I’ve been asked many times, “So, why have you gone into business for yourself?”. Well, during 2016 I made a decision to start working for myself as a Social Selling Consultant following my redundancy from my previous role as a Manager of Social Presence and Head of Social Innovation for a fortune 500.
12 months on I was approached for an interview by Phil Crowshaw, founder of a company called the Geeky Group. Phil wanted to interview me on the changes that have taken place during the last year and why Social Selling and Social Media are important, not only to me but to my clients as well. Anyone who has been in that position knows that it can be a tough time. It can be daunting trying to find one’s feet again and deciding what the next chapter will be. Of course there was a lot of soul searching but eventually, I decided to embark on a new mission and to take on the challenge of setting up on my own as a Freelance Social Selling Consultant.
For those who prefer to read, please find the attached transcript below:
P: Hello, and a very warm welcome to this weeks ‘Be My Guest’, and my guest this week is a gentleman by the name of Marcus Boswell. And, Marcus Boswell is another person who I consider to be a friend who I’ve never met, so yes, we’re back to the digital world of digital. I do consider him as a friend, we do have a good chat about things. I’ve got a lot of respect for this guy, he’s got a lot of knowledge and a lot of really strong insights.
He’s going to talk to us today about a few different bits and pieces. He’s going to tell us about his background and he’s going to tell us about his work, which is particularly relevant and interesting to all businesses really, but specifically, small and medium-sized businesses. So, a very, very warm welcome to ‘be my guest’: Marcus.
M: Thank you, Sir. It’s a pleasure. It’s great to actually finally make this happen. As you say, it’s incredible when you think about how we met and the ‘digitalness’ which I absolutely love so thank you for indulging me.
P: You’re very welcome. Hey, listen, mate, you must be doing something right, cos’, not everybody gets invited onto the show, you know?
M: Well, yeah, I’ll take that. Funnily enough, for your audience, I’d have to share the story of how we met, although I’m not sure I remember it in the same way that you do. But back in the days of BLAB which was one of the other social platform’s that was out there, we had an interesting, opportunity really. At that time BLAB was, (for those that don’t know), you split your computer screen into four and you could speak to people all around the world, much like SKYPE now, and Phil and a couple of other people were doing a show that (I guess you probably need to gap feel on exactly what that was about). I remember coming in and being pretty, excited about the tech aspect of it all. Hopefully, your listeners will get the vibe that I tend to be quite interested in technical ‘dodads’, and the ‘Top Tech Tips’ section of this show was born.
P: Not that we could ever say it.
M: No, no, I took a great deal of time to try and say that right on this occasion.
P: The channel really, was on BLAB, as Marcus says, the channel was basically some insights, ideas, inspiration from people who predominately were working from home. It was the home working network basically…
M: That’s right.
P:…and the only reason it kinda stopped really is we got busy (as often happens) but obviously at the same time blab changed its business model and did something with its technology, and life went on. So, anyway, start off mate, just tell us a bit about you and what it is you do these days and a bit of your background.
M: Ok, so, I guess since it’s sensible to start where I am now. So, today I am a freelance Social Selling Consultant and I’ll come back to what that’s about and what that means in just a moment, but certainly as far as my background I’ve predominantly been in sales and I’d certainly consider myself to be a salesperson first and foremost, aren’t we all? More recently I guess in the last few years – certainly in the last 8 or so I was working for a large corporate HR and Payroll company. I don’t want to give them any airplay so I’m not going to mention their name particularly but if you want to know and your curious out there go look me up on www.linkedin.com/in/marcusboswell and you can go find out. In fact, there’s a great article – I think it’s great anyway – that I wrote, a very heartfelt article in the early days – I don’t know, maybe I even sent it to you Phil on the down low?
P: You did.
M: For anybody who’s been made redundant, it’s a strange thing because you feel like you’ve been kicked in the proverbials, and hey, I love money. I’ve realised this in the time that I’ve not been working for a large corporate, anyway I had a great career with those guys and I certainly very much enjoyed that but, all parties come to an end and that’s essentially what happened. The US side of the organisation – and it was a US company, sort of swallowed up the European side. I was the Head of Social Innovation and Manager of Social Presence, so I had responsibility for about 15 European countries and about 800 salespeople. When I say responsibility, I was a resource for those 800 salespeople, so I was that enthusiastic social dude who always had something to share with those people that needed to know it. I predominantly worked with what they used to call the MNC or the Multinational Team in Europe, so my head office was in France.
So that was definitely a bit of a blow to lose that career but in truth it actually set me on a slightly different path and ironically when we met you might recall that even in those days the tendency to want to kind of push Marcus Bowsell.com (as it is now) and being a little bit concerned about that juxtaposition between taking this time off to do that rather than talking about this organisation that I worked for was already something that was bubbling away in the background for me and was a little bit difficult to sort of manage. I was very respectful of that corporate relationship.
So, I’m out of the matrix, the shackles are off and here I am, literally, 12 months after that process.
My wife and I had just moved to our dream home with our two young boys. I still had 3 boxes left to unpack when I heard the dreaded news that I was going to be made redundant.
I spent a few months licking my wounds (as you do). I’d be nuts to pretend this didn’t affect me. I think the difference for some people is that this is a choice that they make – “Hi everybody I’m leaving on this date I’m going to go ahead and do this”…, and everybody wishes them well and they give them the chocolates and the watch or whatever and they go off and they make their successes happen, but this wasn’t the case for me. Mine was much more a “be careful what you wish for”, you know?
Essentially, I’d been sort of putting out this aura – I’m not one of those – what do they call it – ‘woo woo’ types of guys I don’t like to think – but I probably was speaking to the universe for a lot longer than I realised exactly what it was that I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. And so that’s the mission that I’m on today.
As a Freelance Social Selling Consultant, my main aim is to help small, medium and large organisations to really optimise their social presence and understand how it is they are operating, how they’re seen and what they can do to advance their sales process.
P: Ok, that’s brilliant. I think for what it’s worth a lot of people can relate to everything you’ve just said about the redundancy process and the feelings and emotions it creates. But at the same time, I would suggest that from my experience a lot of people end up going out on their own because they’re turfed out of the nest as opposed to jumping out of it.
P. Cos‘, you’re absolutely crapping it that you’re gonna jump out the nest, bat your wings and fly straight down nose first into the field below…
M: That’s right.
P. …So that’s quite a normal situation. So, tell me. Talk to me then in kind of practical terms what Social Selling is and how it might differ, how it might be relevant today. I’m assuming it is more relevant today as opposed to 10 – 15 years ago, if at all 10 – 15 years ago. Where’s it come from and what does it mean in practical terms?
M: OK, so this is a perfectly honest and great question and I think just to precis this in a sense, on LinkedIn, just yesterday, I actually posted an audio link using a new, (or not so new) platform called ‘Anchor’, which is a podcasting platform, which you’re aware of yourself. I was asking the question for the purposes of writing an article that I’ll be releasing soon enough about this very question: ‘What is Social Selling Anyway’ or whatever clever title that I give it. The interesting thing here really is that like some of the oldest professions – Social in itself has been going on forever. People talk to one another, people make relationships, people like people. The salespeople out there who are perhaps listening including yourself will be familiar with the saying that ‘people like people like themselves’, and all of those clichés that go with it.
Whilst we are on the cliché note, one of the things that a lot of people in Social Media circles have latched on to in the past several years is the saying that it’s about the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factor. I cringe a little bit as I say it but it’s very, very true. And, as for where it came from? I think that most certainly social media in itself is still a very young business. You’ve got social networks like Facebook, of course, everybody knows that story because it’s a pretty common one, but you know other platforms, the Instagram(s) or the Snapchat(s) of the world and others that are on their way up now? Of course all there are all those third-party tools as well, whether that’s the Buffer(s) and Hootsuite(s) and schedulers and all of these different things, you know, all of that is really a food frenzy going on, based on the success of the social media market place but when all’s said and done you can most likely relate to the fact that in the end social selling at its core is about using social media to identify opportunities and to move conversations forward in a way that wasn’t really happening before.
I can remember a time in my most recent career, where if you were on LinkedIn the only reason why you were doing that was to look for another job as far as anyone was concerned. It was something that you did on your lunch break and you didn’t want somebody looking over your shoulder. Twitter didn’t exist.
A funny story about that – I remember my first day on this new job and the Head of Marketing comes in and she’s having a long conversation about various bits and bobs and there’s this thing where they say, “Any Questions?”, you know, at the end and I remember I was sitting I think in the third row from the front.., [it reminded me of that dreadful episode of “cry freedom”, when I was at school – the only black kid at the front of the class, you know, and there are layers of people. I could feel the back of my head burning..,] so anyway, I’m sitting there and I said. “Yeah, so do you have a strategy on Twitter? What’s happening there?” This woman paused for a moment, looked at me, and said “Twit what? Twit who? That was not that long ago, I mean that’s 8 years ago, and everybody started laughing and I was absolutely considered to be a geek from that moment forth. And that followed me for a good 6 months to a point where whenever this individual came in and did a talk, no matter where I was in the room, which was never, ever again 3 rows from the front, she would sort of say. ”Any questions“, then pause and then say, ”Marcus”, wherever I was I. “No, no, you’re OK”, from the back.
So, yeah, for sure, social media is young for the most part and because of that a lot of people are still getting used to how that works so in practical terms social media and social selling specifically is about utilising social media in order to move your sales process forward and the real question here becomes, how do you do that? For my part, one of the services that I offer is about that business profiling service for example, so I would maybe look at a business and say OK because this is one of the crucial things it’s not the same response for everybody. I have a client who loves Snapchat, personally, I’m totally not bothered about Snapchat, it’s not where I like to play, but he does and so obviously he has a following there and an opportunity to engage his audience there with what he’s doing. I mentioned ‘Anchor’, which probably like a lot of the audience will be like, who? I mean again that’s probably what, 2 maybe 3 years old now. I think they’re doing some phenomenal things as far as innovation and their transcription opportunities and the way they’re doing editing of audio and the way that you’re able to share things – phenomenal. Video – great. Will that survive? I hope so, but, like Blab before it, (we kind of use Blab as almost an expression now to indicate technology that can die) that was great but that can die.
The elephant in the room, of course, is LinkedIn. This is a huge platform. They have hit 500 million users most recently within the last 2 or 3 months or so, they certainly are not Facebook. Facebook would dwarf that several times in many ways, but again it depends on where your audience is and the tribe and the network that you’re trying to build. If you are a B2C type of business, then you might use Facebook more predominately. If you’re a B2B type business then you kinda really need to be on LinkedIn whether you’re using it or not. It depends on how you activate and how you execute that.
P: What do you think? Very interesting insight there because one of the things I notice, and I’ll use LinkedIn as a really good example. Is people say to me quite often. “I use LinkedIn but it’s not that much good.” And you say, “OK, well why is it not much good? What do you do on it?” And then they go, “what do you mean? – what do I do on it?” “Well, do you use it as a tool or do you expect it to know, – a bit like a lawnmower. Do you expect it to mow the lawn while you’re sat on your arse in the conservatory?” And, they kinda get that, but do you find that there are people (on social media in general) – but I’m thinking LinkedIn particularly within a business context, almost expect it to do magical things a bit like a fairy zipping around the garden, or, in terms of it needs to do it on its own without using it as a tool.
M: Sure, well, I wish I could come up with a clever analogy at this point and I’ll need to think of a few, but I think in layman’s’ terms, the answer is absolutely not. It will not do anything for you unless you do it yourself. The truth is, I had a colleague of mine, an old boss in a previous life, that used to say, “do stuff, to stuff, for stuff”, he’ll know who he is. It’s very true and LinkedIn is just the same.
I’ll give you a good example of one of my experiences in the last 12 months. So, during this period it’s obviously been important to me to market my business and to make connections with people so LinkedIn has become even more so than it was in my previous life a tool to use for doing exactly that. I have ingratiated myself with a larger group or people who are similar to myself who have skills and services that they offer in this marketplace for a couple of different reasons. One, because I like to know what the competition is doing out there. The other reason is that I think it’s important to make a new friend before you need one and it’s really useful to be able to have trusted advisers, people you can talk to. Back to that point, I was making about ‘know, like and trust’, you know?
There’s enough out there for everyone, you don’t have to tear someone else down to get ahead and so although my focus has tended in the past (because of my background and because of the work I was doing for the organisation) tended to be around nurturing the salesforce and helping Sales Enablement and the salesforce to utilise whatever platforms were necessary.
With these new eyes that I have, it’s actually really important to me to make sure that my customer base understands that there is more to it than LinkedIn, more to it than that, and it’s actually down to, how do you want to engage? Where are your customers? I mean there is one thing that I often say, as far as social media is concerned, and that is really it, it comes down to when your people search for you or when your customer searches for you what is it that they find? And this is a great leveller to your question specifically relating to LinkedIn. There is a very well-known set of rules if you will to the way in which you should project yourself on LinkedIn. The only issue is, it seems like common sense to people like me, and probably to you, but the fact is, the one thing that’s true about that is that common sense is not common. So, having a photo! I mean just today I had a connection request from somebody who claims to be an expert in the industry and I’m looking at that blank grey space. I don’t know what this person looks like. I mean, does that make me kinda want to know who that is? In a crowded sea of noise? No, it doesn’t.
So, there are certain things you can do, whether that’s your image, whether that’s absolutely having your summary in place and so on, so many things to be said.
P: OK, so I’ve got social media, I’ve got LinkedIn, I’ve got Facebook, I’ve got Snapchat, I’ve got Instagram, all this and I go, “oh great, I’ve got these things now, so I can now advertise my business”, and I go. “Right, hello, my name’s Phil, here’s my pen’s, they’re mega, 20 quid a piece; who wants to buy one?” That’s it, isn’t it?
M: Quite the opposite. And you make a good point there, and here’s the thing and I think this is one of the things that a lot of people do. They go on and they go. “Me, look at me, I’m over here, look at me.” It’s like walking into a party and literally standing in a corner and just shouting “me, me, me”. No one cares, OK! Nobody wants to hear about you, nobody wants to hear about your business. What they care about, actually, and you know this just from what you’ve said, what they care about is themselves, they want you to show an interest in them.
You know, it’s a horrible expression, ‘slowly, slowly, catchy monkey’ or whatever. I saw this thing where they had this coconut and you put – you saw this on social most recently? A monkey will, if you make a little hole in the coconut hollow it out and put some sort of bait in there, the monkey will go in, put his hand in and then grab hold of the whatever treat is in there. And you will catch that monkey purely because it will not let go and release itself. That is how they’re caught. And this is a very similar situation with social media. People tend to use just this simple bait, my product. My product is the only thing I’m prepared to talk about, and this is very, very true of the corporate marketplace.
Indeed this organisation I used to work for had exactly the same problem. We talk about the 80/20 rule, or the 4/2/1 if you will. So 4 things about other people, 2 things about yourself, one thing about your business. This is the type of ratio by which you might want to share things and again like I said, that in a very common-sense way and that might not be apparent to some people but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. This means four things about other people or maybe the industry or something that you’re interested in. A couple of things perhaps about yourself and then maybe one thing about your company because whatever you want to do or don’t want to do, you don’t really want to use social media as a platform to just sell. We’re immersed in that on a daily basis. There is more information available now every single day than in all of human history before it. I mean that’s just an incredible statistic to get your head around, right?
So, I’m doing a little bit of training right now, I miss the corporate times where you can roll into a room and somebodies paid for a great deal of training that you can sit down and take. But I don’t need that. Why do I need that? I’ve got the 2nd largest search engine in the world sitting right there, you know, you’ve got YouTube you can jump on and type anything you like and as long as you got the time and the patience you can literally learn anything from ground zero upwards. So, there is absolutely no excuse for any business not to take the opportunity to utilise social media and it does shock me that so many people don’t and I’m not saying it’s the be all and end all.
I had an opportunity to take break over the summer period with my family, we all went camping, don’t know what I was thinking but that’s another story, but I went into this store in a small place in Cornwall, it was called Mevagissey – I don’t know if you’re familiar with the town?…
P: Yeah, I do know it, yes.
M: Well it’s a weird place because you just drive in and you feel like you’re stuck on a roundabout, a very small roundabout, but there are people milling around and it’s very strange.
Anyway, I walked into this fantastic wonderful store that sold pictures, these paintings – beautiful things they were, wonderful landscapes and scenery of the local stuff. My kids were being kids; they were outside with ice-creams and stuff, I told them to hang outside. I had a full-on social media head-on, so I walk in and I spoke to this lady. I was thinking great, I’ll look at this as a business opportunity maybe, and how can this work? I would like to tell people about this experience. So I strolled in and said, “Do you have a card, I mean, are you online?” She said, “well no, I haven’t got a card, but I’ve got this brochure”, right. This brochure was kind of just about then just there, I said “OK great”, I said, “are you on the web?”, “er, well no”, “really?” I mean these are paintings, this is visual, this is as good as it gets. No. She said we used to be and that was another jaw-dropping moment.
Now, get this. They took themselves offline because, as far as they were concerned, they couldn’t deal with all the drop shipping issues. I mean it’s an understandable reason for people who’re selling paintings, they were getting too many calls about damages and things of that nature, so they decided, instead of making some changes to the business or to their policies, they would just kill the whole online thing altogether. So, they’ve cut their legs away. I will never be able to buy anything from them online. I’ll have to visit that town and drive around that circle to buy anything from them. Just nuts, it was absolutely breath-taking…
M: It is, but, you know, although we baulk at that, I actually think, the truth is, it’s not that, that’s strange. I think if we really surveyed this I think there’s a lot of businesses out there that fit into the same boat. If you said to a business, ok, so how much business did you get from your website last week? – Nothing. OK, last month? OK, last year? The truth is, many people don’t actually recognise what business they’ve got from their website because they’re just static places where they’re just throwing up information. Social media, on the other hand, this fast-flowing river.
I remember a stat that I had on my wall I’m not sure how much it’s changed now, so don’t quote me on this out there, but what is it? – 72, 000 tweets a second or something crazy like that, I’d need to refresh myself on the specific twitter stats, but it’s fast. Right? Whatever you do is gone, so, therefore a twitter strategy might be not to share something once and expect it to live forever, but actually maybe to share that same thing several times. Maybe even that day.
So, depending on your platform that you’re using. LinkedIn versus Twitter versus Facebook, whatever, there are different rules to those games and different opportunities for your business as a result. And that’s where somebody like me comes in because of course I’m playing in that space and appreciate different examples of how individuals might choose to use that, so I’m cutting through that knowledge gap for them. But it’s very important.
P: Well, let me ask you a question then because I’ve been pontificating about this for a little while and I’m not too far about grasping the nettle. I don’t know if I’m crazy, but you’ll be a great sanity checker and I’m doing it here in public. In the age of social media, in particular, thinking LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo perhaps. I’m wondering now whether we need a website anymore. And what the part of the thought process I’m going through is that if people don’t feel that we’re worth talking to cos’ nobody will buy us off a website. If people don’t think that we’re worth engaging with or buying, sorry, engaging with or talking to off the back of reading LinkedIn, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Instagram page, will they ever? Over to you, sir.
M: It’s a great question. It’s one that I think a lot of people ask and the fact that I myself with thine own fine hand, crafted my web presence, not that long ago, my answer is a resounding absolutely you need a website. And I say that from the perspective that “let us not forget”, – that was very biblical, and with good reason, – let it sink in. I absolutely think you need a website because everything else, when all’s said and done, is rented land. It really is. You don’t know what’s going to happen with Facebook tomorrow, you don’t, I mean look, Facebook turned very pay-to-play not that long ago, the organic reach of your post that you throw up used to get a hell of a lot more people seeing it and interacting with it, than it does today. There’s a reason for that.
You know, Instagram and Facebook now being one in the same essentially, you put an advert in Facebook you can probably get that same advert on Instagram which is a clever place to have that visual imagery or video. And you can see over the course of the day or however long you run that advert exactly what’s going on. However, when all’s said and done, that’s a snapshot in time. What about 6 weeks from now? Do people go back to find you on Instagram or on Facebook? Probably not, you could build a presence there, don’t get me wrong, but who’s really benefitting from that? Is that you? You know, is that the ‘Geeky Group’? Is that www.MarcusBoswell.com or is that Facebook? Well, that’s really, really important to grasp. I think the way I like to think about it is that your website is kind of like your ranch or home, your farm, you’re building this place, you’re building your own little domain and I liked the idea of driving all forms of traffic back eventually. So, when my site is at its highest power it will be the place that governs exactly where people can find me and, you know, for me personally that’s why it’s www.MarcusBoswell.com
Funny story: briefly. I bought www.Marcus Boswell.com and .co.uk many, many years ago, it was in the pre-days of ‘Crush it’ by Gary Vaynerchuk. It was a great book. I read it, like, I know you’re a Gary man too, and like most people, I was inspired by what I heard and rushed out and did this thing. I knew that it was important for me to do but couldn’t quite work out why. But here I am in 2017, at least 5 years later, making use of that web presence that I purchased at that time and I would have been gutted had I not been able to find my name which I think will be harder as time goes on. So, I think that was an investment back then I think it’s even more of an investment going forward in the future because I think that, as the social landscape changes these organisations will become even more clever, they are doing some frightfully amazing things: Bots, 360° video, A.I.;
I mean, it’s nuts…
P: You ain’t seen nothing yet as the saying goes.
M:…absolutely, absolutely, and to my mind, you know, I think it behoves you to have control your little universe and seed that with that which helps your business to survive, you know.
P: Great, yeah, great point. So, thanks for that because you’ve just convinced me to hold fire on my strange thinking and it makes absolute sense what you’ve just said. And I totally agree so I’ll park that for now, which is brilliant. I just wanted to ask you about your thoughts about corporate because it’s interesting you mentioned it. You know, I deal with a few clients in the corporate space in particular who seem to be basically frightened to death about social media with particular reference to giving any of the staff access to it. Your laughing so it sounds like I’m not the only that’s come across this.
M: No… god, no.
P: …Is it something you’ve experienced and what’s your views on it?
M: Yes, I’ve experienced it personally and I’ve experienced it professionally. Before they were one and the same. So, in a previous life, like I said, you’re in a situation where – I mean, if you think about it like this – that analogy that I gave you earlier on when you used to be using LinkedIn just for looking for jobs and you’d be frightened if someone happened to catch you on LinkedIn because they thought you were about to ‘do one’ as they say. You imagine nowadays in this millennial environment it cannot possibly be a shock for said employer to see somebody on Facebook, because that’s the LinkedIn of that day, if that makes sense.
There’s business happening on Facebook. It’s not just about people looking at their mates or looking at what’s going on, there’s business happening there. I’ve got a business page there, doubtless, you’ve got a business page there, you know? So the landscape is absolutely changing and I think it’s very important to sort of maintain that.
P: I think you’re about the 390th Interview and it’s amazing how many people are worried that they’ll dry up and how you almost have to lasso them off once they start because they’re passionate about what they talk about, they’re interested in what they talk about and they know what they talk about, so actually it’s very common for the time just to just to zip by, which is great.
OK, so, covered quite a bit there. What do you think’s coming? If I asked you to stare into the crystal ball, you mentioned A.I. there (Artificial Intelligence), which a lot of people probably won’t really know what that is. So just give me a crystal ball view so we can look at this in 5 year’s time and say you’re a blithering idiot, you didn’t know what you were talking about or whether you are the genius that I think you are and you actually came up with a bit of a vision of the future.
M: Well, it’s Gretzky who talks about “going where the puck is”, or “being where the puck is going”. Well, that’s me all day long, ever since the earliest days I was playing with palm pilots and bits and bobs and people thought I was nuts. I was the first guy to come back to the UK with an Apple iPod and people were looking at me like I was crazy with this little white piece of technology that was shiny. I remember it very well.
Well, the fact that I’m on this mission now, for me, is the future. The way in which we interact in business in a social context is the future. Social selling is the future. There’s no question that this relationship based way of using social media and becoming more comfortable with the way in which conversations are made, networking with people, you know, your network is your net worth, that’s going to become so much more relevant as time goes on. There’s no question this planet we live on is all about communicating, it’s about who you know, not what you know as we always naturally and instinctively known and social media makes that possible on a scale that was never possible before. So that’s the first thing.
In terms of technically speaking on the ground as in what’s happening tomorrow, what’s happening today, well I see, we talked about A.I. and although that is still in the future it’s almost an old hat conversation because we see that happening, like I said, if I go on ‘Anchor’ and I hit this button the A.I. kicks in and says, “hey Marcus today it’s” raining outside it’s this and that. These types of things are very natural, Jesus, we’ve got A.I. in our fridges right now., so you take your milk out and it knows you’ve taken your milk and, so it orders some more. These things are happening…
P: Amazon Echo, and Google…
M: Absolutely, there’s a perfect example, that’s a real, real-life version. But I think the way that social media is starting to turn things around and, I think the gateway to the corporate environment to get involved in ways they weren’t before is BOTS, because of the opportunity to cut down interactions. So if you’re on the phone and you’re waiting for any more than a few seconds in this life that we’ve got it’s a pain in the backside. If I call a company, I want a response from an individual to tell me what I need to know. To help me with the process. To add value and the cleverest companies, in my opinion, are programming their bots to answer those frequently asked questions way ahead of time, so that long before I even get to speak to a human being I’ve actually most likely received the answer that I’m looking for. I think the crucial piece that’s being missed today, is that I still want the bloody human being. Right?!
I think some people are going a bit too far the other way and it takes me too long to get to that human being. The bot’s not clever enough, right now. I still need to ask a human for some stuff. So, I think that’s where it’s going. I think once they’ve tidied that up and you can’t tell the difference between whether you’re talking to a bot or you’re talking to a human being – wow, that future makes me shiver.
P: Yeah, and then, everybody working in call centres – their knees will be knocking and maybe their facing redundancy?!
M: I hope not for their sake because they do a tremendous job, but I just think the nature of what they do will change and we see this in our current corporate environment. I remember just a few years ago, talking to what we called our sales team, our telesales who turned into telemarketers, who turned into something else. Don’t keep changing their name, it doesn’t change what they do, right? What we need to do is change what they do. They need to research their customer’s before they pick up the phone and they need to do so many of those things. The things that will make that much easier for them is if you get those guys – I don’t even want to sell for LinkedIn here and mention the types of premium access you can get, because, this is half my gripe, it’s like they’ve got this entirely free sales force of people who are so enthusiastic saying, “yes, you need a navigator license.”
No, you don’t.
What you need is something that works for you and something that makes sense for you and if you’re having trouble articulating what that is well, I don’t want to sell, but that’s what I’m all about. This is why that Business Profiling service for me is an important piece of the puzzle because being able to help people to articulate ‘this is where I am’, ‘this is where I’m not’; People don’t know what they don’t know.
I think it’s tremendous the work that you do. When I think about how we met, the interviews you’ve done are phenomenal. I’ve listened to many. More than I expected to, quite frankly. I love the work you’re doing on Instagram – I think that’s revolutionary, by the way. I think the way in which you approach your Instagram presence, in my view, is definitely something for your audience to look out for. If I was pushing you and you were a client of mine and I was talking about the strategy that I would use, I would double down on that Instagram strategy and I would go in deep on direct messaging and really start looking at talking to some of your customers and identify them that way. But, what do I know dude? You’ve been in this longer than me.
P: No, no, absolutely, I really, really appreciate that and it’s great to get that feedback. I knew you’d end up my agent at some point…
M: It would be my pleasure, you know that.
Now, as ever, in our days of ‘Top Tech Tips’, I always used to leave people with something and I hadn’t planned on doing this actually, but I was just thinking what’s the most relevant app? I’m an iPhone person, but what’s the coolest thing that I think I probably used or got in the last several months. I think the one that really works for me the most – well, there’s two actually, the one that I think is phenomenal is called ‘DRAFTS‘. Not sure if it’s available on Android so, sorry about that guys, but what’s cool about it for me is that it gives me an opportunity to dictate, just talk to my phone, and I know there are other dictation tools out there, but what this does that they may not do is that it allows me to set up workflows. So I can say, I want you to Send what I’ve just put in there on email and then also send it to these social media platforms and then email a copy to my mum and then delete yourself… but only after you’ve archived and flagged yourself. And you can do all of that in one go, which is really useful and it’s – I don’t even care how much it costs – it’s really ridiculously cheap in the grand scheme of things.
And the second thing is something ironically called ‘Things 3‘. I wouldn’t have bigged them up in the past, I actually left them alone for many years because they upset me as they didn’t have reminders and stuff, but here’s a way that Drafts works with ‘Things 3’. So, example. Prior to our discussion, I probably threw some information into Drafts, framing the kind of conversation I might want to have. I think I did, and then I fired that by hitting copy over to you, which automatically put a copy of it into Evernote for me before deleting and flagging itself and archiving itself and all of that. It also sent a copy of itself to Things, which is this project management tool that allows me to sort of, prioritise my business workings and life in that way so I find that tremendously useful and I’m really glad.
Some people use Trello, I talked about that back in the day, some people use all sorts of other things but for me, I have found that I didn’t get along with that Kanban style; This is where you’ve got this card visual depiction happening. I didn’t find I was getting on very well with that and the old traditional ‘to do’ is working much better for me and that’s what ‘Things 3’ does.
P: Fantastic, brilliant and didn’t even organise that… didn’t even plan that ahead, I know, it’s the nostalgia of it, you want to go back to the old days of how it used to be.
M: Couldn’t help myself.
P: Listen, thanks ever so much…
M: I didn’t even get into scheduling or anything!
P: I know, otherwise that’s another bloody interview hour.
M: Oh, for sure.
P: Anyway, yeah, just finally then, obviously, to finish and I know we could talk, as I said at the start, we could probably talk for another hour quite easily so just give us, you’ve kind of mentioned it, but finally clarify, confirm how people find out more about you and get in touch with you to talk more about what you do and how you can help them.
M: I’m available on more or less every social platform that I should be or that most people care about, but on that very topic I mentioned earlier on about rented land, to hell with them all. Ultimately, I am Marcus Boswell, I am a Social Selling Consultant, you, the audience, or anybody else can now find me on www.marcusboswell.com and right there that will take you to other avenues if you want.
If you want to engage with me you’ll find my details, my number, my email being firstname.lastname@example.org so I totally and absolutely welcome any emails from the audience. If you have any questions or if there’s anything else that you want to know by all means hit me up on email@example.com and I will be honoured to engage with you.
P: Brilliant. Mate, thanks ever so much for that. I knew we’d get around to it eventually, absolute pleasure as always. And thank you. I’ll talk to you again soon, I’m sure.
M: It’s been my absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for your time.