I used to have a very large pharmaceutical company as a client and one day I asked them, “what are you doing about social media?”
“Nothing, we are regulated”. Was the response.
I asked “So I or anybody can go on-line and say your product is rubbish, what will you do?”
“Nothing, we are regulated” was the response.
I replied “OK, I go onto social media and say there is a batch of fake product a certain geographic area”.
(Pharmaceutical companies are very sensitive to fake product, for obvious reasons).
Again, they would do nothing as they are regulated. I didn’t ask the question “so you will allow people to die, because of regulation?” As I could see I was going nowhere fast.
But the point is and I’m really sorry to say this to you regulated industries but the genie is out of the bottle. You can no longer hide behind this. Anybody can go on-line are tear your company down.
Being regulated is not a reason for in-action anymore and I’m sorry to say going forward that won’t change.
At a recent CMO dinner I attended there was a discussion about how many regulators people had, but this was all a reason, again for in-action.
Social media is here to stay and I’m really, really, really, sorry to tell you, that regulation is not an excuse for doing nothing.
So what do you need to do?
We have to show leadership and go to the board or the Partners and explain that action is required. Here at DLA www.social-experts.net we are used to doing this, which is probably how we have gained our market leading position in Professional services.
It’s important that we explain that social has not replaced the relationships that your partners have, it enables you scale up these relationships. Alex Low always does a demo using Sales Navigator of the potential clients are on social and where you have the relationships in place. The ability for you as a business to gain incremental review and increase the number of pitches is immense.
Looking at the regulation, this is important, this is not about getting around it, we must work with it. That’s why it’s so important to empower your people, to use social, with the right guidance that we don’t strange the prospects, but they are empowered to work within the framework.
Whose Doing This?
Shortly after joining, Alex started talking to Professional services companies and everybody said “interesting, but come back when a competitor is doing this”. Alex knocked on a lot of doors, then a Partner at a Law firm said “OK, we will give it a try”. Since then we have signed up Lawyers, Accountants, Property Services, anybody were there is a Business Development function.
They all seem to fit the following; the old ways of cold calling, cold email, events and seminars no longer seem to work. You have a complex biz dev environment, biz dev people need to find leads for themselves. And we explain and provide the coaching and mentoring how they need to have a personal brand, build a strong network and how the biz dev people can look like experts on-line.
All this fits within your current regulation and… your competitors ARE doing this already!
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