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Are you excited by the latest technology in the newest model arriving at your showroom? Were you going crazy waiting for FedEx/UPS/USPS last week for your latest iPhone? Can't believe that your newest CRM ties your site, third party leads, phone calls, mail automation, showroom visits and more together? Didn't have to break traffic laws a week ago since you Tivo'd the first 10 minutes of the NBA finals knowing that you'd work late? All that is absolutely fantastic, but it's not the innovation that matters most.
Nothing that technology delivers, nothing that (supposedly) makes our lives better, nothing that is guaranteed to make our businesses run like clockwork matters until someone understands it, knows what to do with it and ultimately figures out how in hell to apply it, will mean anything...until there is a reason to use it in the first place.
In other words, why use Tivo (as good as it and DVRs are!) if you don't watch, let alone care about, anything on television?
What you care about getting done, so that you move closer to your dreams, goals and ambitions, should be the driver in using technology. The greatest innovations we can use best centers around communication. SImple. Period. Communication!
If you don't have anyone to communicate with and nothing to communicate about, technology means nearly nothing. As passionate as you can be about the latest $400-$4,000,000 items that center around innovation and technology aren't worth the patents they're built from until there is a real reason behind them.
If you're in business and plan to stay in business, use the latest and greatest but please have a purpose first. And make sure the purpose dovetails with process. Are you one of the stores that works on one CRM for 'the floor' and one for 'the Internet'? Why, why, why, why, why? Oh, I see...you like keeping other companies in business more than you want to save your own...ok. Got it!
One race matters and it's not to the sales title. It's the human one. Nobody will care about you until you show that you care about them first. Then you build a relationship (read: listen). Then use technology until the cows come home to communicate, track, follow up, excite, invite, connect, compel, validate, reward, incent, share, promote and so on and so on. And never make the technology more important than the relationship or the message. People ignore MASSIVE amounts of otherwise compelling content. We call it advertising (and most of it sucks people...especially in the auto industry).
For now, stick with the best innovation you have no matter what: your brain. Use it wisely, use it well, use it regularly...
And see you at the finish line!
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results
More thoughts at http://imacsweb.typepad.com