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Why Community? Some just don't get it...

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Categories:MOSS; WSS; 2007; 2010; General; OpEd

More and more my presentations are gearing towards talking about community. My latest one, "Building a SharePoint Community", is a step-by-step walk through of how EndUserSharePoint.com became a central community around SharePoint End Users and what people can do to develop their own communities.

The dilemma is this: Marketing people get it right away... I mean almost IMMEDIATELY. However, I'm having difficulty convincing sales people of the value of becoming part of a community. We're not just talking about SharePoint here. Pick your target. Think of your own sales staff.

We all have the same problem when it comes to sales. We've got to get a HUGE pipeline of potential clients going through the pipe, trying to close a certain percentage of deals to get everything to work. I understand that. I know the constant pressure sales are under to "A.B.C. - Always Be Closing!". But there's something missing in the process, and that something is relationship building for the long run.

Help me out here. Why have you become part of the EndUserSharePoint.com community? Why do you participate in the site? Why are you part of the SharePoint Community in general? Help me frame a message to the sales people of all SharePoint companies and vendors: THIS is why we particiapte in community. What is the real value for a sales team to become part of an existing community?

To me, it's almost a rhetorical question, but more and more I see that the community message isn't clear and doesn't resonate with the sales audience. I want to make a presentation on "Why Community Matters: A Sales Perspective". I'll make a recording as soon as I get clear on the message and make it available here on the site for you to download.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

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