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« The Social Marketing & Sales Funnel | Main | How Social Software Could Stall Social Business Evolution »

April 21, 2010


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Hi Rachel:

Really great post this morning. I couldn't agree with you more. Social media or not, communication skills are something we should all work on regularly if we want to have professional and personal success. How many of the intros or sales outreach communications start with "I want to speak, or I want to let you know" flunking sales 101 of putting the customer first. How much more time does it take to add simple words to an email or notification - words like hello, please, thank you? Don't we all buy from people, and products, that we like and seem to connect with...?

Thank you for writing up what so many of us are thinking.


Rachel Happe

Hi Mark -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Great example of starting communications off on the wrong foot. I think we all do it occasionally but trying to constantly orient ourselves to what the other person in the conversation is looking for is such a critical aspect of most business functions. Seems so fundamental and yet, it often seems to be the exception not the rule.


Fantastic post! This isn't just about communication skills, but about coming at this with the right mindset. I see this all the time as a musician - people who want to be cool stepping up in front of a (literal) microphone and singing things. Only without a true love of music, good songwriting, musicianship, etc it still comes out badly (just louder). Get passionate, understand the space you're in, and most importantly understand the people you're talking to or you'll just be amplifying the bad stuff.

Steven Safran

An excellent piece. I would add, as a helpful suggestion to our PR friends, that I don't want to "friend" the company you are repping. At least, I don't want to without a damn good explanation as to why I should do so.


Wow, I have to thank Valeria (@ConversationAge) for bringing me to your blog, this is my first time reading, but I loved this article :)

Rachel Happe

Thanks for the comments... one thing that I didn't point out in the post is that the size of the acknowledgment needs to be appropriate to the size of the 'ask' - if a company is asking you to be their friend (and thus add your reputation to theirs), they need to provide a compelling reason to do so... and everyone has different barriers for what that might be. I think plenty of people will do something for a free Whopper although you've then established a tit for tat dynamic that's not likely to incent them to do much more without more free gifts.

MiChmski - thanks for letting me know how you found my blog - Valeria's blog is great although I can't keep up with her!

Gin Kazama

Hi Rachel,
Thank you for your excellent post. What you mentioned made me reaffirm that writing is such an influential task that I need to "tailor my conversation to the other person's interests".
I'm a struggling scribbler in Japan. I write mainly in Japanese, which is my mother language. What I have in view is that someday I could hopefully compose substantial writings in English as well.
Could I make myself clear so far in my poor skill of English...?


From the Social Media Skeptic's Corner:
Ahah! Rachel you are a closet social
media skeptic. When you said:
"It may be time to take a good hard look at how well you communicate in general (forget Twitter, etc)." I
could sense an oncoming discussion of
the importance of physical proximity
in human communicative exchanges.
Well yes, Second Life avatars can make
gestures, and you can have a simulacrum
of a tete a tete on your iPad, but, well, ...oh well.

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