I’ve never been a fan of LinkedIn, much as I appreciate the way they’ve used word of mouth marketing and maintained something of a monopoly on professional data storage, because I can reach most people more directly and quickly. But I’ve heard others complain that it’s become a recruitment and reference checking and sales tool. I got an email this morning that supports that conclusion, and makes me all the less likely to update my profile!

Hi Karen,I am a big believer in using LinkedIn to research and call key prospects, but many of my connections are hesitant to make the calls and don’t see how LinkedIn can be effective in generating real sales.

Unfortunately many sales people think it’s just about getting a list, script and making the calls. When the calls don’t work, many sales people think outbound telephone prospecting doesn’t work.

In conversation after conversation I talk with people about using LinkedIn to researching target companies for use in outbound telemarketing campaigns. But, while many of my connections agree with me about calling LinkedIn connections, they just don’t know how to make it work.

On the other hand, Amazon’s just getting better. The thing that astounded me this week was the quality of customer service. I was trying to get my blog there (which I don’t use much, but is a good way to add personal notes to my own book listings) connected with my customer account. It turned out that I had five different accounts. The phone support was amazing – even a follow-up call to make sure things were sorted – and the email exchanges about account details were pleasant and fast. It was as good as any customer service I’ve received anywhere. Main Street shopping has its points, no question, but online shopping is moving in the right direction, given that Amazon is a model for so many other companies. I think about the environmental impact of different ways to shop, and hope that Amazon will be a model for improvements in terms of sustainable business, too.



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