The title kind of eliminates the need for a proper introduction. After launching our fresh Clintelica freemium application, which helps entrepreneurs and start-up companies enjoy all benefits of a fully functional Networking, CRM & Feedback application, we tried to list other ways to connect with prospects.
So, what are the best ways to connect with people outside your own network?
1. The Cold Calling Approach
Make up a list of prospects, make some research, find out who are the decision makers, make some more research and find out their contact details, decide wether you want to reach them through e-mail or phone, then start cold calling.
Efficiency: Very Low
2. The Business Meeting Type Approach
Make up a list of prospects, make some research on which business groups better in your city fit your business expectations, find out how much you have to pay to get in and then join the group and start networking in person. Some say it helps if you’ve ever participated in any kind of AA meeting beforehand, as the usual intro is: “Hi, my name is Dave and I sell biscuits. Today I’m interested in connecting with key buyers in supermarkets.”
Efficiency: Higher than cold calling, but time consuming
3. The Social Networking Approach
Make up your list of prospects, go online and use existing and successful social networks to start interacting.
Basically, all social networks these days revolve around the individual an his own network, and any kind of effort and time you put in socializing online can pay off, eventually. You just have to do it wisely and pursue your goal. For example, you could start by reading this kind of advice (good find by Robert Clay at Marketing Wisdom).
Alternatively, you could try our way:
4. The Clintelica Way
As opposed to the above, we:
- give sales people the chance to avoid cold calling and reach prospects through connections
- save time by giving sales people the opportunity to search though a huge database of people and create watchlists for people they want to reach
- shift the social perspective from the individual to the power of a company’s social capital
a) make a list of prospects
b) set up a free account on Clintelica
c) download your company’s overall e-mail and social networking contacts & upload your prospect list
d) let the Predictive CRM system work it’s magic, crosscheck your contact database & prospect list for connections, follow up on all resulting leads and close deals through networking!
Clintelica uses patented innovative ideas to help companies get new clients through intelligent networking and Predictive CRM, manage & improve existing clients through relevant CRM solutions and improve existing business relationships through instant client feedback.
Today, we have released a Freemium version of our application, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to use all of our innovative features for free, for up to 3 users per company. More than this, we also offer a complete database of all companies in Sweden and Romania, as part of the CRM functionality.
Just register on www.crm.clintelica.se and tell us what you think!
Clintelica’s patent claim on the network management solution it offers has been approved by the USPTO.
Obviously, this comes as very exciting news for the whole Clintelica team, who has been working hard on all fronts to ensure the application is not only a fully functional, useful and productive tool for companies all over the world, but also unique.
The decision made by the US Patent and Trademark Office comes as confirmation that the ideas behind our contact management application are proper innovations. Basically, the USPTO has responded positively to our list of claims for patent:
- an application for managing and sharing electronic contacts (coming from external social networks, address book of e-mail accounts, mobile phones, business applications or other contact databases) of users of a group
- the processes of gathering, merging and sharing the contacts of users of a group
- the processes of searching and keeping active searches on specific terms in relation to these contacts
Of course, this gives us fuel to work on further developments to the application, which at this moment helps businesses all over the world not only to increase sales by selling through the innovative (and now patented) networking module, but also manage clients through Predictive CRM and keep clients happy through a Feedback Management System.
Read more about how Clintelica’s Networking Module can change Sales and Recruiting in a series of articles on this blog here.
An employee of GE once said to Jack Welch. “You have paid for my hands for 24 years, but you could have had my brain for free.” Manipulative and memorable line, you will agree, and one that proves even the most successful companies fails to engage all employees. It was a big issue then, it’s still a big issue now.
Far from being just a concept in management books, employee engagement is essential to a company’s productivity. There are extensive studies showing that organizations with high employee engagement significantly increase their odds of above-average performance across their businesses. Companies that understand and implement employee engagement as a core strategy are those companies whose employees will be more profitable, more customer-focused, more motivated to succeed and less likely to leave the organization.
Real life, though, is not that poetic. According to a recent survey on Employee Engagement in the US Workforce from Modern Survey‘, it seems that only 10% of US employees feel they are fully engaged in the company they work for. 24% are “moderately engaged”, 30% feel they are “disengaged” and a staggering 37% are “under engaged”.
Now, understanding that all effort to keep company staff satisfied increases productivity is the first logical step in engaging employees. The second one is to figure out how to do it and where to act. Measuring the engagement level in any organization is complicated business, but spending a couple of hours immersed in online studies can reveal several words that pop up as drivers in engagement, so it shouldn’t be that complicated to start working on the process. Why then, it happens that we have these catastrophic results? Why are, in fact, companies around the world struggling with this particular subject?
Your Apple dictionary will be a bit outdated on the subject of networking, as it will list the following top meanings: 1. an arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines and 2. a group or system of interconnected people or things.
We all know, in fact, the true meaning of the word “networking” nowadays: Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit, would be one meaning. Or the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business, would be another one.
Basically, networking resonates differently in our minds – as all things do – in direct relation to our experiences around the concept. Browsing the web for the subject will surface loads of articles, guru’s, trend setters, guides, tips and tricks, and, once you read enough of these, you will eventually find yourself in one of two categories of people:
1. those who resent networking
2. those who understand networking from it’s core perspective
The people who reject the word, the concept and, basically, everything related to networking are, usually, those who have received one to many introductory requests based on pure interest. Those who have been assaulted by questions like “Hi, my name is Don. You don’t know me, but could you introduce me to Donald Trump?” Those who can’t stand being used & manipulated, in a perfectly understandable attitude. Allen Gannet, for example, who recently wrote this article for The Next Web.
On the other side, there are people who consider networking from beyond the “nice-to-meet-you-let-me-take-advantage-of-you” approach and dismiss it like you would throw away a bad apple from a basket full of fruits. These are the people who understand not to use twitter for business, these are the people who understand the importance of becoming an authority figure in an industry, and these are the people who will teach to “pursue the relationship, not the sale“.
Because, at the end of the day, networking is about trust.
Networking helps sales, but it only helps sales if done properly. Of course no one wants to be used and manipulated into referring friends to acquaintances out of the blue. But I’m sure any of us living in the social revolution welcomes connecting people for mutual benefit.
And it doesn’t matter if you do it face to face, through business cards, or online, through social media platforms.
As long as you do it properly and you value common sense above everything else, it will pay off.
In case you missed it, read our Top 10 Networking Resolutions for 2012 and see how many you’ve checked so far.
According to latest Cisco reports, global internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 Exabytes (EB) per year.
Just to keep things in perspective:
1 EB = 1 000 000 terabytes = 1 000 000 000 gigabytes.
Looking a bit backwards, according to an estimation from Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, the total of human knowledge created from the dawn of man and digitized till 2003 totaled 5 Exabytes.
These two values are so far apart in scale, dimension and time, that the logical conclusion should be that our ability to create data completely overpasses our ability to digest it. At least, that was the general consensus on the matter. Until now.
Journalist James Bamford has confirmed in a recent Wired cover story older rumors that USA’s NSA is finalizing as we speak a massive surveillance center in Utah which will be able to store and process Yottabytes of data (the biggest data measurement unit yet). (1 million Exabytes = 1 Yottabyte).
In short, this is the big data that transpired about the Utah Data Center:
It will cost roughly $2 billion dollars and it will be finished sometime late 2013.
It will store, monitor and analyze virtually all communication channels (internet, mobile phones, etc).
It will be used to try and crack the AES encryption, the cryptographic standard considered unbreakable so far “in any amount of time relevant to mortals”.
This means you needn’t worry, the Jack Bauers of the online are hard at work in dealing with Big Data issues…
… and what you can do about it.
Watch the video and come back soon for more.
Following yesterday’s post on who’s afraid of losing privacy, we found ourselves asking: is there really no way of keeping totally private if you’re online? Well, it seems the answer is pretty clear: no. As long as you have an e-mail address, a smartphone and you’re using search engines (I’m leaving Social Networking websites out of this because that’s a no brainer), you can rest assured not only there’s information about you out there that’s accessible to other people, but this information will never disappear completely, even if you wanted to delete it some day. Sure, you can deactivate all your online accounts, but the information that you shared will remain shared as long as the online profiles you’ve shared it with still exist.
Basically, the only way to stop existing online is to travel back in time and refrain yourself from ever touching a computer.
But that would be no fun, would it?
Your online presence is a trade-off, as is your existence in the 21st century. It doesn’t matter if you use the Internet for business or pleasure and it doesn’t matter if you use your mobile phone to call your girlfriend or to close a business deal, you sacrifice your privacy in doing so.
…or how companies can benefit from customers sharing their positive brand experiences on social networks.
Market Research has now reached a point where it’s too much about anonymous respondents, even though in this day in age, people tend to build their Social Media reputation based on the product reviews they write and talk about.
This is why I believe 2012 will have to bring a huge change, because companies will start to realize the dormant power of social media influence on brands. Satisfaction Sharing. SatShare, if I may.
Let’s say you analyze a Market Research report where 50% of your 1.000 respondents have given positive reviews. In a conventional situation, these 500 people would end up in a spreadsheet and clearly, important decisions would be taken based on this. But if you took an innovative approach to this figure and gave these 500 people the opportunity to share their satisfaction on social networks, then you’d stand a good chance of reaching about 50.000 people instantly, considering at least 100 of them would share the info to 500 friends (on average)…