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CSRA Milestones: Ten Years of Experiential Social Media

CSRA Milestones: The First Ten YearsCSRA milestones reflects on my first ten years of experiential social media, seen through the eyes of clients I’ve served. I’ll share what I learned about what outcomes we got in each engagement as well as how it happened that I developed and pioneered experiential, which if a repeatable process for developing trust and profit at scale.

If you’d like to watch this post instead, just click the thumbnail button.

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Reflections on CSRA's Ten Years in Business

Reflections on CSRA Ten Years in Business Reflections on CSRA Ten Years in Business gives you three glimpses into why I built a firm to pioneer in experiential social media. I’m amazed that we embarked on our 11th year in February 2017! Here I’ll reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going.

If you’d like to watch this post instead, just click the thumbnail button.

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Noodle IX: Upgrading the Expert Role for the Knowledge Economy

Upgrading the Expert Role for the Knowledge Economy shows how knowledge workers can no longer seek refuge in their core expertise, and how to branch out.

Upgrading the Expert Role for the Knowledge Economy

“Experts” are regarded as the foremost authorities in their fields, the glib guru versions notwithstanding. An oft quoted maxim shows why: according to Malcolm Gladwell, for one, it takes 10,000 hours [of study, work] for most people to become expert in something.* On a related front, Naveen Jain posits that experts will be less likely to solve today’s toughest problems because their expertise has become a box around them. All those degrees or promotions within the organization have focused their minds but also closed out creativity. While commenting on his post, I realized that redefining the expert would be necessary in the Knowledge Economy, so here I’ll offer some strategies and tactics for how to practice being an “expert” in the 21st century.

Notably, we can take lessons from experts and apply them to specialists, which are arguably less far along on the same vector—and more common.

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How Nonprofits & NGOs Can Press Their Home Court Advantage in Social Business

I have written often about various facets of social business disruption, which usually causes organizations angst because they have to learn to change how they do things. On a happier note, nonprofits and NGOs, long accustomed to being (relatively) disadvantaged do-gooders grateful for commercial bodies’ largesse, actually have more of an advantage in social business than commercial firms (“brands”).

In this context, government usually lies between nonprofits and brands because it’s not commercially focused (advantage), but it rarely considers individuals in meaningful ways (disadvantage). Here I’ll lay out the rationale for these claims before giving some practical pointers for unlocking social business potential by understanding the social good of your business. Brands and governments, you can learn from this, too.

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Top B2B Salesperson Trust Killers Revealed

Top B2B Salesperson Trust Killers Revealed discusses the results of targeted B2B sales research I conducted on LinkedIn and features comments from many survey respondents.

Top B2B Salesperson Trust Killers Revealed

One of the key takeaways of The Dynamics of Change video was trust’s importance to B2B prospects’ risk management practices. To explore trust’s importance to B2B sales, I surveyed dozens of seasoned B2B sales executives, including clients and salespeople, in this LinkedIn Poll. The results reveal the nuances of trust and how salespeople must constantly challenge themselves to focus on trust, relationship and execution. For example, respondents said that too many salespeople fumble the ball on fundamentals.

B2B sales is a challenging proposition in normal times, but the challenging global economic malaise has only made budgets tighter and sales more daunting. In large B2B deals, salespeople have to build a significant level of trust with prospects before any deal can be done. This analysis aims to help firm executives and sales leaders improve performance by increasing trust with prospects and clients.

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B2B Executive’s How-to Guide to Social Business

B2B Executive’s How-to Guide to Social BusinessThe B2B Executive’s How-to Guide to Social Business is an executive primer on developing B2B relationships much faster and cheaper.

If you have been on several “social media” platforms as a firm or individual for some time but feel that you’re barely scratching the surface, this guide will help you boost your results significantly because: its goal is to help you develop B2B relationships more efficiently, instead of “selling” yourself and it shows you how to use B2B-oriented platforms in concert to increase leverage. If you would like some background on the profound distinction between “selling” yourself and focusing on relationship, “Social Business Disruption of B2B Sales & Marketing” crystallizes it in 8 minutes.

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Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks is a step-by-step approach to prioritizing your firm’s interactions in social networks to significantly improve the return on your team’s time.

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks: trust vector

CSRA’s Relationship Value Map is a simple but invaluable tool you can use to organize your social networks to meet your personal or business goals better. Its Interest and Trust vectors intersect to create four quadrants for your connections. I designed it when working with individual executive clients in 2009, but CSRA uses it with enterprise clients as well, especially those with direct (B2B) sales forces who need to prioritize their relationship building activities.

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The Impact of Trust, Relationship and Human OS on B2B Sales

The Impact of Trust, Relationship and Human OS on B2B SalesIn The Ironic Truth About Sincerity, Seth Godin juxtaposes sincerity and performance, and he comments on how they influence trust. It’s a nice riff that gets one thinking, so here I’ll do a deeper dive into how these two elements of trust work together to facilitate or sabotage B2B relationships and sales.

I’ll also link to an even deeper treatment for those who want to open yet more doors.

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The Cost of the Trust Gap—On Seth Godin's Why Lie?

The Cost of the Trust Gap—On Seth Godin's Why Lie?In Why Lie?, Seth Godin points out that prospects of (B2B) salespeople often lie because they do not want their decisions to be questioned by salespeople: “… when we announce that we’ve made the decision to hire someone else, or when we tell the pitching entrepreneur we don’t like her business model, or when we clearly articulate why we’re not going to do business, the salesperson responds by questioning the judgment of the prospect.”

Great insight, but it pre-supposes a lack of trust that is totally outdated and unnecessary. Let’s review how this comes about and how to disrupt the whole cycle.

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B2B Sales

B2B Sales Referrals Outdated Concept: How to TransformAs I read Jill Konrath’s excellent post on how to ask for “referrals” and mistakes that most salespeople make, it occurred to me that salespeople could do even better by breaking that model completely. Jill’s excellent point is that salespeople are uncomfortable with asking for referrals, so they cop out and do it badly by using a throwaway “Do you know anyone..” But I would tweak her suggested, “Whom should I meet” even further by focusing on client, not [salesperson’s] company.

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