Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pinterest: the ultimate soft-sell tool to add value to the sales process

In much the same way that Google pioneered the Internet search phenomenon, and Facebook changed all of our worlds with social media connectivity in a way we never thought possible (a high school crush wanting to reconnect with you after 45 years – good grief), now comes Pinterest.

My daughter Brooke started the ball rolling for me. She was telling my wife Laurel about it several months ago over breakfast. I was half-listening. "Blah, blah, blah…it’s so cool…it’s so amazing…blah, blah, blah."

So eventually I joined and started “pinning” some stuff and got back to the real world of work and the various tasks at hand.

And then Eric Kent from Archadeck Outdoor Living in Charlotte, North Carolina, phoned me this morning. I had an epiphany.

Eric is a rock star when it comes to designing and selling outdoor living spaces. In fact, in the cold of January, he designed and built more than a half million dollars in stunning screened porches, sunrooms, hardscapes, outdoor kitchens and decks. In January.

So what better person to have a discussion with about how to use Pinterest to add value to your business?

What I told Eric he should do is not focus on getting Archadeck images and banter out into the Pinter-verse, but rather to pull people into his Archadeck Outdoor Living franchise business by “pinning” items that people who have a love of outdoor living would be interested in.

For example, how to build the perfect raised bed, my first find after entering “Garden” in the search box – courtesy of Sunset.

Then I searched for “Summer coolers” and found a beautiful image of all kinds of refreshing-looking warm weather thirst quenchers, courtesy of Svetlana Kuperman – whoever she is.

So picture this. Eric is invited into a prospect’s home for a free design consultation to create an outdoor room for a young couple in fashionable Noda in Charlotte (North of Davidson Street).

The young married couple in their early 30’s with a beautiful toddler and golden retriever have nothing – and I mean nothing – in their backyard.

“I want a deck outside our kitchen door,” she says. “We also like to eat outside, so maybe a dining area over there (rear left, under the trees, a Belgard hardscape would be perfect).”

There’s an unsightly tool shed at the far right of the yard that needs to remain there for storage of summer furniture, lawn equipment and toys. But it needs some camouflage.

So when Eric suggests a sculpted Belgard accent retaining wall that would be the perfect time to pull out his MacBook Air and go to

He could then show the collection of tasteful in-wall water features he has “pinned” to help stimulate the thinking of his outdoor living spaces clients, maybe like this one posted by Allison Carroll – an aged but interesting cast iron water fountain wall sconce.

Get it.

Then get going.

“Pin” your way to fame, fortune and thought leadership.

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