At the start of last week, on my way to Houston, TX for some important business (ahem), I took the opportunity to stop off at and visit Washington, DC for a couple of days with the idea of visiting some folks I speak to frequently during the course of a regular business week – fellow HTG member and facilitator of HTG11, Dave Sobel of Evolvetech, and Naseem Saab, owner of Results Software. Both Dave and Naseem took time out of their busy schedules to show me around the sites of Washington, DC and introduce me to their teams, and I had a great time whilst in town. Thanks guys!
I also had opportunity to speak at length with the guys at Results Software about how Netlink IT and Results Software can create more opportunities within UK around the Results CRM product, which we’re a big fan of and have been reselling within the UK for the past 12 months or more. If you’ve not taken the opportunity to look at Results CRM, you’re missing out – feel free to drop me a line and I can give you a heads-up on how we’ve generated business using Results CRM, and how it might be a good fit for other markets too.
Now a while back Dave Sobel put me in touch with Jeremy Epstein, a former Microsoft employee who now runs “Never Stop Marketing”, helping clients utilise Community driven marketing. Jeremy writes a great blog that I’ve been following for a few weeks now. Dave mentioned that his wife, Sharon, was attending an event that Jeremy was putting on an event in DC on the Tuesday night I was in town, and so I dropped Jeremy an e-mail to see if a Brit would be welcome at his WOM Slam II event (WOM = Word of Mouth). Jeremy encouraged me to come along, and I in turn mentioned this to Naseem at Results Software, and he and his colleague Kevin also attended. An instant vindication of the power of Word of Mouth marketing that Jeremy mentioned to the folks who attended during the night!
WOM Slam II was held at Mie N Yu, a beautiful restaurant in Georgetown, and whilst I was initially stymied by the insane Washington, DC traffic (trust me, this place makes London look positively free-flowing) once I’d arrived I was made to feel really welcome by everyone else in attendance and had a great time!
The evening was based around the challenge of promoting JackBe, an Enterprise level Mash-up tool, using Word of Mouth marketing strategies. We were divided into six teams of four or five people, and over a lovely complimentary dinner we were given time to come up with a proposal that we had to pitch later on with the best idea, as decided by the guys at JackBe, being declared winner.
I was given the opportunity to deliver our teams pitch (as I told my fellow attendees at the time, at least if I made an arse of myself, they wouldn’t see me again!) and in my best Queens English suggested that people buy products or services based on specific pain they are experiencing. Based on that fact, JackBe should create a series of half a dozen or so mini Case-Studies showing how JackBe has solved some pains specific to certain targeted industry segments. These Case-Studies should be accessible via an easy to read URL that could be passed along via Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and indeed, Word of Mouth! What’s more, the JackBe team should have business cards personalised with this specific industry info that they could use at Trade Shows and the like.
I’m pleased to say that our teams pitch won first prize, a $50 credit at Mie N Yu and the book “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking” for each member of our team!
Now, attending Business Networking events is what I consider a necessary chore when you run a business. I’ll openly admit I don’t relish attending such events in the UK, and I find them a bit of a grind. However, the WOM Slam II event was something I thoroughly enjoyed, with some really great people who were warm, friendly and interesting. I wish I could attend more of the same! I think there’s an element of my opinion that that Americans are generally warm people in my experience that contributed to my enjoyment of the event, plus the fact that the attendees of WOM Slam were just a great bunch of people. Perhaps I should move Netlink ITto the US to enjoy more of these events! 🙂
If you’re a business within the Washington, DC area then I’d strongly encourage you to contact Jeremy and become a part of the next WOM Slam event. If, like me, you’re outside that region, then keep an eye on Jeremy’s blog and Twitter feed for some great info that is useful wherever you are in the world!