The Job Jumper and His Rolodex

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

The Job Jumper and His Rolodex

This is the story of the channel manager who about once a year changes jobs. In this business, people change logos often. Even more now with all the consolidation and layoffs. It's a joke at trade shows: "I'm here just to get your new business card."

The CM takes his rolodex with him. At each new gig, he emails the entire contact list. That's where I have the problem. Over the years, there have only been a few of these characters. One in particular was so bad at his job as a CM, he actually cost me a deal due to his lack of knowledge. He kept me on his list through two more companies despite my asking to be unsubscribed. At least I had interaction with this guy.

This week I get 3 emails from someone that I have not interacted with. He worked at a CLEC as the channel manager interfacing with master agents. He emailed one quote to me in 2013. Now, he emails me three times. I email him back. He says unsubscribe yourself.

This is why email marketing doesn't work well for people. Not because their inter-personal skills need improvement, but because they didn't ask permission. Seth Godin's book - Permission Marketing - was written in 1999. I am amazed how many people haven't read it.

I get asked by CMs on how to get attention. They know that an agent's day is filled with noise - especially email. Spamming a list with a generic message isn't one of them. [And use a test message to yourself for proofing before you email the list. Oh and A/B testing a headline or message is probably a good idea, too.]

The way I define a Brand is the 1K of space in someone's brain that is a collective of their experiences with you. For some people and companies that 1K will be blank. For others it may just be filled with a bad feeling. Remember Maya Angelou's famous quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." The best branding experiences involve emotion. Yet do you want to be remembered for pissing someone off (as I often am)?

If you are looking for a channel partner, start by asking permission.

If you are selling Hosted PBX, you might start by asking who they are currently using. In a recent informal survey of agents, some feedback I received included that "they were late to that game so we already had deeply rooted options" for Hosted Voice. But your job is to garner attention, then engage. You can't really do that without asking permission.

Unless you have a monopoly on a service or something pretty unique, spamming prospective partners isn't the way to go. Yes, you will get an open rate -- for a lot of reasons, few of which are what you want. Permission > Attention > Engagement

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