Innovative Sales Expert and Best-Selling Author Shines at #SMWSMAC

February 16, 2012 marked the 4th official year for the DBMEI- hosted Social Media Action Camp (#SMAC), in New York. #SMAC, for those who are unfamiliar, is a one-day Cover of "Marketing Lessons from the Grat...conference in which attendees participate in seminars and presentations designed for small business owners, social media buffs, and entrepreneurs to learn more about how social media and networks can be used to promote products, businesses and ideas. Held at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City, #SMAC featured presentations by an array of professionals in the sales, marketing, and media field. Among these experts were Jeff Goldberg of JG&A, MAD Marketing TV host Jeff Ogden, and author David Merman Scott, writer of the best-selling book, The New Rules of Marketing and P&R.

Revolutionized Business Relationships

Jeff Goldberg, President of JG&A, gave a powerful presentation in regards to how the Internet, cellphones, Facebook, Twitter and other social media have revolutionized sales and business relationships, with a strong emphasis on how we should not become so dependent on technology that we forget how to communicate on an interpersonal level.

“Certainly things have changed in terms of communication,” Goldberg said, “and sales people tend to want to use the forms of communication that they are most comfortable with. But that’s not always the best way to communicate with your prospects and customers. So what you have to consider is that, yes, technology is great, but you have to communicate with people in the way that they want.”

While Goldberg stressed the relevance of traditional interpersonal communications, he also he emphasized that Linked In and other social media are also powerful tools to gain a large number of contacts, with message boards and discussions playing a major part in the success. It was Goldberg’s sales strategies; however, that provided the audience with irreplaceable advice concerning sales negotiations, setting appointments, ice breakers, how to close sales, the products people buy, and how to turn a prospect into a customer.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

Another highlighted event was Mad Marketing TV host Jeff Ogden’s teleconference with David Meerman Scott. Scott, a keynote speaker and best-selling author, joined the event to discuss his latest book, Marketing Secrets of the Grateful Dead. Scott regaled Ogden and the audience with anecdotes on how Grateful Dead’s lead singer Jerry Garcia and his band created a different business model from other musical acts by bypassing ticket sellers such as TicketMaster, and allowing fans to make bootleg tapes and videos.

Scott’s main theme was to illustrate how the Grateful Dead were the harbingers of what we now call social media and marketing concepts, a concept that was well received by the audience. By changing the rules of the game, so to speak, the band’s new business model was innovative and adaptable, as Scott pointed out.

In addition to Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, which he co-wrote with Brian Halligan, Scott has written six books, including the novel Eyeball Wars. Scott is a former Marketing Vice President, with over 15 years of experience in the media industry. At present, his blog, Web Ink Now, is ranked by Adage Power 150 as one of the world’s best marketing blogs.

A native Georgian, Leigh Egan holds a special fondness for the Peach State and enjoys contributing and interacting with the community. After attending Kennesaw State University, where she majored in English, Leigh has been a freelance writer and editor for the past 10 years. Her eclectic selections of articles and academic research cover a wide range of topics and can be found on various sites and publications. As a ghost writer and book editor, Leigh has worked on several print books and e-books dealing with education, employment, philosophy, parenting, pregnancy and teen issues. In her spare time, Leigh is an avid reader who enjoys spending time with her husband and 10-year-old daughter, who also has a passion for writing and aspires to become a writer in the future.

Our Idols are Only People

I think it is fairly obvious that I love social media.  I think it is one of the great equalizers.  We are all equal, whether we are friends or followers, no-one is better than anyone.  We are all free to share information and have a worthwhile exchange of ideas, at any time of the day or night.  There is always someone there to offer advice, opinions, or to act as a sounding board.

Really, social media is amazing.  We are free to follow anyone on Twitter that interests us, from celebrities to me, following is free.  And, unless you are really spamming someone or being vulgar, you won’t get un-followed.

But what is even better about social media?  The way we have access to people we never had access to before.  One of the first books I read was David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR, and after reading the book, I posted a review (although it is no longer on-line), and Tweeted it out using his Twitter handle (@dmscott).  Well, wasn’t I surprised when I received a response, thanking me for reading and reviewing his book.

Really?  David Meerman Scott just thanked me?  Personally?  It was amazing.  I had the ear of a published author.  A new idol of mine actually spoke to me.  I felt like a little kid, meeting Batman (I will actually get to meet Mr. Scott at the Social Media Action Camp on February 16, 2012).

Social media, and Twitter in particular, gives us unfettered access to our heroes, our idols, like never before.  It is amazing how I may not be able to get Mr. Scott on the telephone, or get an e-mail answered, but a tweet?  No problem.  That mere fact makes me feel a little more important.  After all, Mr. Scott spoke with me.

And this was 2 years ago.  Fast forward to today, and the feeling is still the same.  On January 4th, I published a blog, Take the BS Out of Social Media – A Review of No Bullsh*t Social Media, and tweeted it out.  No mention of any author at all.  Well, a friend of mine tweeted it directly to one of the authors, Jason Falls (@JasonFalls), who read the review, commented on it, then tweeted it out with a thank you, and cc’d his co-author, Erik Deckers (@edeckers).  And, guess what?  Exactly!  Erik also commented on the blog.  And re-tweeted!

It still amazes me that celebrities, authors and scholars are so readily available to us on Twitter.  I can’t call them, e-mail them, or visit, but I can tweet them, and get a response.

Social media is amazing!  It has turned our idols into people.

And if our idols can act like you and I, why can’t we, as business owners, engage our clients on a consistent basis and in an authentic manner?

How are you using Twitter to engage your idols and customers?


Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.


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