Twitter is a micro-blogging and communications tool that allows you to “follow” and be “followed” by others. It asks the simple question “What are you doing?” In 140 characters you can answer this simple question. Twitter is used for keeping up to date on your personal network, research, and even organizing impromptu events called #tweetup’s. Recently twitter passed it’s 1 billionth tweet or 140 character message. CNN, Barack Obama, Inc magazine, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and thought leaders like Guy Kawasaki all use twitter to connect, share, and profit.
I have been on Twitter for a year but actually didn’t start experimenting with it’s reach and impact until September 2008. Twitter is populated with every kind of thought leader imaginable, it’s also full of a lot of chatter, but most just learn to glaze over that and pick out the good stuff.
I follow on Twitter everyone from Richard Branson to a Buddhist monk and everyone in between. For the sake of my readers and in the interest of brevity I’m focusing today’s blog entry on my PERSONAL Top 10 Sales and Business Gurus to follow on Twitter and 10 Tips fro Sales Professionals on Using Twitter.
Lets start with who to follow (in no particular order):
Jerimiah Owyang – Forrester Research
Why? – He’s an incredible source of advice on great and not so great social networking behavior, tools, and strategies.
Why? – One of the few http://sales.alltop.com guys on twitter they really contribute and carry a good conversation about sales.
Why? – Great updates and information on B to C selling. Skip gets it!
Why? – Easy to use strategies on attracting clients using social media
Why? – He does a lot of good blogging and Twittering about how to use social media and networking to enhance client relationships and networks
Why? – She updates a lot on what is happening and what is being written about sales and personal development in general. She’s always uncovering gems on the web.
Why? – If you’re looking for sales jobs or a recruiter for medical sales Peggy seems to have a steady stream of opportunities she Tweets about. Also she’s a good source of information and events in the sales vertical.
Why? – Steve is a sales professional and successful entrepreneur that got me on twitter and he’s a wealth of knowledge in both sales and social media
Why? – Danny is great at what he does, using social media to drive grass roots PR for his clients. Watch and learn.
Why? – Ian doesn’t give a lot of advice regarding sales and marketing on Twitter but he’s a great example of a sales person that uses it effectively to drive business.
10 Tips for Sales Professionals on Twitter:
#1) Start by customizing and completing your profile. It is your digital business card. People are less likely to follow or communicate with people who use alias’ or who don’t answer the basic questions “What do you do?” and “What do you believe in?”
#2) Just like in offline networking, we need to have the same positive networking ethos and ask the question “How can I help?” when we make a new connection online
#3) Twitter is not a tool for mass marketing, spam, or generic corporate jargon and ad slogans. You must write like you’re talking to a bunch of friends. Add value by sharing great ideas, linking to valuable blog posts, and positively encouraging those that you are following or that are following you.
#4) Mix it up. Your comments should be both person and professional letting people see what you have to offer professionally but also giving them and opportunity to get to really know you personally. If it’s all business you will likely begin to lose followers or connections quickly.
#5) Bring it offline. Once you have made the online connection plan a #tweetup or invite them to a Meetup or VIP function. We get permission to begin the relationship online and the in person meeting helps us take it to the next level. ( You can do this via long distance using Webinars or Ustream as well )
#6) Always say thank-you and give credit where credit is due.
#7) Realize that anything you post can literally be shared in seconds with thousands of people. Think before you tweet!
#8) Think long term about building a network, and becoming a trusted source of information on your industry, resist tweets about today’s “blue light special” this appeals to very few people.
#9) Encourage people to connect with you via Linkedin and FaceBook, this enables you to expand the context of your relationship and learn more about who is a qualified business prospect.
#10) Social media and networking is about positive conversations, your Twitter Stream should be reflect that through replies to comments and getting involved in dialogue outside of your industry or what you sell.
Remember “Sales is about creating an environment where an act of faith can take place.” This tool isn’t transactional, it’s a trust and brand building tool to help you create that positive environment.
Follow Shane Gibson in Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shanegibson
If you’re out there taking risks as a sales professional, or you’re promoting a vision for your community, there’s a good chance you’re being criticized. In fact the more you do often the more visible you are, and this equates to more opportunities to create opposition.
You may be a business leader that’s transforming an industry, a teacher who does things differently in the classroom, or a blogger that pours your heart out for the world to see.
Today’s podcast is about you, and how you can tackle this challenge.
We can forget the ultimate goal is happiness, and that happiness is routed in truth. The biggest truth happens when we are authentic and in line with our own personal values.
In our values reside that which we love, and that which we are good at, our talents and our personal gifts are very close to those activities, people, and things that we value the most. You can follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/shanegibson.
Today’s Podcast is about identifying and searching for our deeper purpose in business, community and life.
I’m sitting here at Blenz Coffee in Yale Town just 15 meters from where I had my last drink with Captain Trevor Greene before he headed to Afghanistan to take part in what was then coined “Operation Archer.” I met Trevor through my cousin Robyn Gibson who went to Kings College with him many many moons ago. A lot of people ask how tow seemingly very different people ended up writing a book together about multi-million-dollar deal makers.
As most of my stories start, it began with Guinness and good times. I tipped several pints over several nights with Trevor and Robyn and we formed a friendship. Eventually I asked Trevor to help me as a Ghost Writer for my book ( later named “Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals”) yet after a few weeks of working with him his in depth of experience as a real crime reporter, Bloomberg business writer, and all around brilliant guy, I asked Trevor if he would be co-author with me instead of just a writer in the background. At that time I had the first glimpse of this gentle warrior genius and I knew that I wanted to share more adventures, successes and creative moments with him.
It soon came to pass after many months and some great mentoring by people like Dr. Denis Cauvier and my father Bill Gibson that the book was ready for market. Trevor and I liked to celebrate a good day of writing with a a few pints after work. We calculated that “Closing Bigger” took 386 pints to write. Not bad. We should have had more Guinness and written the sequel too. All joking aside, in the year we worked together sided by side we forged a great relationship, and for the first time in a very long time I had found a business partner that I could completely trust, COMPLETELY.
So it was with great sorrow and angst ( I hope I hid it well ) that I bid Trevor farewell from the Yaletown brewing company in Vancouver, gave him a big hug (wasn’t something we did normally) and watched him walk out the door. It’s the last time I witnessed him walk. He as a reservist turned full time military officer he was heading to Afghanistan to emancipate those without a voice. Trevor dreamed of fresh water, young girls with access to education, and renewing hope for those who had lived under tyranny, ignorance, and war for decades.
Three months later; just before 7:00 am in early March 2006 my phone rang. The call displayed “Gregory Kirkpatrick” a mutual friend and rugby buddy of Trevor’s and mine from the Vancouver Rowing Club. I knew it could only be one thing. Trevor Greene.
“Trevor’s been hit in the head, he might not make it, he was ambushed”
I originally thought he had been shot in the head. I later learned that while meeting with some village elders in a small town attempting to find out what rebuilding they needed (schools, infrastructure etc.) he was “Brained, LITERALLY” (as Trevor describes it) with an axe to the head by a deranged young man. The axe literally chopped part of his skull and brain in half, leaving bone, blood and gray matter on the ground. They all thought he was dead. The young man that hit him was riddled with bullets and died before he hit the ground. ( You can read more about the incident here )
That morning was for me the lowest emotional point of my life. We had built a friendship, a brotherhood, and a dream together and now it was taken away from me, from him, from Debbie and little Grace. I woke my wife up sobbing, wailing actually. I had held people while they died, I even while living in Africa witnessed up close an execution/gun fight in front of the Hard Rock Café in Johannesburg of all places, but nothing in my past compared to this.
I was angry, I should have done more to make him stay. I should have made him quit. This angst spread into a low level numbness that lasted months.
Back to Trevor: First he had to stabilize, then they would fly him to a US Military hospital in Germany where they would operate on him. While I was full of sorrow and a healthy dose of self pity Debbie Lepore, Trevor’s Fiancée was arriving in Germany and about to begin an incredible journey with Trevor.
They told her that he might not live, and if he did, he probably wouldn’t wake up. If he did wake up, he would be a vegetable. Debbie simply replied “You don’t know Trevor.” This would become her mantra. Their mantra. No one had ever come back from this, there is no medical case history. Once a Doctor told her to put him in long term care and get one with her life. “You don’t know Trevor” she replied
Experts defined: Ex= “a has been” Spirt= “a drip under pressure.” The problem with these people is they attempt to measure the infinite with finite tools. As much as Trevor’s story is about a hero and a warrior it is one about infinite love and faith. That cannot be measured by indoctrinated “group thinkers.”
“He will not wake up”
He woke up.
“He will be a vegetable”
He responded and was aware
“He will not talk”
“He will not survive several bouts of pneumonia”
He healed, he survived
“He will not have use of his limbs, he will not be able to move on his own”
He now can feed himself, he can now push his own wheelchair and sometimes if he’s really motivated he can tip his own beer.
“But he will not walk again.”
YOU DON’T KNOW TREVOR
I visited Trevor and Debbie in the hospital several times when he was in Alberta. One trip I visited and he according to others was just coming out of a depression of sorts. (I worked with him, and we’re both moody at the best of times!) I asked him why the positive change? What happened? Why had his progress rapidly increased all of a sudden?
In his own words to me:
I forgave my attacker, you can’t hate and heal at the same time.
Love heals. Love creates abundance. Give what you most want. If you want love, give it. If you want respect, give it. If you want peace, give peace.
In the documentary about Trevor Greene and Debbie Lepore that airs today at 7pm PST on CTV here in Canada (done by an amazing woman Sue Ridout) Trevor answers a question and his answer is something that stuck to me, permeated my being.
The question was “Trevor do you have dreams about what happened?” Trevor answers “Yes. I’m in Afghanistan, I’m sitting in the village where I was attacked, I am talking to the boy that attacked me, and I tell him, I’m sorry, I’m sorry that my friend killed you, I was there in uniform in your home, with a weapon.”
Many people think it’s too late to change, to change their lifestyle, to change their habits, to learn new things. At 41/42 years old Trevor has been able to rewire his brain, retrain his Nero system, and rewire the brains of anyone who is influenced by Trevor and Debbie.
Trevor and Debbie, their story, and their friendship has changed me forever. I feel blessed to know these two heroes, these two healers. Some of the lessons that I have been blessed with as a result are:
- Trust your heart not the experts
- One person is a majority not a statistic
- You can’t hate and heal at the same time, so make up your mind
- Love and faith are really great medicine
- See the miracle in every moment you spend with those you love
- Tell them how much they mean to you sooner than later
- With faith, focus, and follow-through anyone can create massive positive change in their life, in their body, and in their community.
December 14th Update:
Summary in Macleans Magazine of the Documentary on CTV ( W five )
Video Trevor Greene “Peace Warrior” You can now watch parts of the documentary on CTV.ca
Last week I had the opportunity to do something I haven’t done in a while. I had the opportunity to sit through 3 half days of training on social media and social networking facilitated by Reachd training. I asked Stephen Jagger co-founder of Reachd to meet with my client Builddirect.com and have a brief discussion with the executive team about how they go further engage their customers using social media and social networking. After this initial discussion it was decided that Stephen Jagger and Rodney Bartlett would run a 9 hour ( 3 half days ) bootcamp with the team. Because I’m working with the sales team I wanted to understand what they learned and how we could integrate it with the sales process.
As someone who has sat through a lot of training sessions and seminars I was impressed. The training was relevant and customized for the client. Here’s briefly what they covered:
Day 1 – Video Blogging
Although I already do some vidoe blogging this day re-inspired me to do much more of it. In fact it opened my eyes to many other positive applications. They covered everything from what good content is right through to how one can get massive distribution for their online video blogs. We even watched a video of Ian Watt take his pants off on Tom Everitt’s show. Ian was named as a top 10 Real Estate Blogger by Inmann News, and I don’t think he did it by being safe
Day 2 – Twitter, Twitter and more Twitter
Great day. Twitter is a micro-blogging and social networking / communications tool. This day was focused on how to create valuable conversations with your clients, customer, partners and even the media using this tool. Companies like Zappos and Comcast as examples have used Twitter to directly engage their customers online. Mostly early adopters, thought leaders and of course chatter boxes of all types. Steve and Rodney were great and outline clear strategies to use the tool to engage customers, increse blog traffic and offered revenue generating examples as well.
Day 3 – FaceBook for business and Blogging
FaceBook has entire blogging communities devoted to it’s mutiple uses. In Canada in particular it has high numbers fo subcribers compared to MySpace and in the US it basically is tied in regards to the number of users. Most people reading this have probably been on FaceBook for a year or more. So I’ll spare you “What is FaceBook” rant. With that said Rodney shared innovative ways to use video, photos, the events function, groups and pages to engage and grow your client and fan base.
Blogging – This was a great overview of how to write to create a following and an engaged client base. The core message was blog and blog often. Also focus on shorter posts with a single focus this also helps with search engine optimization and you don’t tend to lose the readers interest. One other good tip was when people comment on your blogs, answer them back, even drop them a quick e-mail to let them know you replied, this stimulates levels of engagement and personalizes the interaction.
This was a very brief review (I have 9 pages of notes) from the training but it was comprehensive yet down to earth and easy to understand.
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