Photo credit to Srikanta H. U @ https://unsplash.com/@srikanta
New York greeted me with a red dawn. In spite of my natural impulse to quote Legolas Greenleaf on what a red sun means, I didn’t. Not out loud anyway. There were clouds that wouldn’t allow us to see the city from the airplane, but the sun was red and shiny in the horizon. To me, it meant more than a beginning: it meant confirmation.
In just one day, a few hundred people will meet to discuss the present and future of Social Selling, hosted by no other than LinkedIn, THE Social Selling Company. It is not by chance that the event happens in New York. Where else would it make sense for it to be held? New York is, by definition, the Icon for Social.
The topic, as much as this city in summer, is a hot one. It is not untamable though. It just takes time, as it does getting to know Manhattan. My first steps trying to figure out how to best use Social to increase my team’s results were as slow and doubtful as my first steps out of my hotel.
You can have a map, you can have directions and everything but you will still be slow to get there and look back at the map in your phone every 2 minutes. The fear of getting lost in something new is not as bad as that of getting lost in the Central Park. It is there though, the minute you realize you need to get your profile to the next level.
No other city I know makes me feel like the I’m within a vast grid. As with my own professional network, it takes time to find the right people here, yet no matter what, you connect with someone. Building a strong, solid network takes time and good judgement. Almost as deciding where to eat in Times Square. Plenty of places and options, but which ones will make you go want to keep them in your list of great places? It works the same way with people you connect with: pick them right, and you’ll keep them. Be great to them, and they’ll always open their doors to you.
LinkedIn is to Social Selling what New York is to Social: where it all converges and things happen.
That is why when I was invited to LinkedIn’s Sales Connect 2016 I was so excited: a Social Selling event, hosted by the Company that coined the term in no other place but New York! How could I say no? I got to represent the Company I work for, BMC Software, and something I have been working very hard on: learning Social Selling. Well, actually, learning and sharing it with those I work with. It worked at so many levels, from Metaphor to Stategy, from “I have to do this” to “I know they want me there!” that it was just mind freezing.
As it happens to all trends when they first appear, #SocialSelling is still highly debated. But, unlike with many other trends, it is also highly adopted. Sales and Marketing people, as much as people that just need to sell or market something are using it. Companies are training their sales teams on it and it’s becoming so big that even LinkedIn can’t say where it’s going.
As I look to the agenda of the event and the list of speakers that will participate, I can’t but feel the anxiety building up inside of me. Tomorrow morning, right after I iron my shirt and shine my shoes I’ll go out to get coffee in a cup and run to the venue. The streets of New York don’t know are impervious to my excitement and yet there is a familiar buzzing out there: the sound of #Social growing and growing, in a city where it happens all at the same time.