When I left school, my father insisted that I enter an apprenticeship in the family trade…. Electrical Engineering. I didn’t want to do it, I wanted to go to art or music school but, he won and off I went.
Looking back, it was the best thing I could have done at the time although, if I could go back, I'd try out for a technical role in the Royal Navy.
From those humble beginnings in Electrical Engineering, my wider career was anchored in heavy industry and engineering. Every job I’ve ever had allowed me to work closely with brilliantly talented engineers and technicians, across a wide range of engineering disciplines.
Now I spend my days training management teams how to improve their financial situation with Social Media. It fact, it goes way beyond financial and reaches into every pocket of the organisation. Answering the question…. How do you take your Social Media presence and combine it with a programme of activity which improves your ebitda percentage...?
In our line of work we meet lots of C-suite executives, Sales leaders, Marketing Leaders, IT leaders and so on. We run training courses and development programmes designed to allow people to find their digital identity and put a regime in place to allow them to get what they want from social…. usually that’s a number.
But is there a place for Engineers and technical people on Social Media…?
In the traditional model we used to work in, the Marketing team organised events, interviews for magazines and trade journals, brochures, a website, and a whole heap of other ‘stuff’ in the hope that someone people would see it and make an enquiry.
The Sales team stepped in and took over the process, if it all fell into place and the stars aligned, you got an order…
Everything has changed.
Social Media has changed the world and its changed how we do business but some organisations are taking the easy route of trying to do the same as they did but, doing it digitally….it doesn’t work.
The death throws of a many failing sales plan and organisation that doesn’t mind losing its reputation. We ask our clients if they like being cold called, everyone answers NO! It’s a scourge of modern society that is gladly fading.
Be honest, do you like being interrupted and broadcasted at…?
So, why would you have your salespeople do that to your precious prospects.
In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.
But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling? Not according to Merrill Lynch.
"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"
Face to face events are creeping back but can we count on the scale we used to...? So how do we replace those leads?
How do we find a way to replace the leads we used to know and love from all those trade events per year?
Engagement rates for digital advertising are falling.
0.35% Programmatic (this is where ads follow you around when you browse)
That means that digital advertising has a 98.81% failure rate and based on the amount of money that is spent on digital advertising, that means that $265 Billion is wasted on advertising every year.
Is any of your cash included in that waste?
Let’s think about real life practicalities here.
The marketing agencies will tell you that you need an email campaign. They will baffle you with ‘open rates’ and use terms like “prioritising segmentation, personalisation, and automation”.
How many rules for junk do you have set up on your computer? How many annoying emails do you delete every morning…? Have a look at your junk folder and see how many emails your filter has caught and binned for you automatically. How many of your emails are ending up in these digital trash mounds.
So, when modern leaders ask pertinent questions about modern sales and marketing and get cold calling, emails, events, and advertising back as the answer, we have a problem.
Let’s take another minute on that…
Do you see any of your behaviour or that of you teams in that statement? We must fix this…
We know things have changed, the advent of Social Selling & Influence changed the game in terms of Sales, Marketing and Business Development.
It’s changed so much that it’s redefined the entire structure of what we believed was “how it all worked”. It’s now no longer purely the responsibility of Sales and Marketing to build connections with prospects, with Social Selling & Influence we open the opportunity for the entire team to connect, build influence and relationships.
Everyone in the organisation has a voice and has the right to own their space on Social, regardless of what they do. HR, Finance, Operations, Engineering…everyone.
I meet a lot of management teams on a weekly basis, and I’m often asked if Social Selling & Influence works for technical/engineering companies.
The conversation about whether this all works or not is over.... dead...in the trash. The question now is if your organisation has the culture to accept change, the mind to accept alternative perspectives and the hunger to win...
The answer is yes.
The reason is that technical people like technical people and they like technical topics.
Engineers like talking about engineering and the beautiful thing that happens when we put Engineers or Technical people on Social is that they don’t sell, they talk about technical things.
This plays beautifully into the ‘Influence’ area of Social Selling & Influence.
So, when a team of Technical people or Engineers start to produce content on interesting topics, Technical and Engineering prospects like it and engage. This engagement opens the opportunity to have conversations that would never have happened.
When Technical people or Engineers start to connect, they tend to connect to likeminded people and their technical/engineering network grows. When their network grows, more like-minded people see their content and more people engage.
We often see Technical people and Engineers becoming bigger influencers in their chosen verticals than their Sales and Marketing colleagues – the world has changed…
I coach a Technical organisation on Social Selling & Influence, the COO is an Engineer.
He has a buyer centric, digitally optimised profile, he connects with the right people regularly and gets involved in right Social conversations and he posts daily content.
He posted this in between Christmas and New Year…
A nice post about amazing engineering project. Well written, nice image, good hashtags and he tagged in a few key organisations.
The post got 13,310 likes and 778 comments. It has been shared over 600 times and has been viewed over 1million times.
This brought huge attention to this Engineer and his organisation. A massive opportunity for connection and conversations, that could never have been had.
This post led to real interaction with real, helpful people.
He didn't sit back gloat or wait for all of this to blow over, he came back the next day and continued posting and connecting and getting involved in conversations.
You can’t buy that kind of reach and result with any other form of demand generation on the planet.
Oh, all his colleagues work like this too. That’s what they do, they are a technical organisation who are Social.
Technical people and Engineers can be very successful in Social, it’s about building Technical Influence, not selling.
Its important to put your best side out and play to their strengths. Its also important to give your people all the digital skills they need and the set the environment for them to network. Prospect and close business online.
The conversation about whether this all works or not is over - dead - in the trash.
The question now is if your organisation has the culture to accept change, the mind to accept alternative perspectives and the hunger to win...
Live Social ‘21
Your content should provide a relatable platform for engagement that speaks to your intended digital identity.