We love the idea of holiday buffets – you get to sample lots of good food and try new things. We aim for the same notion with Social TrendSpotter – we hope you sample good content and learn about new things to try. As you know, we play in many spaces and try to encourage cross-pollination between the social sector, for-profits and government. These articles constitute a representative sample of our content buffet and we hope you enjoy them (without all the calories).
“While #GivingTuesday has been chiefly about giving back, businesses can also pay it forward and see the dividends for their efforts. In Crain’s Chicago Business, Andrew Swinand proposes that Millennials see social responsibility as the “new religion.” He suggests that – when buying a product or considering employment – Millennials require corporate social responsibility efforts be connected to their brand and offer more than a one-time donation.” – Suzanne Smith
Companies of all sizes want their efforts in the community to go farther. This article helps them create winning #GivingTuesday strategies – for their businesses and the community. The social sector and companies can both benefit from the positive impact social responsibility has on businesses’ bottom line and recruitment efforts. For 2016, share this article and start the conversation about how you can partner with companies year-round.
Balance Between a High IQ and EQ: “It is easy to find smart people who care, but it is hard to find people who are talented at building trust, telling a story, dealing with conflict and managing change. To work for us, we need both skills sets and someone who knows which tool to use and when.” – Suzanne Smith
EQ is one of the most undervalued qualities in the marketplace now. It is hard to find and even harder to develop. I encourage my students to develop this aptitude at an early age and recently wrote a blog on how the social sector can cultivate it within their organizations. In 2016, consider this as a way to develop your staff both in the workplace and at home.
Checking In With Past/Current Customers: “It is true: the cheapest customer is the one you already have. I’m in the relationship business and I want my past/current customers to see me as a partner in their work. I am constantly thinking about my current and past customers to connect them with new ideas, new people and new approaches. I even do this for possible future customers. If you do it right, you never have to sell.” – Suzanne Smith
Sometimes it is easy to forget – the cheapest customer (or donor or volunteer) is the one you already have. This is why it is so important to spend just as much time growing existing relationships as starting new ones. As a goal for 2016, each month make a list of 10 people who make your organization work and show them you are grateful for their efforts.
Be Proactive: “The truth is we likely know what the objections or challenges will be if we have done our homework. Rather than exclusively selling with the positive, I address these possible objections head-on. It shows I’m paying attention and truly want more than their business – I want a relationship. On their end, it builds trust and allows them to be open to other concerns.” – Suzanne Smith
In his book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink believes we are all salespeople at heart. It is tempting when selling to only share the positives about your organization or your idea, but research suggests you will be more trusted if you share the risks early in the presentation and how you plan to mitigate them. Try it as an experiment in your next sales pitch and watch how it impacts your relationship-building efforts.
This is a great reflection for all of us as we go into 2016. Are you doing enough to grow yourself and your organization? Are you comfortable with discomfort created by continuous learning? Think about some stretch goals for you and your organization and feel comfortable with pushing yourself.
We would also love your feedback on any of the above. We want to continue to be relevant and stay connected with what matters to you in 2016.