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.
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.