A person emailed me about small town retail development a while back. I recommended he talk to Mandy Vavrinak and listed her email address. He emailed back, asking for more information about her. I thought to myself, “What more could he need?”
|That’s me with Mandy Vavrinak,
At the 2011 Social Media Tulsa Conference.
If he’d been using any of the many available social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools I recommended in Tools To Get To Know Your Customers, he would have had an instant profile of Mandy. When I put my mouse pointer on Mandy’s email address in my Gmail window, Rapportive shows me her title, company, Twitter account plus recent tweets, and links to her Facebook, Flickr, and her LinkedIn profiles. Gist and other tools could do the same thing. Gmail itself has started including some similar social CRM tools.
Using a tool like this means he could have handled the situation in a very different way. He could have looked at one or two of her profiles. Then he could have asked an informed question about her business or specialty, or asked for my personal opinion. (I think she’s very smart, for the record.) He’d have learned a lot more.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.