This interesting exchange comes from a NYTimes interview with Eric Lefkofsky, 40-year-old founder of groupon, serial entrepreneur, who Forbes says is worth about $750 million. The interviewer asks him: Do you think that every business needs to rethink what social media means to its future? He answers:
Today, I think that every business is again in serious flux because of the rise of all these social tools. Take telemarketing sales, for example. Why would your business ever make a cold call again?
When pressed, in follow-up questions, Eric insists that “every business that wants customers” needs to look at social media.
Sure, it turns out, by the bottom of the interview that he’s invested in a tool to help businesses manage social media, so his views are a bit like me insisting that every company needs better business planning. Still, it’s an interesting view, from a very successful Internet entrepreneur. And it makes good sense to me.
For the full interview, here’s the link:
Eric Lefkofsky, Groupon Founder, on Why Social Media Is Hot – NYTimes.com
Social media is important to most business for sure, especially new business, but only a few spending wisely.
Definitely an interesting perspective, but I do think there’s a bit of “to a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail” to his schtick. (Can’t argue with his success, of course.)
Social media is great for some things, and surely should be a part of the mix — but so much depends on what it is that you’re selling. Personally, if social media were the *only* tool I had, I would have starved to death by now. Give me a phone and I can make it rain.
As usual, your headline is fantastic, by the way 🙂
Jake, Glenn, thanks for the additions. Extremes are often hard to sustain, with some more moderate version making a bit more sense. But then it does get our attention, right? Tim
Lol, as a social media entrepreneur and at 25 yr veteran b2b sales executive I wonder what people think when they are writing articles like this? Do you think sales people who click on the link about not cold calling expect to see an interview with Groupon? Btw, Groupon is busy building up a several hundred strong sales force, and do you think they aren’t cold calling? They cold call their butts off – not via social media – just like any ad rep selling small businesses.
Even more ridiculous is the assertion that Groupon is relevant in anyway to a B2B sales executive – it’s retail, local, coupon promotions (think the web equivalent of ValPak). There is very little ‘social’ about it except that the coupon requires a certain number of people to accept it for it to be valid. Lol, who knew the future of the internet was ‘coupons’ – the oldest game in the book, and by the way, a less than zero sum game for those offering the coupons, ultimately.