The following response is excerpted from a longer interview. I was asked by HRD Press the following question:
How are some of the concepts that you talk about in your book, Seal the Deal applicable (or how have they changed) in the recent economy?
The core concepts of the “critical trinity” of Networking, Marketing and Sales have not changed at all, in fact they are more reinforced in today’s economy than when I wrote the book. It is still critical to integrate activity across all three sectors simultaneously to get the quickest result for your business development time and money. Think of it as a 3-legged stool. You need all three legs to balance the stool.
Given the explosion of social media and other web 2.0 advancements combined with the economic challenges we face today, the professional services provider can do much more networking and marketing with farther reach for less cost than ever before. For example, prior to the popularity of social networking (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook primarily), networking opportunities were limited in scope and scale to your personal connections and your ability to attend relevant meetings. Now, especially with Twitter, I can connect day or night from the comfort of my home and office with people all over the world in incredible numbers. If I look at my connections on the main 3 social networks mentioned above, I have exposure to over 10,000 people. When before now could we go anywhere that would allow us the potential to connect with that many folks at once? Not to mention that access is immediate (time savings) and free (cost savings).
When you look at branding and defining your brand, again social media is a powerful tool for that as well. I often have people asking me how to use social media for sales or they’ll ask how much money you can make on social media. If you remember the concepts in Seal the Deal about mindsets, you’ll realize that social networks are completely aligned with the mindsets of networking and marketing, which are tools to stimulate opportunities to create sales conversations. In and of themselves, however, social networks are not supposed to be sales tools, rather a conduit to your sales system.