Old Dogs, New Tricks? Be Mindful of the Pitch.

The other day, I invited a hospital marketing colleague of mine to connect with me on LinkedIn. His response was that he was too “old-school” for that sort of thing. I didn’t tell him that I had 60- and 70- something family members that had Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, nor did I remind him that he was a mere 40-something—and a marketing professional to boot (plus, how do you get to be old-school at age 40??). I didn’t even remind him that he’d been very clear several years earlier that, to him, marketing was all about building relationships. Um, yes, that’s pretty much what social networks like LinkedIn are all about.


So, with some restraint (I’m no bully), I shared a few compelling reasons about why he might want to try this particular social network. But, it got me thinking about how marketers (and others) should go about convincing the unconvinced to venture into social media. This is what I came up with:


  • Shaming doesn’t work—this only puts folks on the defensive, don’t you think?
  • Give them a reason to which they can relate—doing something just for the sake of doing it is just dumb. Show them how it can become part of the big picture. You know—strategy?
  • Offer up a case study—well-presented case studies are always powerful, especially when it shows ROI.
  • Stop with the buzz lingo, it’s threatening to the uninitiated—when it comes right down to it, all of this stuff is really just word of mouth and relationship building.
  • Show them how to do it/use it—personal demos are golden.
  • Be a resource—be the expert and share your knowledge.
  • Be patient—eventually, everyone will have to come around to this stuff anyway.

None of these are “aha” concepts. I think in our urgency to get colleagues on board with new technologies that improve communication, we forget they may not have that same enthusiasm and sense of urgency. Then, we need to step back and re-evaluate the way we’re making our pitches.


I still haven’t heard back from my hospital colleague, but it’s only been a couple of days. He’s smart, so I believe he’ll begin seeing the bigger picture. Until then, I’m being patient . . .

3 comments so far

  1. Edward Bennett on

    You listed my favorite techniques – Be a resource. Sharing information you’ve found, and helping them solve problems with your social network will demonstrate the value. Of course there’s always the risk that you could become a personal gateway. Why bother to learn social networking, if Daphne can get the answers for them?

  2. daphnels on

    Good point! The idea is not to become the gateway, of course. Rather, to get folks to learn by doing themselves. Once demystified, this stuff is not only resource-laden, but fun as well!

  3. medXcentral on

    Soooo…. what was the outcome? Did that cruddy old 4-something (I’m over 40..so I can say that) ever come around? Or…are we gonna have to rough him up a bit? (kidding of course)

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