Dave Brock is smart guy. If you’re in sales, you’ll find consistent value and solid thinking in his blog. Most times I nod in agreement while reading his stuff. Most times it broadens and deepens my own understanding of an issue. His recent Should Sales People Be Blogging? post though… Gave me heartburn.
It’s a context thing that I think is off. Restrict your thinking to getting lots of hits, driving traffic to your web site and spreading your marketing message far and wide; i.e., the traditional measures of blog success; and it’s tough to disagree with him that blogging by sales reps “is dead wrong.”
But what about an e-Rep context?
First a bit of definition. An e-Rep is an electronic version of an individual sales rep. It’s the rep’s electronic alter-ego. I contend that every h-Rep (i.e. human rep) should be embedding all of his or her perspective on every product, service, application and nuance thereof into an electronic form; text and/or images and/or audio and/or video. All of this content should be created with very specific customer situations in mind. And now the blog connection. WordPress is an absurdly easy to learn and use tool that is an excellent choice to create, organize and distribute such content – it happens to be a blog.
Think about what a rep has after getting into the habit of creating content… It’s a highly customized, top-shelf, tireless sales assistant on-duty 24 X 7 X 365 to:
- Reinforce important concepts discussed with specific contacts (on-demand, over and over and over… and without another second of rep time)
- Enable those close contacts to easily and accurately reiterate your message to other folks in the buyer network you have not even met (on-demand, over and over and over… and without another second of rep time)
- Provide concrete evidence that other key personnel at the customer really need to get to know you better. (on-demand, over and over and over… and without another second of rep time)
There are two more important side benefits. Writing is an incredibly effective method to sharpen your thinking. Write your message, which entails at least 3 re-writings/revisions, and your verbal delivery of that message will markedly improve. Your silver tongue will constantly get silverier! Ditto for audio and video recordings.
Over time a rep will build up a reusable repository of content. Prospect doesn’t have the time right now to meet with you? No problem. Send an e-mail with links to a few posts that demonstrate your thinking and your business value. Maybe those posts won’t hit the mark exactly, but they’ll be close. They’ll build your credibility. They’ll make you stand out from the crowd who thinks blogging for reps “is dead wrong.” They’ll provide a means for your customer to develop a relationship with you – on-demand, over and over and over… and without another second of your time.
Re-inventing the content wheel that marketing creates is a non-issue. Copy it! Tune it for your own purposes if necessary. That’s what it’s for! Finally, and not insignificantly, there is a positive SEO bump as a bonus.
I guess I really don’t want to pick a fight with Dave Brock, so I won’t say every rep should blog. I will, however, emphatically state that every h-Rep needs an e-Rep.