Monday, March 9, 2009

Where you've been may help you get where you're going

Perhaps some of you have heard of the new service Likaholix, which is now in private beta. My verdict so far - a good service which is of special interest for those who like to like, which includes capabilities not found in general purpose "liking" applications such as FriendFeed. But I want to see how it scales.

So anyways, I first heard about Likaholix from one of the principals. In the communication, the principal took great care to note one thing - the principal was an ex-Google employee.

Why would someone do this? A person would only mention a former employer if the mention would benefit the person's current endeavor. In this case, the fact that the principal was an ex-Google employee had the desired effect, and made me interested in learning more about Likaholix.

Needless to say, such a strategy won't work with every former employer, for several reasons:
  • Perhaps the target hasn't heard of your company. For example, I've worked for mostly small companies, and most people haven't heard of any of them, while a few people may have heard of one or the other of them. If I'm contacting a biometrics person, it probably isn't beneficial to mention the licensed novelty company where I used to work.

  • Perhaps the target doesn't care about your company. Let's say that Barry Williams decides to start a B2B software service firm, and he introduces himself to people by saying, "Hi, I used to play Greg on the Brady Bunch." In many cases, this is not sufficient for a business to open the door, since it does not address the business' current concern.

  • Perhaps the target has heard of your company, does care about it, and hates it. Perhaps this is not the best time for a Merrill Lynch wannabe to approach the firm and say, "Hi, I used to work for Enron." Or for a swimmer to approach the Olympic team and say, "Hi, I used to be a lobbyist for NORML."
So, before you mention your ex-employer to the target of a sales pitch, make sure the target knows the ex-employer, respects the ex-employer, the ex-employer. (So to speak.)
blog comments powered by Disqus