Monthly Archives: March 2013

barçacentral

mascherano tweet abidalEric Abidal has been named in Barça’s 19-man list for tomorrow’s’s game with Celta at Balaidos. Just under a year since undergoing a liver transplant the Frenchman continues his long road to recovery with a return to the squad. However, Barça travel to Vigo this evening without Tito Vilanova. The Barça coach took his first training session this afternoon but his doctors have advised him not to travel with the team so Jordi Roura will continue in charge as Barça look to take another step towards the 22nd Liga title.

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NewsFeed

Howard Schultz, the outspoken CEO of global coffee chain Starbucks, calmly but firmly defended his company’s support of same-sex marriage last week at a shareholder meeting.

In response to a challenge from a shareholder that the company’s support of same-sex marriage was hurting the company’s stock price, Schultz explained that it’s not about the bottom line but about “respecting diversity,” according to KPLU-FM, a local affiliate of NPR.

Last year, the Seattle-based company openly supported Washington state’s referendum that legalized same-sex marriage. As a result, the National Organization for Marriage launched a boycott of the coffee giant. During the company’s annual meeting in Seattle last week, shareholder Tom Strobhar spoke up, suggesting that the boycott was affecting the company’s stock value: “In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings — shall we say politely — were a little disappointing,” he said.

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The Main Street Analyst

The estimated number of active social networking users in China is 597 Million and the volume of social sharing in China went up by 60% in 2012 alone.

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‘Cold Calling’ Shows Little Signs of Life

A few years ago, I noticed whispers beginning to surface among salespeople that “cold calling is dead”.  And while I am not prepared to claim that the value of cold calling has completely died off, I can assure you it’s on life support.  And all but those true direct marketers will happily dance on its grave.
 
Cause of Death  

This day in age, blindly calling upon a prospect is unnecessary at best, and a sign of unpreparedness at worst.  

 
With the depths of the internet, we have more information at our disposal that we could ever want, even while sitting in the back of a cab or at 32,000 feet in the air.  You could land in a strange new country tomorrow morning, and with a quick post or tweet you could be blasted by friends and connections with insider tips.  And it doesn’t take a very deep network to produce quality local information, insight, and even new local connections.  So what does this have to do with the death of cold calling?
 
Local knowledge and connections give you the edge.  The same is true in sales.
 
While I will rarely (or never) know the decision maker at a prospective company, there is a very good chance that with a small amount of tact, I can leverage my network to build a tunnel to someone within, or adjacent to that company.  It takes an understanding of my social networks, but more importantly, an ability to new and open information platforms on top of them — this is the secret sauce, and exactly where a tool like Spoke.com comes in.  By following a strategic set of companies, people, and topics on Spoke, I can know–effortlessly–what is going on with and around a potential prospect.  This is automatically delivered through press releases, industry bloggers, financial publications, etc. and if I couple that intelligence with my own personal network, I find out how to reach the company directly, one of the company’s partners/suppliers/etc, someone influential within the company’s region, or within the company’s primary industry verticals.  This tiny bit of Creativity is worth its weight in Sales gold. 
 
Welcome to the next generation of sales intelligence.  It’s time to get creative, and piece new, advanced (and free) information tools into your arsenal.

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