Sunday, December 23, 2007

Social Shopping?

I've just discovered, "a shopcasting network where you can recommend, share and discover great products," per the "About Us" page. You can make a list (no need to check it twice) of your favorite products related to an activity or even just one product. I've just signed up so will add comments to this post as I join the community. If you're a reader with experience using ThisNext, feel free to chime in. To find any products I recommend, check the useful links at right.

Additional context: The reason I find ThisNext interesting for small businesses is consumers can essentially drive some word-of-mouth marketing by participating--and you don't spend a dime. Ask satisfied tech-savvy customers to join and rave about your product!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The CEO as a Salesperson

In a small company, the CEO or president often has a central role in sales, whether directly, as in selling to customers or investors, or indirectly, as in establishing a sales strategy based on experience that others will follow. As Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, says, “Everything about my journey to get Spanx off the ground entailed me having to be a salesperson—from going to the hosiery mills to get a prototype made to calling Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.” Regardless of your level of involvement, understanding your sales style as explained by Ray Silverstein will provide some important insight on how to staff up or where to focus your improvement efforts. And like Michael Gerber (see previous post), the Dalai Lama, and countless others, Silverstein advocates self-awareness so he’s got my vote as a valuable voice for entrepreneurs to hear.