Monday, March 28, 2011

A Simple Rule to Prevent ‘Dear John L.’ in Emails - #DataQuality, @Salesforce

I have a thing about naming conventions and consistent data.

I often see Lead and Contact records where the First Name is something like “John L.”, even though I have added a Middle Initial field.

I personally would prefer not including a middle name at all, but it is something that is widely accepted in our industry. So, I’m doing my best to keep my users happy.

Here’s the simple rule that should effectively nip this in the bud.


It works the same for Leads and Contacts.

Yay for data quality!


You can also prevent users from entering “John T” (without a period) by changing the error condition formula to this:

   CONTAINS(FirstName, "."),
   CONTAINS(RIGHT(FirstName,2)," ")

This formula runs if either:

  1. There’s a period in the First Name field, or
  2. The second character from the end of the First Name field is a space.

Thanks @hak_a_tak for the suggestion!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why I May Have Ignored Your LinkedIn Request to Connect

I received two LinkedIn invitations this morning from people representing Salesforce consulting companies. I accepted one request to connect and not the other.


Here's why.


  1. Had a blog that interested me (which was under Websites in the LinkedIn profile).
  2. Had an individual twitter account.
  3. Mentioned in his LinkedIn profile: " an Open Networker and enjoys connecting people who can mutually benefit from knowing each other." For some reason, I really liked how that was phrased. It made me feel like he was less likely to spam me.
  4. The request came through as: "______ has indicated you are a fellow group member of Administrators."

Not Accepted

  1. Linked only to company website, which I noticed offered the same services as a consultant we are already happy with.
  2. Had a corporate twitter account mentioned in LinkedIn.
  3. The request came through as "_____ has indicated you are a Friend." But, I didn't know this person.

I did however begin following both individuals on twitter.

My processing of these two requests happened without much thought after a brief review of their LinkedIn profiles. When I stopped for a moment to think about why I accepted one and not the other, it made me realize that I had definite criteria for connection requests that I accept vs. ignore.

  1. Is the person professional yet personable?
  2. Have they correctly established the reason they want to connect? (eg: members of the same group vs. ‘a friend’)
  3. Do they include a website with a way for me to easily receive updates? (I’m all about twitter or Facebook pages these days for updates. I rarely use RSS.)
  4. I’m sure there are more things that run through my mind, but these were the reasons I could easily pinpoint.

Food for thought for those of you who diligently manage your LinkedIn profiles, which I have been a bit remiss in doing.

You may have your own criteria to help you determine who to accept. Please share it with me by leaving a comment.

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