This type of situation is ‘bread and butter’ for a training company. Technical ability among the managers is often the reason why they get the managers job, and not their leadership and management skills. If more attention was paid to leadership in an organisation rather than just technical ability, then life in many organisations would become a lot more tolerable and enjoyable.

Also, the ability to be able to communicate effectively is often overlooked in IT departments. The ability not to just understand the technical problem that people are having but also to empathise with them would increase their IT departments standing in the organisation no end.

Finally, if organisations would spend a little more time training their staff how to use all of that great capability on their desktops, then they would save themselves a lot of time, money and bad feeling. But I would say that!