Save Time. Make Money. Jigsaw.

27 12 2010

Not to get all cliché on you, but every salesperson working on commission knows that time is money.  The more time you spend on non-money-making-activities (ex. administrative tasks, prospecting, blogging) the less time you have to close business.  Because I am an efficiency-seeking nut-job, I constantly look for new ways to improve my work flow to get more done in less time.

Enter: Jigsaw.com.  About three months ago I happened upon an amazing sales prospecting tool; Jigsaw is a content-sharing searchable database of companies with the names, positions, and (this is the good stuff) direct contact information for employees.  I am talking any and everybody up to C-level executives.  And did I mention it’s free??

The basic functionality of the site involves a points system.  You can earn points or purchase them, and then use them to “buy” business cards, which cost 5 points.  Site collaborating helps you “earn” points, for example adding companies, contacts, and correcting flawed information already in the database.  Bonus- if you add a contact you get royalty points anytime someone purchases that contact card.

Previously, I could spend 20-30 minutes looking for a single person’s email address or trying to find their direct phone number.  I got to be quite the Google-search whiz, but it still was time consuming, and on non-money-making-activity nonetheless!  With Jigsaw, I can be in and out in under 2 minutes with complete contact information for several people at the company I am targeting.  Priceless.

Registering for Jigsaw

Be sure to use your company email address – Jigsaw rewards credibility.  Any Gmail, Hotmail, AOL etc. domains are restricted to only a few transactions a day, but with a known company you have unlimited access.

Choose your username carefully.   Every time you add a contact to the database, Jigsaw alerts that person via email including your your username.  You may or may not care about anonymity,  but just know that your username is important and can never be changed once chosen.

Using Jigsaw



The home-page view is simple and self explanatory with easy navigation to what you need:

…to find information: I recommend searching the database using company websites – there are many similarly-named companies and this eliminates searching.  Once you find a company, you will see a screen with all basic company information and options for searching:

 

I typically do a brief overview of the basic information and locations before going to the “Directory” tab.  In the Directory you are able to see all contacts at the company.  Often there are hundreds but there are easy filter options to help you hone in on your contact:

 

Once you locate your company and contact, you can purchase the card.  Keep in mind that if any of the information is incorrect, you will get “refunded” your points. 

…to add information: Be forewarned – Jigsaw is very strict about accurate information and will lock out anyone who “spams” up their system.   When adding contacts it is important to maintain an above 70% accuracy percentage.  As you can see from above, anyone can update your contact card at any time meaning you lose the royalty and take a hit in accuracy.

Some further tips:

  • Scrub the database against LinkedIn for content and job titles- not all Jigsaw information is accurate.
  • If you know the name of your contact but can’t find them in Jigsaw, purchase the card of someone else at the company.  You can use the “form” of their email address to find your contact’s.
  • Take one day early on and add as many contacts as you can – I spent an hour when I first started and STILL haven’t run out of points.

Try it out.  Sign up and add yourself into the database for practice.  You will be amazed at how much more time you will have to actually engage those contacts when you know where to search for them.  Good luck and happy selling!





My Love Affair With LinkedIn

10 09 2010

I am always astounded when people tell me that they do not “need” LinkedIn.  That’s crap.  Unless you live under a bridge and plan to keep it that way, everybody (especially sales people!) can benefit from using LinkedIn.  This is going to be just a brief overview – LinkedIn 101 if you will.  If you aren’t yet sure about the whole “social networking thing” here are a some key ways you can build your business using LinkedIn.  If this doesn’t convince you, maybe you do belong under a bridge. 

  • Instant Credibility

Imagine being able to present a brag book of your accomplishments and accolades to your prospect along with every single proposal.  Imagine having an interactive resume to send along to a job interview.  Now realize that you already have that ability by simply utilizing the tools on LinkedIn.  Your LinkedIn profile is a snapshot of your career.  Between the recommendations that you (should) have, the professional picture that you (should) have, and the job history that you (should) have listed – you have the opportunity to demonstrate your unshakable credibility based on past performance. 

  • Network Expansion

Like the picture above, LinkedIn allows you to view your professional network, and even goes further to allow you access to your network’s professional network.   Want to meet someone but don’t have a direct connection?  Request an introduction from your common connection!  It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

  • Jobs Jobs Jobs!

If you are in the job market, don’t waste your time on Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com or any of those other waste-of-time “job” sites.  Get the job you want by using the “Jobs” section of LinkedIn.  Fortune 500 companies list executive level jobs on LikedIn.  The application process is streamlined – simply write a cover letter and send your profile along.  Recruiters love to be able to see what your comprehensive profile and I can tell you from personal experience – if done correctly you will get an interview every single time.

  • Prospecting

Ever want to find the name of the decision maker of a new account?  It can be very expensive or nearly impossible.  With LinkedIn you simply do a combination search of the company and the job title to get to the profile of your target.  Learn about their job history, school, and other pertinent information that will help you build rapport.  Furthermore, you can look to see how your network connects with their network and even orchestrate an introduction. 

  • Groups

I know I already mentioned Network Expansion above… but it gets even better.  LinkedIn has forums for people to connect called “Groups.”  You can connect based on your Alma Mater, Greek Affiliation, Industry, Hobbies… the list goes on.  Once in a Group, you can view the profiles of everyone else in the Group whether they are a direct connection in your network or not.  Again, sales people take note!  This is a wonderful tool for you to get in front of the right people at big organizations.  They may not take a call from Joe Salesrep, but they will read a message from fellow Group Member Joe Participates-a-Lot. 

 

So what are you waiting for?  Get going!  Follow the simple instructions at  www.linkedin.com and start to get all the benefits of this great online community.    Oh, and be sure to add me:  





Facebook is, Like, Amazing!

27 04 2010

Once a mode of speech reserved only for valley girls and the cast of the hit 90’s movie Clueless, Facebook has taken the term “Like” to a whole new level.  Market researchers everywhere are honing in on the massive amount of “Like” information being made available to them from the over 400 million Facebook users.  If you have yet to, like, get clued in on this amazing new tool for social media promotion you should check out this comprehensive article:

Facebook’s Like a Timebomb

As a sales person, this information can be used to help you identify new prospects, build rapport with new prospects by identifying their interests, and  as a means of promoting your services!  And now – my turn to try to figure out how to add a “Like” button to my blog.