There are an awful lot of companies we speak to here at CRM. When we visit shows and conduct briefings, we receive pitches from the decades-old enterprise on down to the most nimble of startups in their first year of infancy.
I honestly can’t decide which I enjoy more. On the one hand, you have what they call the “legacy organization,” that gives you the context that only comes with experience. But then there’s the startup – which is sure to hail from #SV and probably has a domain name that ends in “.ly.” These companies always give you that rush of what’s ahead and how things can be.
One such startup, online ID management platform Vizibility, recently got me thinking. This company helps you curate the information that prospective clients can see using Google SearchMe buttons. Because your online reputation can be a murky thing to navigate, they’ve created an NFC mobile wallet card that digitizes your business information – and allows you to trigger the right information to clients and prospects through your own, personal QR code on your business card.
Professionals can wirelessly exchange their contact information, curate and share content and video bios, view common connections on Facebook and LinkedIn, and track when and where the QR code linking to their optimized digital identity is scanned. The company began a private beta period for 1,000 tech-savvy recipients at this year’s SXSW conference, and counts major law and accounting firms among its clients.
I recently caught up with James Alexander, CEO of Vizibility, to talk about why he thinks the NFC mobile wallet card is a great tool for salespeople… and everyone else.
Vizibility in a nutshell
Alexander: “As marketing professionals, and let’s face it-we’re all salespeople, whether you want to call yourself that or not, it’s extremely disconcerting because we are who Google says we are. And Google was saying we didn’t exist. If you’re trying to build a relationship with somebody, build trust, build credibility to help get the sale, and someone goes to Google you to learn more about who you are and get a sense of how you think and all of that, we were out of luck and we had to find other ways to do that. So we basically said, ‘OK, there has to be a way to very quickly and easily share your professional Web presence, and that was the concept behind Vizibility.”
What makes it meaningful
Alexander: “It’s important when you’re trying to build trust and credibility [to have an] icebreaker. The ‘who do we have in common?’ LinkedIn is a great tool, but the problem is, it’s very passive. It’s up in the cloud. We go in there at the end of the day or once a week and do our updates, and we send out our notes. It’s – how do I get that information? How do I get that between you and me right when we’re meeting so that we can see who we have in common with each other, so we can have a better conversation? And so the CommonConnections [feature] enables that.”
How it’s different than a CamCard or a CardMunch
Alexander: “There are a lot of passive tools out there where you can scan a card and it’ll just get the text in. What we’re saying is: Don’t be passive. People know what to do with a QR code. The use of QR codes has gone through the roof in the last 12 months in the United States. The consumer packaged goods industry and the entertainment industry is spending billions of dollars indirectly promoting QR code technology, so why rely on someone to scan your card when you can put that code on your card and you can control the experience that they have and you can make sure they get the links to your online identity in the way that you want them to have it. Its proactive vs. passive, especially if you’re a salesperson.”
How he uses it
Alexander: “This is about [helping] somebody who you want to like you and trust you as a salesperson to like you and trust you, and help you communicate that you’re a technically savvy person… when I’m speaking at a conference, I usually say ‘If you like what you’re hearing or you want my contact information,’just scan the QR code in the speaker’s book,’ and that is a way to get your contact information and your presence in the hands of every lead and prospect in the room…that in itself is cool and it raises eyebrows in its own right. When someone scans your business card, we can send you a text message that someone scanned your QR code.”