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Saturday, November 25, 2006

What was once openBC has now been re-launched as XING, and it looks a much improved interface.

OPEN Business Club AG (the company behind XING) has been named one of the world's hottest Web 2.0 startups by Business 2.0/CNN Money and one of Europe's "Top 100" by Red Herring.

With it's re-launch it looks set to remain the #1 Business Social Networking site globally.

Of course, you could argue that LinkedIN is #1 with 8 million users compared with XING's 1 million+, but LinkedIn has never really considered itself a "social networking" site. Certainly, compared with others such as Ryze & Ecademy, XING is clearly ahead in terms of users.

The thing that interests me is XING's potential for international business development. The site is truly multilingual, supporting 16 languages, and has a global footprint.

It's easy to identify potential partners by searching for what people "have" and "want", as well as by industry. In addition, the platform facilitates open dialogue through sending private messages (your contact details are kept hidden unless you agree to share them with a contact) and online forums.

I still think that it's search capability could be improved with the ability to search "free" text on "About Me" pages (LinkedIN certainly has the edge here) but XING's "search agents" are an excellent way to find new contacts as they join the network.

I've been using this platform since 2004 (here's my profile) and have successfully developed relationships with global business partners & associates through it.

If you're interested in building your business network on an international scale, XING is the place to start.


Posted by: David Regler @ 4:43 pm |  1 comments  | Links to this post  

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Friday, November 17, 2006

A good friend and Associate recently blogged on Ecademy "The very top sales people are pros at losing. What do you think?".

It all came from an article that suggested Sales people are "happy losers" and, like addicted gamblers, they are addicted to the thrill and are in fact pros at losing.

I'm not sure that I agree with the phrase "happy losers"; having worked in sales all my life I know that salespeople are seldom "happy" when it comes to losing.

But I do agree that the best will brush failure to one side and start again after the next deal. It's like they are intensely motivated by the thrill of winning that they simply ignore the inevitable set-backs.

It also reminded me of an article I read recently about Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital. Widely recongised as one of the top tech VC's, with companies like Google & Yahoo in his portfolio, the tendency of many people is to only see the up-side.

But, in the interview, Mike is refreshingly pragmatic and reminds us that "People don't see the carcasses and the smouldering ruins on the side of the road. And there are plenty of those." He continues, "Maybe it's just that we have made more mistakes than everybody else and try not to make the same mistake twice. If we're so good, I keep wondering why we still have write-offs"

Mike says that Sequoia has "a perpetual fear of going out of business", and constantly tries to 'bake' anxiety into its partners, "hour by hour".

That's something that I recognise in great "hunter" salespeople. They accept failure, understand that it's part of the game, and are intensely focused on making sure that they keep pushing for the next win.

Whether it's an "anxiety" or simply a drive to not sit-back, the best seldom need motivation from manager - they have their drive hard-wired.


Posted by: David Regler @ 11:30 am |  0 comments  | Links to this post  

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