Business & Career Uses of Linkedin – Martin Brossman

Understanding Linkedin both for business and your career, managed by Martin Brossman

Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Connecting LinkedIn to In-Person Networking with the Poken

Posted by Martin Brossman on 11/22/2009

Connecting LinkedIn to In-Person Networking with the Poken, an electronic business card and much more.

LinkedIn is just one of the many “Networks” that directly connects with the Poken. You meet in-person at something like LinkedIn Live or a Linking Raleigh event(two in-person Linkedin events in the Raleigh NC areas) . You both have a Poken and touch Pokens. They glow green to show the connection worked and you have now transferred all you Social Media links and Linkedin link that you want to share to each other.

Here is more about the Poken:

Understanding the Poken which represents the next generation of business cards by Martin Brossman

This is a new electronic business card that stays up-today-date and includes Social Media links as well as your picture. In the old days we traded business cards that were often hard to read, when we got back to the office we had to type or scan into our computer and used paper from trees (NOT Green).

Today instead of the business care we use the  Poken which cost from $20 to $35  (much less then a bunch of quality business cards) .  You meet someone; touch your Pokens together that with sort range wireless transmits a code to each Poken. You plug your Poken in to your computer back at the office using a standard USB port and all their info shows up on the screen including web address, social media sites, videos and their picture. You can export this data electronically to any other system you want.  If they change a website, a phone number, a job, their picture then you get updated with the change automatically! It also shows you where you met them in time.

The Poken is much, much more than just a electronic business card sharing device. It is a fun way to share your social media and contact information with someone you meet who also has a Poken. It can include your photo, all your social media sites, your websites, phone, address..whatever you want to add. Links are active hyper links AND they don’t have to type your contact info into their computer. You can have it on you keychain and when you find someone you meet that also has one and you would like to share information with them, you just touch your Pokens together. They glow and that means the transfer of the ID’s occurred. Next time you are at your computer you plug your Poken into the USB slot and it transfers all your contacts to the web based Poken contact page. It is a new product by a new company that is already turning a profit. I believe this or something like this will be used more and more in the future over just a business card.

Their are two models of the Poken and the Hub:

  • PokenSPARK: Cost less (~$20.00 + shipping ), are the the little things with the big hand, has no extra memory.
  • PokenPLUS: Cost a bit more (~$35.00 + shipping), looks like a USB memory stick and had 2Gig of re-usable memory as well as the Poken electronics and storage for the Poken data. To see the PLUS:
  • PokenHUB: This is the website you use to maintain and keep all your contact data. Since it is web based you can be a different computer and both view and update it. To see more about the HUB:

Benefits of the Poken:

  • Don’t have to type in their contact information or re-check check scanned in information like a business card.
  • If they change their connections or content information your information on them is automatically updated.
  • It includes the time / date when you met them on a time-line.
  • Their photo is included.
  • You can easily export the data to other electronic devices.

What is required to make this work for you:

  • You both have to have a Poken.
  • You both have to have internet access.
  • You need to carry it with you.
  • Every 4 to 8 months you will have to open the little case and change the battery that you can find at Radio Shack.

Some resource to lean more about the Poken
A videos about the Poken:
More about it:

More about the Networking concept related to Poken:

What the Poken looks like inside:

Text explanation of the Poken including the manufacture and technology from Wikipedia:

Blog post comparing the Poken to other Digital Business cards:

Placeto buy your Poken!:

Also you can get them from a link on
At FindaPoken

And I am often carrying around a few that I will sell at $19.95 for the PokenSPARK and the PokenPULSE for $34.99 (you don’t pay shipping).
Call me for info (919) 847-4757

Now that you own a Poken, how to connect it to your computer:

Hope this was informative and please post your additions and comments. If you have a Poken let us know! I have a new list on Twitter called Poken Owners of RTP, if you are one and want to be on this list send me a tweet! Here is the link to the list:
Post a note here or to my Twitter account:

Martin Brossman
Raleigh NC

Linkedin Live is run by Chuck Hester and Linking Raleigh is run by Greg Hyer –


Posted in Business Networking, Greg Hyer, Linkedin, Martin Brossman, Raleigh NC, Sales, Social Media, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top 10 Reasons You Should NOT be on LinkedIn

Posted by Martin Brossman on 08/09/2009

They may not need Linkedin

They may not need Linkedin

Top 10 Reasons You Should NOT be on LinkedIn – Compiled by Martin Brossman (a bit of humor and a serious message)

1. You believe someone might steal your soul if you post a photo, and before a large rain you have to add more straw to your roof.
2. You’ve faked your own death or think you ARE Elvis.
3. You dislike people, you hate business, The term ‘networking’ makes you cringe and people you haven’t met yet are evil who eat strange food and live in enemy states.
4. You don’t, nor never will, have, any reason to build your business, meet other like minded-professionals, find clients, or need a job.
5. You named any of your children for your favorite beer, you mispelled you girlfriend’s name on your Tattoo, and are annoyed by the doctor who showed you all those dirty pictures in the ink blot test.
6. You are in the witness protection program and a guy named Godfather is trying to connect to you on Linkedin to resolve some unfinished business.
7. If you divorce your wife, you are wondering if she will still be your sister.
8. You spent 10 years in jail and were never inmate of the month.
9. You have a six figure income and when you are laid off you would like to be forced to get rid of all your belongings due to lack of connections for new employment.
10. You feel other people waste time and misuse the internet, so you’ve decided not to be on at all.

Thanks for all who contributed, and if we truly offended anyone, I apologize. It was done with good intentions. There were so many great ones it was hard to choose. Maybe more to follow. You can see all of them at the original question link:

Remember: Friends make sure their Friends are on LinkedIn, if they care about them!

Special thanks to the following specific people: Thanks Judy B. Margolis, MA – Linkedin: who inspired #2; Thanks Rob Duncan – Linkedin: who inspired #3; Thanks Kristen Fife – Linkedin: who inspired #4; Thanks Anthony Sutcliffe – Linkedin who inspired #5

Martin Brossman – Success Coach/ Trainer / Auther –

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Using LinkedIn for Sales – Part 2

Posted by Martin Brossman on 08/09/2009

I have been coaching high-quota Sales Professionals for many years and believe LinkedIn is one of the most important free sales tools available today.

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional tool for solving tasks. It is not a cold calling list or directory of your target clients. It IS a first place to check for current and future contacts and business, due to the high quality of the data when it is present. Since each profile is about an individual, automatic self-interest is generated for being well-represented on the web.

If you look at a person’s profile, you will get all the information they choose to make available, and also you can get a sense of how much they use LinkedIn. For example, you can note whether their Public Profile consists of their name vs. the pre-assigned random numbers and letters. If they have personalized it they are likely using LinkedIn frequently. Next, notice how many recommendations they have, how many connections they have, if they have a picture, and whether they filled out their profile. These factors all point to how comfortable they are with using LinkedIn, and possibly how receptive they will be in accepting your introduction.

Know your target clients and businesses and observe how close you are to them through LinkedIn connections. Who do you your ideal clients trust and how well connected are they to you? You want to keep building your connections closer to your clients and that is done by relating to them and building their trust, not just by sending them an invite to connect. Are there a few people that seem to be more connected to your ideal clients than others? If so, these people need to be a higher priority for building and maintaining relationships.

It’s important to understand that this is a dynamic process which still involves building trust and connections, just like traditional networking has all along–which means investing in quality people who are on the path to where you want to be.
If you are a sales professional, LinkedIn is not only a big asset to your own career but also to the company you work for. If you set up your web link back to the company web site (using the Other option) and use the right keywords in your profile that your customers use, you will enhance the web presence of your company and yourself. A true win-win. This also makes it easier for your contacts to refer YOU to other members of their company by just referring people to your public profile.
That last tip I want to share today about your LinkedIn profile is: make sure to clearly have your contact information easy to find, especially your phone number. Make sure to first include it in the Contact Settings area at the bottom of your profile, but if you are in sales I would also add it at the top in your Summary area.

Last, when should you upgrade your LinkedIn profile to the paid version? When you keep running up against the notice that says you need to upgrade to get the information you need. LinkedIn is very generous in giving a lot for the free service, so use all of it.
Since LinkedIn does such a great organic job of enhancing the brand of a business by having all their key people correctly listed on LinkedIn, you could add more value to your customers by offering resources for them to be on LinkedIn. That may be you or someone who provides LinkedIn training.

Martin Brossman can be reached at (919) 847-4757 – and see his LinkedIn resources or on Twitter:

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Understanding Linkedin for Sales Professional – Part 1

Posted by Martin Brossman on 04/23/2009


Look up your next contact on Linkedin

Look up your next contact on Linkedin

Last week I convinced my friend Bob of the value of using Linkedin for sales. It happened right after I saw him having lunch with John, another friend of mine. When Bob called me later to let me know that he was doing well in his new position and to make an appointment with me for continued sales coaching, I mentioned that I knew John well. I asked him if he had used Linkedin before he talked to John. Bob said no, he hadn’t. I was sitting at my computer at the time. I asked, “Did you talk about the fact that you are both big Hurricanes fans? “No, I didn’t know that,” Bob replied. Then I asked him, “Did you discuss that you both did your undergraduate work at North Carolina State University?” Again, Bob said no.”Did you tell Bob he knows your best customer, Richard Jones? Bob replied, “No, that would have been great to know, but it didn’t come up–how did you know this?” I told him I knew it because I had looked at John’s LinkedIn profile. “If you had just taken a moment before you met John to look up his Linkedin profile,” I explained to Bob, “you would know all this information and more. Also, since John posted his profile on Linkedin, it is information that he is clearly comfortable having others know, so it’s okay to mention. You could have said, ‘I looked you up on Linkedin and noticed that you are a Hurricanes Fan, or that we both went to NC State.””Now, on the other hand,” I continued, “if he looked you up on Linkedin, he would see that you had 15 connections, that your profile says you still work at the company you left two years ago, and that you don’t have a single recommendation.” “Bob,” I said, “you’ve done your best to always sell top-quality products with a personal commitment to give the best quality support to your customers. Would you want an easy way for potential customers to see your years of experience and be able to check you out before you meet? I know you have a large number of customers that would be pleased to give you a recommendation on Linkedin if you simply asked. Bob replied, “Can we include some Linkedin training along with regular sales coaching-as soon as possible?I told him to start immediately by making sure his Linkedin profile was fully filled out and to start looking up customers before meeting them. And I noted that there’s also a large amount of information available by looking up the company that many people aren’t even using, which gives info which would have traditionally cost money or a lot of research. Several key things for a sales professional about Linkedin: Start looking up companies you are involved with, including your own. Before you meet with someone see if they are on Linkedin and review their profile. Make sure that when your future customers look you up on Linkedin, current information is there that enhances understanding and trust of you. Linkedin is a valuable tool for a successful Sales Professional and offers a great deal at the free service level.



—Martin Brossman: Success Coaching & Trainer offering Social Media, Personal Branding and Linkedin training since 2006. (919) 847-4757 (Article re-printed from )

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A Few Comments About the Securities Industry and Linkedin

Posted by Martin Brossman on 02/28/2009

A Few Comments About the Securities Industry and LinkedIn as well as Social Media. If you know of other free resources related to this topic please share them by posting a reply or sending me a email ( ). These post came from a question I asked on LinkedIn about the resistance in the Securities Industry to LinkedIn and Social Media. This seems to be a challenge, because this is an important place where the future customers will be found. Many people in the Securities Industry are getting more pressure to gain more clients but then told not to use social media and LinkedIn, a key way to build future relationships.

The key comments:

From: Jay Izso –
While I agree that the securities industry is handcuffed by compliance departments I have come to understand why. If we take anything from the Bernie Madoff case, we can see that people are not what they profess to be. True this destroys it for those people who are reputable and perform their job with integrity, however, it only takes a one bad apple to spoil the entire bunch.
Furthermore, I have come to understand that these companies are almost completely responsible for not just their employees person, but what they say or do that might be connected to the financial industry. If they give one piece of advice that it is not in agreement with company policy and a person takes that advice through a social media site, while the advisor may be in serious trouble, the company may face consequences as well.
I don’t see the compliance companies letting up on this. As a matter of fact my guess is as a result of all the financial backlash, things may get even tighter in some companies.
So what is the answer: Online Marketing evangelists. Since, these securities and financial people are limited in their promotion there is nothing wrong, at least from what I can tell, if non-compensated clients, friends, or family voluntarily solicit on behalf of these advisors.
For instance, I use Bob Watral with Smith-Barney in Raleigh, NC. I have been extremely happy with his dedication to my small amount of money, his consistency, and integrity. I also have endorsed him on my linked in profile.
I have no problem being an evangelist for Bob. I get nothing from it. I just know he does a great job and I want to tell others.
If people can get a hold of the concept of “marketing evangelists” regardless of the compliance issues they still can get a great business moving through social media.

From: Frank Williams
I am probably a rare breed in that I am a PR professional who held a Series 6 securities license in a previous life.
Let’s look at this from a PR angle, through the securities industry’s eyes. Imagine for a moment that you are in executive management at a firm which offers securities. Imagine that one of your brokers/agents engages in a seemingly innocuous discussion on a social networking site, but someone construes that discussion as giving financial advice and makes a trade or purchase based on that information — and then that trade/purchase results in money down the drain. This could result in negative PR and, potentially, a legal problem for your company, something which you want to avoid at all costs.
A big part of the securities industry’s resistance to social media likely results from the number of lawsuits filed (many of them likely frivolous) against securities companies. My guess is that they will eventually open up (to a degree, at least) to social networking, but only after they have plenty of internal safeguards and a great deal of training in place for their agents/brokers.

From: David Bass
I don’t want to make any excuses for the compliance staff, but it does help to understand the regulatory framework a bit.
Every securities firm must develop a set of “Written Supervisory Procedures” (or “WSPs”) that are satisfactory to FINRA, and then follow them. The WSP’s establish a supervisory framework and establish procedures to ensure compliance with laws governing advertising and sales literature, background checking and registration for new personnel, review of correspondence, handling customer complaints, privacy, handling transactions, and all the other things that go along with handling funds or securities belonging to others (i.e., customers). (I’ve written an entire set of WSPs from scratch, ultimately to the satisfaction of FINRA regulators. It’s a beastly task!)
One of the biggest “gotcha” areas that has led to fines imposed on securities firms is the review of correspondence. The regulations basically require firms to supervise all incoming and outgoing correspondence related to conduct of the firms’ securities business. The review is to ensure correspondence complies with FINRA Conduct Rules regarding standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade (Rule 2110), the absence of manipulative, deceptive or other fraudulent devices or contrivances (Rule 2120), content standards (Rule 2210(d)), and to identify customer complaints. Then all of this correspondence needs to be saved, maintained and archived.
So what is the DEFINITION OF “CORRESPONDENCE”? This includes all written and electronic correspondence. Letters, faxes, email, text messages, instant message programs, and anything else that can be read (as opposed to listened to) is considered correspondence.
The compliance staff fears that which they cannot review. LinkedIn In-Mail messages are a problem if used for business purposes by securities professionals. The incoming In-Mail shows up in my email In-Box. No problem here – it goes through the server where a copy can be captured, reviewed and archived. BUT WHERE IS THE OUTGOING IN-MAIL? Hmmm… not on the securities firm’s server!
Some of the best features of social media are also the most frustrating for the securities industry. IM, text messaging, in-mail, Twitter, etc. are really more like voice converted to text and less like traditional correspondence. If the securities industry compliance staff AND FINRA AND the SEC and Congress can all agree on this and modify the regulations to accomodate communications of this nature (by redefining them as extensions of voice, rather than extensions of writing), then the industry professionals who are social media-savvy can emerge as winners. Until then, we’ll continue to be frustrated.

From: Doug Cornelius
Advertising and correspondence are tightly controlled in the securities industry. Those limitations are in place to protect investors from shady securities dealers.
One of the problems is getting social media messages into a repository where they can be reviewed and stored. For some social media platforms, you can do this. The closed platforms are a problems. For example, on Twitter, it would be easy enough to pull a persons tweets in through an RSS feed for review and storage. Similarly, blog posts could be as well.
The key, as you point out, is transparency. We need to know what the dealers are saying about the securities. The transparency protects the investor.
As for LinkedIn Answers, if I could subscribe to an RSS feed for all of your answers then it would not be a problem. But since I can’t, it is not transparent.
Much of the problem lies with the underlying social Internet platforms and not the compliance regulations. They are purposefully closed and do not allow information to go outside the platforms. The platforms are not transparent.

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