“I’m always asked the question, should sales people be writing blogs? My answer is, ‘It depends—but probably not.’” Dave Brock in What Should Salespeople Be Doing With Social Media
Let me first state and be perfectly clear that I really respect Dave Brock’s opinions. I read every post at his Partners in EXCELLENCE blog. He’s in the blogroll here. (Scroll down the right column and see for yourself.) I recommend reading his writings on a regular basis to my customers, colleagues and prospects. I do so because he has good ideas and makes you think. That said…
Dave, you’re wrong, wrong, WRONG on this one.
Decision makers and key influencers at strategically important customers don’t have enough time to meet, talk and adequately understand all you have to offer. Even if they want to, they don’t have enough time. The strategy of face-to-face sales calls supplemented by e-mail and phone contact, while necessary, is not sufficient. A blog communicates your message 24 X 7 X 365. Audio and video add punch to your message. Key contacts will read/watch your blog posts in snippets, here and there, in fits and starts, at weird times of the day/night/week/ month, but they will read/watch! Especially if you prompt them with the occasional “thought this would be of interest” e-mails with a link to your relevant content. (Or maybe you’d prefer they read/watched the blog posts of your competitors?)
A side bonus is that prospects you haven’t even identified yet are reading/watching your content as well. In other words, a bunch of potential future customers are doing all the work to develop a relationship with you! How cool is that?
Another perspective from Dave: “I also don’t believe most sales people are trained to be able to do this as effectively as others in the organization.” Well, he’s right, but so what? How many inadequately trained sales reps are making face-to-face calls every day? Certainly it’s not ideal, but pragmatic necessity dictates that on the job training – actually making sales calls – is far and away the number one method. The identical pragmatic necessity dictates that sales reps learn how to deploy their personal E-Reps, anchored by their personal blog, the same way.
The sales generating power of the E-Rep is way too compelling to ignore. No, we’re not ready. Not even close. Those who wait till they’re ready though, will get their clocks cleaned by those who dive in.
What do you think? Who’s right on this one? Me or Dave or bit of us both?