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. 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.