social media

Is there a new way to sell?

is there a new way to sell

The past few months have changed everything I thought I was and what I thought I could become professionally. Ever since starting to work in the same room as a team of highly skilled sales people, I’ve realized that there are a lot of similarities between selling and being sleek&social. I looked at the problems I used to have with how people interact with/fall in love with a brand and/or a set of products from a different perspective. There is something that drives every bone in my body to make the things I find very useful in my own life become desirable for others who are willing to pay for them. Yet, this question prevails: what does it take to be the one who convinces?

“Sell me this pen!” was the first sentence that lead me to a very tough conclusion I had to face at that time: basically, all of Social Media is filled with messages about how great this and that product is, but a consumer, no matter whether we are talking about me, you, him or her, isn’t interested in all that. The thing is, what drives us to seek out a great product is our problem, or at least the one we think we have or the one we think others might think we have. This goes for B2C as well as for B2B, because it is, in my opinion, a problem among People2People. People are the ones who drive us up or push us down and we do as they say. This makes me wonder whether influencers (or the people we think are influencers) could be a solution to drive sales.

To put it into perspective: a couple of months ago, I heard about the quantified self movement and all the diverse fitness tracking devices that exist in this world…and thought is was a big hot piece of nonsense. Then, weeks after, I heard about a very serious illness in my family and thought that bad eating habits and non-existing fitness activities might have been a cause for that. Suddenly, the idea of something being able to track your lifestyle didn’t seem so bad after all. A friend from work told me that maybe I would find an incentive to lose weight by recording my fitness activities and trying to get the most out of them. And then, after having started to eat a lot healthier than I used to, I came across an app called My Fitness Pal, where you could record everything you ate and calculate how much weight you would be able to lose. Two months of using this app was the trigger for me: I am now eagerly waiting to buy myself a new UP3 as soon as it is on the market.

There was a long journey until my purchase intention arose and I don’t know whether you could take this journey, copy it, replace “fitness tracker” with “cloud” and see if you can sell like that. I do know that I am willing to try this out, even if it is not something that has been done in my field before. That’s why I think that Social Media can take people from unawareness and lead them to a point where they need a friend (in which case, a reference comes along) to tell them what works and that they should use it. This is what I personally think turns somebody from a good into a great Salesmensch.

Some points still need to be tested out: How do you attract attention faster? How do you standardize the process? How can you get the best for a client if you still don’t know what exactly it is he needs? People have told me that if you’re a great seller, you need to go to a client knowing all the problems he secretly has and just prompt with personalized solutions. But do you like that friend who always tells you that you have gained weight and you should try out the new protein shakes he recommends? Or would you rather talk to your trusted friend who listens to your problems and then tells you he might know somebody who can help?

This article has also been published on LinkedIn. Because, why not?

We’re not 19 anymore

Surface Pro 2 Seeding Blogger AustriaAlthough it feels so awkward having to say this: kids, we’re almost grown ups now. Most of the people my age reading this post at this very moment have either had their graduation ceremony or are getting ready to celebrate in the next couple of weeks. After that, it’s off to the real world (or at least off to the race for a Master’s degree). What have we accomplished so far? What are we about to xPRiment? Is there a life after the final finals and after the papers are due?

After trying to sit this article out and write it from the Surface Pro 2 on my lap, I realized that it makes much more sense to just place it on my desk and write on it like I would on a normal computer. I won’t go on telling you about the specs and qualities of this device since in the last two weeks, I didn’t quite manage to turn it into my daily driver for obvious reasons (all my files and accounts are stored on my other notebook and, as I am writing these thoughts, music is playing from the other one in the background). Ok, I just opened another tab on this device and am currently playing Adele. Sweet Adele. Back to the actual article.

You see, I’ve spent these past four years “sitting with a Surface” on my lap instead of simply placing it onto my desk. It seems so clear to me that all I should have done was just put the damn thing in a place where I usually sit most comfortably. All I need to do now is just focus on exactly that part of me that got me starting a blog in the first place. It wasn’t the freebies or the conference tickets or even the beloved blog meets. It was simply the fact that I love writing.

For years, I have tried to convince myself that writing will not get me anywhere at this age and that I have to do a ton of extra stuff just to keep in touch with the real world. Just like this little tablet over here turned laptop that you can touch but also use a mouse on (I just connected my mouse to the Surface via USB port and suddenly the whole thing got brighter) – it got much too complicated. I am indeed a complicated person and you do need a good instruction guide in order to get hold of me properly, but, if you ask my mom or dad at any time of the day what their daughter wants to achieve in life, their answer will be; “the Nobel prize for literature”.

Sure, I can try to obtain it by writing my stories from a gadget at night after hours of work, university papers and a bit of procrastination, but why should I? It’s not like I have to. There’s nothing in the world (besides some contracts I signed and a promise I made to myself four years ago) that keeps me from at least giving this dream of mine a chance to unfold. Maybe, probably, I’ll fail miserably at it. Nevertheless, I love Social Media and all the mumbo jumbo that surrounds it and don’t know if it’s that easy to just let go of everything. But if I won’t do it now, then maybe next time I’ll give it a shot I won’t be anywhere near 22 going on 23.

Austrian Bloggers Meet-Up

Gestern fragte ich auf Twitter, welche coole österreichische Blogs für #Marketing #Social Media und #PR es gibt, von denen ich noch nicht erfahren hatte. Da gab’s viele Replies und tolle Links – also neues Lesematerial und sicher coole Menschen, die dahinter stecken. Und da kam ich auf diese Idee: Bloggers, let’s meet up!

Damit wir gleich ein Thema haben, das wir besprechen können, schlage ich vor, dass wir uns über Social Media + Marketing + PR äußern. Du brauchst nicht unbedingt ein Blog zu diesen Themen haben, sondern einfach ein Blog, auf dem du gerne schreibst und über den du gerne offline erzählen möchtest. Alles wird so gestaltet, damit wir Spaß haben und uns besser kennenlernen ;) .

Wie schaut’s bei dir aus Ende Juli aus? Bist du in Wien und hättest Lust auf einen Kaffee, Spritzer, ein Bier in der Begleitung von anderen Bloggern? Dann freue ich mich sehr auf dich! Ich schlage den 30. Juli vor Bisher haben mehrere Blogger gemeint, dass der 23. August besser passt, also bleiben wir bei diesem Datum. Es gibt derzeit noch keine bestimmte Location und man weiß auch noch nicht, wie viele wir sein werden. Deswegen schreibe einen kurzen Kommentar darunter, falls du daran Interesse hast, und hinterlasse auch deinen Bloglink – dadurch kann ich dich kontaktieren, sobald wir Genaueres wissen. Falls du nette Lokale in Wien kennst, die bloggerfreundlich sind und uns gerne an einem Abend auf Besuch haben möchten, schreibe mir das auch auf.

Ich freue mich sehr auf dich!

P.S. Hier ist die Liste von Blogs, die ich gestern bekommen habe:

Being Social


Point of Origin Blog

Digitalwerk Blog

PRcamp12 Blog

PRNA Posterous

Du findest außerdem noch sehr interessante Blogs rechts in meinem Blogroll…und es gibt sicher viele mehr, Hauptsache ist, dass wir von ihnen auch erfahren.

Gewinnspiel: Conference Ticket zum Summit 2012

(this article and the next 2-3 that follow it will be in German, since they all focus on a great event being held in Vienna on the 12th-13th of July 2012 – if you need any information in English, just contact me)

Kurz und knackig: Hast du schon vom Summit gehört? Wenn nicht, findest du hier sämtliche Infos zum zweitägigen Event sowie die Speaker und die Themen, die besprochen werden.

Wenn du dich für die Themen interessierst und wenn du gerne ein Conference Ticket für dieses Event gewinnen möchtest, schreibe mir in einem Kommentar die Top 3 Speaker, die du gerne am 12.-13. Juli sehen möchtest und warum.

Das Conference Ticket enthält Eintritte zu allen Konferenzen, die am 12. und 13, stattfinden, also wird es eine Menge Spaß geben + eine Einladung zur After Party im Volksgarten!

Das Gewinnspiel endet am 7. Juli um 23.59 Uhr, der Gewinner/die Gewinnerin wird am 8. Juli zu Mittag bekannt gemacht. Viel Erfolg und hoffentlich sehen wir uns nächste Woche beim Summit! ;)

Marketing 24/7 conference 2011

Greetings from Sibiu! These past 2 days of marketing, entrepreneurship and social media conference have been long, but very rewarding by all means and it has been a true pleasure to meet such lovely people. People working in household businesses such as small inns in Sibiu, psychologists, trainers, designers, PR&marketing freelancers, photographers, programmers, people working on social media in-house or in social media agencies and many more attended this event and spiced up the whole atmosphere during the networking sessions.

Since networking was only one of the interesting parts at this conference, I’ll try to sum up the information gathered during Marketing 24/7. Day 1 focused on entrepreneurship and ways to develop your business by using your skills at their maximum. Dragos Roua, a speaker I personally enjoyed hearing a lot, made it clear that people who are writing blogs and making a fortune out of it aren’t selling publicity on their blogs, but rather focus on building supporting products for their niche and helping the people who read their blogs get even more value out of the whole xPRience (see copyblogger).

“Focus” was actually a word which also appeared on Marius Ghenea’s presentation about the basics of entrepreneurship: “if you don’t focus on one business, you lose sight of all the businesses you’re trying to make successful”. This is a great lesson for people who are trying to get hold of all types of information from all types of places and lose touch with the thing they’re actually interested in *yours truly included*.

Day 2 evolved around socialising a business, making it more human in front of its potential public. We even had the opportunity to discuss psychology with Adrian Raulea, who made us understand that we spread both out positive and our negative energy around and we can control our own well being by simply FOCUSING ( :) ) on the present.

The second part of each day contained 2 workshops one could attend. I chose Guerilla Sales and Financial Health on the first day and appreciated every moment of it, since it was a chance to learn more about effectively selling a product in a win/win situation and getting to know why cash flow, bookkeeping and financial planning/management are vital in sustaining a business. Eusebiu Burcas was the best “prof” in Economics I’ve had so far, because he actually made sense of what was written on the powerpoint presentation (a thing I haven’t experienced in my Audimax so far).

Workshops of the second day allowed people interested in social media to find out tips’n'tricks of the trade from experts working in different companies in Romania. There was even a part where Adrian Mironescu and Ciprian Gavriliu invited us to briefly develop a communication strategy for a virtual company (in groups) – a great exercise of creativity.

All in all, the Marketing 24/7 xPRience was an opportunity to learn, to network and to enjoy the parts of Economics you DON’T  find in schools or universities. And it was great!

Making it through TEDxVienna 2011

There are days when you wake up, see the sun from your window and just know something is about to hit you so hard in the face, that you’ll make a turn in your path. This day didn’t seem like one of those, cause I had to go to university and felt a little tired after the previous night. On my way from the metro to campus I always bump into people who give me flyers and small treats, but today I just didn’t feel in the mood for them. Still, I grasped a black and red sheet of paper from this handsome guy and saw the magic words in front of my eyes: “TEDxVienna”. Holy patcholy!

So, after only one month in Vienna, I could get this amazing chance! TEDx is right here, in my new-found city, about 30 minutes away by metro! Read the backside of the sheet and saw: 100 euro. Damn.

After some magic voodoo that I do (and a contribution from a very nice person whom I’ll always be thankful), I got inside and could blog about the whole event. I tweeted to my friends from Romania (didn’t know many people on twitter from Austria back then) and was soooo excited to meet someone who had actually heard about my blog before although he had no previous connection with me whatsoever, only because we were both following the twitter account of TEDxVienna. All this happened at the end of 2010, back when I thought economics was my future and business suits are the coolest ever.

Lucky me, things have evolved both for TEDxVienna and for me. I’ve come to see that writing brings me a lot more happiness than Macroeconomics and TEDx thought of giving bloggers in Austria this great deal: becoming an official blogger of the event! :)

So this is my way of saying that I want to be one of the chosen 5. Cause it’s an opportunity way too amazing to miss!

P.S. When I woke up today, I knew something very special was about to happen.

LATER EDIT: I got the job! :D link here

o noua sectiune

Daca privesti atent in pagina, vei observa sus, alaturi de “About”, o noua sectiune numita “Resources”. Aici vei gasi cele mai utile carti de marketing, branding, PR si online pe care le-am citit sau despre care am primit recomandari si de care merita sa faci rost in caz ca incerci sa inveti cat mai multe despre aceste domenii.

Voi face update-uri la aceasta sectiune de cate ori gasesc ceva nou si interesant, insa deoarece nu se poate comenta pe aceasta pagina, te rog sa imi trimiti un comment la orice articol de pe blog in cazul in care ai vreo sugestie pentru aceasta sectiune (sau daca esti mai wordpress savvy decat mine, sa imi explici cum pot adauga aceasta optiune).

Sper ca aceasta sectiune sa fie utila in procesul tau de documentare pentru a gasi domeniul tau preferat sau pentru a afla tips&tricks ca sa iti imbunatatesti afacerea! Ce carte te-a influentat cel mai mult in acest sens pana acum?


Sa-ti povestesc putin despre inceputurile mele internetice: mai tii minte de frenezia mIRC?

Ei bine, atunci am descoperit eu ca prin intermediul netului poti ajunge foarte usor la oameni aflati la distante considerabile. in capsorul unei copilutze de 8 ani cu adresa de mail si o pasiune de nestavilit pentru site-ul ceva a facut click in momentul acela. si, desi nu dispuneam decat de 10.000 lei vechi in fiecare saptamana, ii utilizam pentru accesul la cel mai select net cafe din sibiu (club 79, pentru cunoscatori) in scopul acumularii de cunostiinte noi.

La 10 ani de la evenimentele mentionate mai sus, lumea inca nu s-a schimbat. Internetul (sau ceea ce percep eu din Internet) se bazeaza pe aceleasi principii de acumulare a “conexiunilor”, de stabilire a unor relatii interumane prin intermediul unor giumbushluri mult mai “cool” precum hi5, facebook, bloguri, twittere si alte cate si mai cate. Oamenii isi expun sentimentele, crezurile, creatia, identitatea pe fiecare platforma care permite acest lucru, in scopul facilitarii unor subiecte de discutie cu diversi alti insi, interesati de aceleasi domenii ca stimabilul detinator de social media device.

In felul acesta, omul isi rezolva (macar partial) nevoia de interactiune, largindu-si in acelasi timp si cunostiintele in domenii cat se poate de variate. practic, fiecare e liber sa aleaga ce si pe cine asculta, insa are si de unde sa aleaga. companiile cu “potential” investesc in aceste “gadgeturi”, ultimele se dezvolta, tehnologia evolueaza, noi comunicam, ne informam cu privire la valoarea unui produs, discutam cu cei din jur, ne decidem daca il cumparam, companiile au de castigat si investesc in continuare.

Conduce acest lant de “succesuri” intr-o directie buna?

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