Can You Hear Me Now? Practicing Social Listening

Posted by dscaringi on March 15, 2018

Listening is a critical tool for successful business development. You know what I am talking about… not just hearing what someone is saying, but rather soaking in the detail, understanding where it can lead and giving back to conversations appropriately. There are many tools for listening to your potential buyers, but social media leads the way.

Social media is a huge player in telling stories. There are billions of images, videos, comments and posts pushed out every single day. And people now appreciate that social media is more than a means to broadcast information about ourselves. Social media provides a powerful platform for listening to industries, markets and individuals. So, what do we do with this information? Dig into it.

Social listening is the process of digesting digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand. Why is it meaningful in a business development context? Social listening allows us to extract important insight into our networks and their vetting processes. It allows us to figure out who the influencers are in our target markets. Social listening allows us to find better ways to develop relationships, build a presence and differentiate brands.

How do you social listen? There are many ways to listen through social media. But start with a healthy mix of monitoring social media using analytics, carefully following notifications and actively engaging your networks in conversations. Remember to keep track of what you hear so that you may connect the dots across an industry and use the information you decipher to your advantage. Finally, once you understand the topics that are important to your buyers, create content this audience wants to consume and in the format they wish to receive it. Then keep listening for more feedback so that you can adjust over time. There is no secret recipe, but maintaining a balance between broadcasting your content and listening to your consumers will become more clear over time.

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Developing Trust: The Key to Success and Happiness in 2018

Posted by dscaringi on January 2, 2018

If you carefully examine your relationships, what separates the good ones from the really great ones? What is the secret sauce that makes the great ones really sing? What makes you feel good and comfortable with an other person? What hurts so badly when it is betrayed?

I am going to be bold here… trust.  I see the common denominator to all successful relationships as this simple (but emotionally complex) 5-letter word: trust.  Some of the definitions are particularly interesting:


  1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc. of a person or thing; confidence.
  2. a person on whom or thing on which one relies.
  3. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed.
  4. to believe.

Trust is the characteristic upon which respect and loyalty are based. Without trust, there is negative tension that erodes possibilities. Trust is critical for both personal and business relationships.

For our purpose today, let’s talk about the business context. People want to work with people they connect with and like. They also want to work with people whom they can trust to help them. In the spirit of the new year, let’s set the intention of trust in 2018. Easy to say, but not always easy to accomplish. So, let’s outline some tips to earning someone’s trust.

  • Be Honest, Always.  In our current sad time politically, Americans are understandably becoming less trusting. However, we must stay the course. It is up to us, as individuals, to keep the spirit of trust alive. The only way to do this is to be upfront and honest. How do you show someone that you are honest?  Always tell the truth. I am not saying to be brutal and hurt feelings, but rather find ways deliver the truth in a constructive, helpful way. Simply put:  don’t lie.
  • Be Available.  Being available also means being present in whatever way your client needs, whether its’ physical, emotional or virtual. They need to know that you are reliable and looking out for their greater good.
  • Be Consistent. Always deliver the best products and results you possibly can. By modeling consistent behavior, you show people what you are made of and what they can expect to receive.
  • Be Helpful. Ask thoughtful questions and clear pathways to help people reach goals. Genuinely help people because it feels like the right thing to do. If you nurture mutually beneficial relationships through open and honest communication, helpfulness will always come back to you in spades.
  • Do what you say you will do. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. However, you should strive to go above and beyond whenever possible. This goes back to the honesty rule. Unrealistic promises will always hurt you. If you continually do what you say you are going to do, people will come back when they need your help again. If you can’t deliver what you thought you could? Be honest. Tell them how you miscalculated the task and tell them what you can do.

There are so many good reasons to build trust, both personally and professionally. Building honesty, consistency and helpfulness into your daily existence is an excellent way to lead your professional business success.

Happy New Year! I wish you all the very best 2018  has to offer!

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Annual Reflections Work Their Magic

Posted by dscaringi on December 27, 2017

Before we usher in the new year, I want to each of us to take a moment to reflect on 2017. Life can blur past us sometimes. It’s good to make a conscious effort to acknowledge the good and bad of each year. By doing so, it helps you to focus on the new year through a fresh lens. I find the holiday season to be a perfect time to pause and reconnect with our many blessings. A few things to consider in your reflection process:

  • Did you set goals last year?  If yes, did you meet those goals?  If you feel short, where did you fall short?
  • What went well this year? How can you repeat that success?
  • What didn’t go so well this year? How can you change that next year?
  • Who helped along the way? How can you thank them?
  • Who do you need help from next year? How do you respectfully ask for that assistance?
  • What are your goals for 2018? What actionable steps can you take to meet them?

I do know that when I take on this reflective exercise, I always learn how incredibly lucky I am. I am grateful to my family, friends and clients.  They all make my life so full.

In recognition of my clients, over the year I have made donations to Dana Farber, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, American Lung Association, ALS Association, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Worcester County Food Bank. I am grateful to these organizations (amongst many others) for always being poised to help at the most critical times in the lives of people around us.

I wish all of you an abundance of happiness, success and peace in the new year.

Happy holidays!

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