So Long November, Hello December!

Hello everyone!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000.

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday was wonderful!

Busy holiday week last week.

I was in Boston, MA to see a potential client on Monday and Tuesday. Then back to Kansas City to finish working and spend the holiday with my family.

A while back, I reached out to a CEO of a software company in Windham, MA. He happened to be a 2nd degree LinkedIn connection of a current client of mine.

I made 4 attempts over 4 weeks to connect before we finally spoke live.

We had a few conversations by phone and they have a need and business pain that my company can help fix.

I offered to come to visit with the CEO and his executive team and he obliged.

We met in person for a few hours to talk strategy, tactics and grabbed lunch. Productive meeting and they requested a formal proposal.

(I don’t hop on planes without having at least 1 quality conversation.)

The Sales VP contacted me this morning and are moving forward.

Long story short: The marketing department is generating plenty of inbound leads. No one is following up on them in a consistent manner. My team will assist in this area to determine what marketing campaigns are working and which ones aren’t.

I’m not advocating that you hop on a plane to see every prospect who is interested.

But as I said in previous posts, there is no substitute for face to face meetings if it makes sense.

No matter how much technology is out there, it boils down to personal relationships.

And that’s the latest news with Connect 5000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy October!

Happy October everyone!

Fall and football are here! College basketball starts later this month.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

I wish I had something profound to say on this blog post, but I don’t.

One quick update from last month’s post seen here.

One company moved forward.

Another company who was looking for a fractional Sales VP emailed me they were going in a different direction.

The company across from my existing client is still engaged and they have a ton of initiatives going on. They haven’t said yes or no.

The company who moved forward? They graciously sent me over a referral who started October 1 as well. For that, I’m thankful and grateful.

On a completely separate note, I sent a Cutco knife to an old client of mine. I didn’t need anything from him but hadn’t talked to the CEO in several months.

The note simply said: “Thank you for “carving” out time to add me to your team last year”.

That was it and I had his name embroidered on the knife.

Ironically, I ran into him at a restaurant Saturday night while out and about.

Cheers and success to you all as you enter the 4th quarter of the year!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Go Denver Broncos!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000!

Hope you all are having a relaxing Monday!

This past Thursday, I hopped on a plane at 12 pm and landed in Oakland around 2:00 pm.

I checked into my hotel, changed and then took a Lyft to downtown San Jose.

I met with a prospect that I had been chatting with since June. They heard about us through our client across the street. We had talked by phone but hadn’t met.  So I met with the VP of Marketing and Director of Demand Generation in person and it was great talking face to face on their initiatives.

I then walked across the street and said hello to my current client who’s been with us since November 2017. My initial contact, the Chief Marketing Officer, left the company and I had 2 new contacts that I hadn’t met yet. We chatted a bit, they brought up a couple things, we all shook hands and left.

I then met with a new client that just signed up for September 1. We grabbed sushi, chatted and walked around downtown San Jose a bit. Gorgeous 75-degree weather! Can’t beat that in Kansas City in August.

I then took a Lyft from downtown San Jose to Dublin where I was staying. 40-minute ride at 7 pm at night.  KC doesn’t have a traffic problem, comparatively speaking. I went to my hotel, exhausted from meeting and traveling, and went to bed.

Friday morning, I woke up, got ready and met with a company who I happened to connect with back in August who happened to be in the Bay area.  We chatted by phone previously and I told him I was going to be in his area and to see if it made sense to meet up.

So I met with the CEO, CFO, and Director of Sales. We had a good chat and he requested a proposal.

Then I returned to my hotel, checked out and went to my 11 am final meeting. I had connected with another technology company in May and they were looking for a fractional VP of Sales for their 4 sales reps. We had a great discussion as well.

I left the office, changed, grabbed In-N-Out Burger and headed to the airport back to KC.

5 meetings in 1.5 days. $799.50 in expenses. It was worth it.

I love technology but there’s no substitute like seeing prospects in person or sharing a meal with a client.

All 5 of these meetings started with an introductory email. They didn’t know me from Adam.

As you gear up for the fall, now that most everyone is back from vacation and kids are back in school, please keep this mind. Get out of your routine and comfort zone. Go see other parts of the country. Plan a whirlwind 1 or 2-day trip. It will be worth it.

 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Hey, everyone!

Long time and no talk!

It seems like the summer crawled like a snail but summer is over, the kids are back in school, and Labor Day weekend is near.

Where does time fly?

I hate to use the word “busy” because the word to me seems a little pretentious and a badge of honor and it sounds better when people ask how we’re doing, rather than answering something like “I’m bored and have nothing to do.”

Quick story:

This past April, I flew to Chicago to attend a sales lunch along with my business development rep who reached out to a prospect and agreed to meet us for lunch along with his marketing colleague.

This company is a $1B+ accounting and consulting firm with offices nationwide.

I flew to Chicago, spent the night in a hotel, had lunch with my guy along with the other firm’s two guys. I think between airfare, lodging and meals, I spent about $700.

Was I guaranteed a client? Absolutely not! But we saw the value of meeting this firm face to face.

There’s no substitute like sharing a meal with a potential prospect. It happens all the time. We talked scope, numbers, etc. and parted ways.

Yes, conference calls are more efficient, but if a firm gets multiple calls, you’re a voice, name and company to them. Meeting in person keeps you memorable and makes the connection stronger. (Assuming you add value.)

A few weeks later we agreed to terms and were looking at a start date of June 1. Unfortunately, the office we were helping had no one in place to run the meetings we would be generating.

Long story short, they finally hired someone and we started engaging this client in August.

Takeaway #1: Always keep your sales pipeline full and keep prospecting! Even if you agree to terms, sign a contract and are ready to go, the client may have some internal delays on their end that you have no control over.

A few weeks later, I get a call out of the blue from the Phoenix office of the same company. This branch was having similar lead generation issues and somehow connected with our contact, who gave him our name.

We had an initial call about our services, then another conference call with 3 of their team members.

We shared what we were doing with their other office, etc. and we can help them hit their goals.

Takeaway #2: Companies with multiple offices talk to each other. You’re thinking “Duh, of course!”. Yet we forget these simple facts.

You never know where one lunch can lead to an expanded scope with a company.

Have you gotten official word from the other office? No.

Does it look promising? Yes.

Get out of your comfort zone, book a flight out of town, meet new folks and you never know what will become of it.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Goodbye summer!

PS: It was neat watching the recent eclipse. I’m in the KC metro and we were almost at totality!