Happy Spring! (Sort of.)

Hey everyone!

I hope you and your family are holding up okay in this bizarre, unprecedented, and uncertain season of life we’re ALL experiencing.

I unfortunately don’t have anything profound to say that hasn’t been said already.

2 quick quotes that come to mind:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (No worries, I’m not taking the virus lightly!)

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Connect 5000 had corporate office space for 4 years and a while back, I made the decision for shut down the office and have everyone work from home since I had maybe 2 total visitors swing by my office. (Several clients aren’t located in Kansas City.)

So working from home hasn’t had any major impact on the company.

BUT, with school cancelled the remainder of the year, it’s been a challenge working from home with my 2 kids and wife here all day instead of being in school. Small inconvenience comparatively speaking.

Unfortunately, us small business owners have companies to run during this virus outbreak and we all have  a sense of urgency with a recession looming in the background.

We all have sales calls to make and clients to convert.

Prospects in good times were hard enough to connect with and now, our jobs are even tougher.  My advice is when you reach out to prospects is to acknowledge the obvious, BUT get back on track and get right to the point of helping your prospects.

Creative Lead Generation Idea: A CEO of a managed services provider in Atlanta, Georgia, gave me this morning:

Send your prospect a bottle of aspirin asking, “Is your technology (Or insert something else) causing you headaches?”

I love it! Short, sweet and to the point! When was the last time you received a bottle of aspirin in the mail?

Hang in there folks!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 and hoping for a quick end to this virus.

 

 

Another Sales Weapon To Add To Your Arsenal

Happy 2020 everyone!

I can’t believe half of January is already gone! Where does time fly?

Last July I was in Hawaii for a family reunion and met up with a Sales VP who was a past client of mine. She told me about BombBomb, a video service. I looked it up and put it in the “Save for later” ideas.

She joked that she was waiting for the FBI to show up at her condo any minute.

Then later in the fall, I heard about BombBomb through Vanessa Edwards because I subscribe to her newsletter.

So in December 2019, I filled out the contact form to request a demo, took a tour, got my questions answered and signed up for one year.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s really hard to get prospect’s attention because they are busy and bombarded all day long.

AND, lots of companies have done away with work desk phones and the ONLY way to catch executives is via email or if you have their cell phone, which they don’t tend to give out easily.

BombBomb is a video marketing service you can use from your desktop and very user friendly. Their website is www.bombbomb.com.

(No worries, I don’t get a penny for referring you to them!)

You can send quick, personal videos to prospects using your work Outlook email or through their online platform.

Voicemails can be impersonal, boring and easily deleted.

Bombbomb gives you a chance to stand out when leave a message, maybe even the same exact voicemail you’d leave a prospect, BUT the prospect can now see you and it gives you a chance to be memorable and let them know that you’re a down to earth individual who wants to connect and communicate versus some anonymous stranger trying to get your attention.

The company has plenty of resources, tips and secrets to get you going. Don’t worry about your videos trying to be slick, professional and perfect. Aim instead for authenticity and just being real.

Let me know how results are working for you if you sign up!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

Guess how many websites there are globally?

(And we wonder why it’s tough to get prospect’s attention!)

Happy December folks!

I came across an article recently by Netcraft.

Netcraft is an internet services company based in the United Kingdom which provides internet security services.

Netcraft did some surveys in January 2018 and realized there are 1,805,260,010 websites worldwide.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that almost a year later, that number’s gone up since then.

So what? Why does this matter?

Because one of the things I’ve argued over and over is that sales executives aren’t losing to competitors a majority of the time, they’re losing to the status quo. With 1.8 BILLION websites and counting, executive decision-makers are overwhelmed and time is a precious commodity.

Andrew Jenkins said it best: “Too many fishermen, not enough fish.”

In the words of Jeremy Miller: “Prospects are experiencing digital marketing fatigue and are tuning out. With the noise factor skyrocketing and digital fatigue setting in, you need to find new ways (or more accurately, old school ways) to engage your customers.”

Old school ways? Dare I say direct selling or outbound sales prospecting?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

 

Content Marketing Myth: Good content rises to the top!

Hello everyone!

I read an article recently by Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding.

In his words verbatim straight from the article:

“Today, you can write a hundred articles and not generate a single lead. According to a research report by Moz, 50% of articles published have no likes, shares, comments, and probably no views.

Sure, it’s easy to say things like, “Good content rises to the top.” No, it doesn’t!

You can write brilliant articles that people should actually pay for, but that doesn’t mean anyone will be compelled to buy your services. Why? Because they don’t see them!”

Here’s the link to the article from Moz.

Takeaway: so are you wasting time, money and effort to generate content marketing that no one is reading or seeing?

Perhaps we should write less content and be more intentional at doing outbound outreach (AKA direct selling) to your ideal prospects. Just a thought.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

Greetings from San Francisco!

Happy Friday everyone!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000!

I left Thursday afternoon for San Francisco and returned Friday evening. A 31-hour trip.

I visited with an old client/contact who does outsourced fractional marketing for tech firms in the Bay area first.

We met up at Chef Chuy’s in Los Altos and had a nice dinner and Peking duck. When Oracle acquired Talari last November (public news), my friend and contact advocated to Oracle to keep my 3 reps assigned to them through the transition AND has referred me other business. We ate, caught up and got to know him better since my last in-person visit in September 2019.

The next morning I ubered to downtown San Francisco off 44th and Montgomery and met another client at her office and we grabbed delicious sushi nearby. When I was here last fall, I met with another contact from the client, but he’s no longer with the company and I had never met my existing contact in person. No agenda, just good old fashioned face time and building relationships.

How’s your fall so far, world? Any cool trips to share?

 

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.