Meet Magdalena Kotek, Global Marketing Leader at Global Financial Solutions @ GE Capital. Magdalena, Jill Rowley, and I were having a beer at a fabulous restaurant in the Bund district of Shanghai, China, two weeks ago. We were there for a project with GE.
Naturally, Jill and I were curious to ask a marketing leader about social conversations (EVERY sales rep who sells to Marketing on EARTH, would dream to engage with a GE account). I’m going to recount Magdalena’s exact story, although when I tell it, Jill seems to do a better job as my Tsingtao beers that night can mess it up :-)
Jill Rowley: “Have you ever had someone approach you socially that’s actually made an impact on your business?
Magdalena Kotek: “Rarely do sales reps engage me socially. Actually, most sales people aren’t very good at their approach. Although there is one guy… actually, let me tell you about this sales rep from HP."
"There is a sales rep at HP that approached me on LinkedIn, and instead of asking for a meeting, he started by helping me. He invited me to an upcoming Marketing Leader event in Hong Kong, even though he was living in Singapore. I was intrigued and attended the event, which was fantastic! It was a real collection of like-minded marketers trying to help each other. I was really impressed with this HP sales professional approach. But it didn’t stop there…"
"After the event, he followed up by continuing to provide thought-leadership on marketing best practices. I can think of four assets that he’s shared with me that have honestly helped me in my business. The funny thing is that I don’t need any solution that he offers right now, but I can tell you that when I do, he will be the first person I think of!”
What I love about this story is the underpinnings that Social Selling represents – buyer-centric, support through content, provide value-first attitude. While social wasn’t necessary in this story (could have been accomplished with the phone or email), the fact that the sales professional used LinkedIn is memorable to Magdalena. It’s memorable because of how few sales professionals are using this medium, or using it effectively.
Remember this simple statistic from Corporate Visions – 74% of buyers will choose the sales professional and solution that was FIRST to provide value in the buying journey. The sales professional at HP has set himself up for an extraordinary account one day at GE… I hope he knows that his actions in 2014 could mean $$$ in 2016!