The question that I get from resellers/consultants all the time is “What are other partners doing?” Built into that question is the desire to hear that a particular tactic is being deployed and yielding leads that convert to revenue. Built into that question is a desire to find safety in numbers, “Can 50 partners executing telemarketing be wrong?”
In a word, yes. But beyond the problem of seeking safety in numbers and placing tactics over strategy, there’s the problem of looking in the wrong direction. Mimicking what the majority is doing will not result in a breakthrough for your business.
The 1.0 Era – The Company Website
During this era, the majority were content with a web site being nothing more than an online brochure and yellow pages ad. There’s the logo, the products and services we sell, and our contact information – now we’re done. The majority also prided themselves on creating this at minimal cost. Now people will get off our back on the whole web site thing. Battle won.
Who won the war? It was a company who invested heavily in search engine optimization while others were content just to be online. The result was that any prospective customer who searched on the application brand name, saw this reseller at the top of the organic search list (even above the publisher). The prospect may be next door to you and across the country from the other guy, but when they did their search – they saw him. And that’s who they called.
Only one person was looking in the right direction. It was not the majority, but rather a lone reseller who took a path no one else was taking, made an investment no one else was making, and saw his already strong business explode.
The 2.0 Era – Social Media
So far the majority has been happy to create a LinkedIn account and that’s about it. The attitude toward social media (Twitter, blogs, FaceBook, etc.) is cynical. Those who have snuck a peek or sat through a social media session at a conference are overwhelmed (and maybe intimidated). I shared those same feelings as recently as 8 months ago. (You can read more here: http://is.gd/6XkYV )
One company I’ve been working with has used Twitter to increase (tenfold) the hits to the informational articles on their web site.
Another Business Partner picked up a 15 user MAS orphan – how did they hear of him? Twitter.
Regardless of what other partners are doing on social media (and there are few doing anything) what matters is what the market is doing. The market is relying on the opinion of others in SM (social media) and in IRL (in real life) to make purchasing decisions.
Looking in the direction of the market is looking the right direction.