This past Monday I joined Government 2.0 wunderkind Chris Dorobek as a guest on his online radio program published by Govloop.

 

Entitled How to Get Intimate at an Industry Conference and running just over 9 minutes in length, I explore sales and marketing best practices at trade shows and events, and how to effectively integrate this traditional communications activity with social media.

 

I have since received a handful of complimentary “attaboy” Emails.  It typically happens when I score a nice bit of coverage.  However, my Outlook inbox this morning included a message from a fellow Govloop member who was critical of a comment I made during the interview.

In a business-to-business and business-to-government sales environment, it’s always important to remember that not everyone is equal.  You have to pay more attention to people who have decision-making and budget authority.

This person explained everyone needs to be viewed on a common plateau out of professional respect and courtesy.  Plus, tomorrow’s executive leaders and budget holders may hold a grudge if they perceive I have disregarded them because of their current junior status.

 

These are certainly credible points and in no way did I intend to imply in my interview that I knowingly mistreat anyone I come across in a business environment.  I remain true though to my contention that inequality is an absolute must in any client service, sales and marketing environment.

 

Let me share a specific example.

 

Last month, Paul Sherman of Potomac Techwire and Paul Duning from the Capitol Communicator were kind enough to include me on the business-to-government marketing panel discussion at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit.  The room filled up quickly and included corporate marketers, PR/marketing agency reps and media representatives.  They were all relevant and meaningful to my business.

 

Yet, sitting in one of the first couple of rows was a client, Helena Brito  from Mandiant (an Eloqua customer).  She was the most important person in the room for me and it was critical that I communicate this in an appropriate way.

 

1.  I cited Mandiant’s well read and respected blog M-unition during my remarks about social media best practices.

2.  I made reference to AMC’s television show “The Walking Dead” when responding to a question.  Both Helena and I are fans.

3.  And finally, I made it a priority to spend a few minutes with Helena at the conclusion of the panel discussion, even though there were other attendees waiting to speak with me after the presentation.

 

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Marc Hausman is president and CEO of Strategic Communications Group, a social media marketing consultancy based in Silver Spring, MD.  Read more at:  http://ww.thestrategicguy.com.