17.3% Turnover of Targeted CEO’s, President’s, VP’s of Marketing and Sales

Happy mid-September everyone!

I recently decided to scrub my database to make sure I didn’t have bad contact information.

I have a few thousand executives who I regularly market to.

My target executives are CEO’s, President’s, Vice Presidents of Sales and Marketing and Head’s of Demand Generation.

Not exactly entry-level workers.

So we did a recent cleansing and cross-referenced LinkedIn, undeliverables and bounce backs.

Guess what? 17.3% of these executives are gone! This list of names was compiled less than 3 years ago!

Several years ago, I did a data scrubbing and between 19-21% executives had changed positions or moved on.

Either the company was acquired, went out of business or merged. And the executive either changed positions, quit, was terminated or retired.

This is a good economy we are talking about. Not 2008!

What’s the lesson here?

If someone told you “No” in the past, there’s a 20% chance that person is longer there. Do a little bit of research and see if that executive is still with the company.

According to AdAge, the average tenure of a Chief Marketing Officer is about 4 years. About the same as a presidential term.

Regularly scrub your database and get rid of bad data. In both good and bad economies, people move around a lot.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Early Labor Day everyone!

I received a well-written email from a potential provider this week asking for some of my time.

I ignored it.

The CEO sent another email and I responded. We went back and forth and I agreed to a demo.

After I agreed to a demo, he emailed me 4 questions, which I graciously answered.

The calendar invite was sent out, I accepted it and thought I wouldn’t hear from them until the scheduled time.

WRONG!

The CEO’s direct report then reached out to me asking me to fill out a 2-minute survey.

I get what he was trying to do but it was a bit too much, especially when they reached out to me initially.

I politely declined the survey and shared with him I had already answered the CEO’s 4 questions.

Folks, don’t over qualify your prospects and don’t make them jump through several hoops! Especially when you made the first contact.

Now if I had originally reached out to this company FIRST, I would understand them wanting additional information before moving forward so they didn’t waste their time or they could assign the appropriate rep.

Make the buying decision experience as smooth and easy as possible.

And if you pre-researched your prospect in advance, you shouldn’t have to ask several questions once they agree to a demo.

Wait for the discovery call to ask these questions when you can chat live with them, not via email.

Have a great holiday weekend!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Cheers!

2 Good Questions To Ask Inbound Prospects

Happy early Easter everyone!

I met Ed Gandia back in 2006 when we worked together for a software company. I was in sales and he wrote copyright for the firm.

He’s been a wonderful friend and mentor from afar the past several years.

His LinkedIn profile is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edgandia/ and is a master at what he does.

He wrote an article recently and here are the highlights:

Sometimes instead of doing proactive outbound prospecting, we get incoming inquiries from prospective clients.

Regardless of how they found you, here are two important questions to ask them:

“How did you find out about me?”

(Usually, you can uncover motive or intention with this question.)

If you get a vague response, follow up with “What made you reach out to me in particular?”

Flush it out, figure out why the heck they decided to stop what they were doing, reach out to you and seek your help and expertise.

1 of these 2 questions should help uncover the real prospect’s reason for reaching out to you.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

Video In Case You Have A Bout of Insomnia

Happy March Madness everyone!

My team, the Kansas Jayhawks, got knocked out early in the NCAA tournament, which was not exactly a surprise.

This post today will be very short.

I was recently asked by a facilitator at Johnson County Community College to give a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners on sales prospecting and lead generation.

The video is long and about 1.5 hours.

Here’s the link so please enjoy!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000

A Blog Post About Blogs and Blogging

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I came across this article yesterday.

Apparently, there are more than 440 million blogs in the world!

For comparison’s sake, there were 325.7 million people living in the USA as of 2017.

That’s more than 1 blog per man, woman, and child in the United States! Yikes!

Is blogging important? Depends on what kind of business you’re in.

I, myself, subscribe to numerous blogs. I consume them but have never bought from several thought leaders who have quality content. Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt and others come to mind. Top notch thought leaders who provide lots of content marketing, but I’ve yet to invest in their products or services.

I’m not saying that blogs aren’t important and that you shouldn’t have one.

With attention spans at a premium and executives are dealing with severe information overload, how do you stand out?

Unless you have gobs of money to spend like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants, how do you compete?

Can you trace a new client or sale directly to a blog post(s) you created?

If not, should you keep blogging? It’s a rhetorical question of course but I hope it makes you think before blogging.

What’s the end game? To get more clients? Look more credible? Be a thought leader?

None of these are bad but with the sheer volume of blogs out there, does it make sense to continue doing so just because everyone else is doing it?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for reading my blog.

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.

 

Article I Read Recently On Content Marketing

Happy August everyone!

I came across this article recently: https://www.businessesgrow.com/2014/01/06/content-shock/

Quick summary:

Some expert somewhere said that you should blog. So everyone and their brother started blogging.

Then content marketing became the next hottest trend. So everyone and their sister started developing marketing content.

Key takeaway verbatim from the article:

“Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months. Unimaginable, really.

However, our ability to consume that content (the demand) is finite. There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.”

As the article goes on to say, companies with the deepest pockets (Apple, Facebook, etc.) will win in the long run.

I admit it: I don’t blog regularly because attention spans keep getting shorter and time is a valuable currency.

Just because you blog or publish content doesn’t mean it will get read.

Continue to be proactive, make one on one connections and personalize your reaching out. With the sheer amount of marketing content out there, don’t assume that if you publish it, that prospects will read it.

 

 

Another Reason To Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full

Happy mid-summer everyone!

4 more weeks to go until school starts. (But who’s counting?)

This summer has flown by quickly. Usually June, July, and August are slow until after Labor Day.

The economy has picked up and I’m thankful to have added 2 new reps this summer.

Quick story: A fractional CFO reached out to me a few months ago. He was a consultant for a 16-month client of mine. He listened in on calls, knew our track record and results, etc.

He was consulting for another healthcare startup company. We had multiple conversations with him and the CEO and if I was in Vegas, betting it would be a client, I would have bet highly with the odds in my favor.

He was a referral, he worked closely with the Sales VP at my client, etc. Referrals tend to move forward at a higher rate.

He requested a proposal and brought it to the board. One of the board members put the brakes on the process because he had a local resource who specialized in calling on healthcare organizations.

The prospect ended up going with them and let me know by phone.

A “yes” is better than “no”. “No” is better than silence and prospects avoiding you.

Keep your foot on the pedal and don’t let up. Verbal deals are never a sure thing until they are signed!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

 

 

 

Lead Generation / Client Referral Gift Idea

Hey everyone!

I’m an avid reader and about a year ago, I read John Ruhlin’s book, “Giftology”.

It was a fine read with practical advice on corporate gift giving that’s not too self-serving.

A few months ago, I happened to get one of his emails since I had subscribed to his newsletter. Apparently, he hadn’t written in a while and he was out of sight, out of mind to me.

I decided to re-read his book since it’s a short read and gave me some fresh reminders.

Meanwhile, one of my client’s recently referred me to another client and I’m very grateful.

I’ve never met the woman in person and was trying to probe and get some ideas on what she liked to send her a thank you gift.

She wasn’t too revealing on her restaurant and shopping preferences which were fine.

I ended ordering a Cutco knife she can use on a daily basis with her name engraved on it.

I had it gift wrapped and sent to her home.

She loved it! Here’s part of her email response:

Hello Ray,

I received your surprise gift today. Thank you very much. It was a very kind and thoughtful personalized gesture. Your gift will be much used.

I don’t think what I did was anything that warranted more than a simple Thank You. Patti’s good work bore fruits. Nothing more.

Cheers

2 takeaways:

  1. When you send a corporate or client thank you gift and you have it engraved, don’t put your company name on it. Put the person’s name instead. They’ll remember who gave it to you for the rest of their life.
  2.  If you’re trying to break into an account and are having difficulties, send your prospect a knife with their name on it with a note saying something to the effect of: “Can we carve out some time to chat?”

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

Sales Conversation Triggers and Book Giving

Happy December everyone!

This year has flown by quickly. I haven’t blogged in a while so as the holidays descend upon us, I thought I’d share a quick tip.

I’m an avid reader, with a Nook reader from Barnes and Noble with the Amazon Kindle app on the device.

I recently finished Paul Falcone’s book “96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire”.

It had been on my reading list for quite some time and I always want to improve my hiring skills.

A while back, I chatted with a CEO by phone, then we had lunch in person and we chatted some more by phone a few weeks later.

He mentioned that he made a couple of offers to some sales reps but the job candidates ended up getting counteroffers from their existing employer and decided to stay.

(This blog post is NOT about whether or not you should accept a counteroffer.  That’s a whole blog post in itself.)

Paul Falcone’s book addressed how to handle counteroffers in advance and not waiting till making a job offer to get blindsided by it.

He had some good suggestions to get counteroffer opportunities out in the open early rather than be surprised later on.

So as the CEO shared with me, I thought of the book. I told him about it and said I’d have it mailed to his office and to keep an eye out.

Last Friday, I met with the CEO and 6 of his staff and he had the book in his hand showing everyone.

Moral of the story: be alert to what your prospects are going through outside of what you’re trying to get them to agree to and add value. The book was less than $20, including shipping.

I strongly recommend you read the book if you hire people regularly.

In the meantime, I wish you a Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

May you end 2017 well!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000