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CEOs

Build Better Relationships With These Free Tech Tools You’ve Never Heard Of

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It’s 2016: We all recognize the importance technology plays in increasing productivity and building better relationships. According to a 2014 Deloitte study, 41% of middle-market company leaders view utilizing technology as a “critical differentiator and key to growth.”

Most CEOs already have already implemented common tech tools, like a CRM (such as Salesforce, the industry gold standard) and project management software (e.g., Asana, the favorite of the CEOs I polled).

But you’ve probably never heard of these up-and-coming free tools that are changing the way tech-savvy CEOs do business.

x.ai: Save time & decrease expenses with a virtual assistant that schedules all your meetings

After using x.ai for a few months, I’ve gained dozens of hours of time that would have otherwise been spent scheduling meetings, and can’t imagine ever scheduling my own meetings again.

x.ai is a personal assistant powered by alternative intelligence. After integrating “Amy” with your calendar and telling her your meeting preferences, simply copy her on any email and she’ll handle the back-and-forth logistics.

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Step 1: Mary reaches out for a meeting.
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Step 2: Greg asks Amy to find a time.
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Step 3: Amy finds a time that works.
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Step 4: Mary responds with her availability.
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Step 5: Amy sends an invite.

One of my favorite aspects of Amy is that she is persistent, and will send a follow-up email the next day if she doesn’t hear back. We’re all guilty of opening an email on-the-go and forgetting to respond. Amy makes sure appointments don’t fall through the cracks.

Crystal: Communicate more effectively with detailed, actionable personality profiles

Crystal knows…a lot. About you. And about everyone in your network.

Crystal analyzes a person’s existing online footprint to provide insight about his or her personality. Further, Crystal users and peers can help refine its analysis by “confirming” or “denying” personality traits. “If there were an award for the app that has the biggest positive impact on my work, it would go to Crystal,” says Richard Banfield, CEO of Fresh Tilled Soil.

You can look up anyone in your network’s “personality profile,” which lists traits for speaking to, emailing, working with, and selling to someone. However, the most valuable aspect I’ve found is the email corrector tool; as you compose an email to someone, it suggests alternative wording and phrasing based on that contact’s personality profile.

Rapportive: Increase rapport and build your network with an email plugin that surfaces LinkedIn profiles

Attention Outlook users: This extension might be worth swapping your email client.

Rapportive is a Gmail plugin that shows the LinkedIn profile of whomever you’re emailing next to the email thread.

If you’re not yet connected to Mary, you can invite her to connect without leaving Gmail. Go further by clicking through to Mary’s profile to read a bit about her and see what you might have in common for an icebreaker to start your email.

CEOs have told me this is an invaluable resource: First, it helps build your LinkedIn network, which you leverage (or should leverage) often. Further, it helps you better commit faces to memory — increasing the chance you’ll recognize Mary when you bump into her at that networking event.

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