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!

Aloha from Hawaii!

Just kidding!

I’m actually sitting in my office back in Kansas City!

Happy August everyone! My, how time flies!

7 months down, 5 more to go!

From July 20 – 28, I was in Hawaii for my father in law’s retirement party/family reunion.

It was nice to get away and hit the ocean and beach but nice to come back as well.

Getting up at 3:30 am doesn’t qualify as vacation nor does overnight flights where you can’t sleep on the plane.

While I was on the island, I reached out to an old client of mine. She lives on the island, her CEO lives in San Francisco and the rest of the company works remote all over the United States.

This company was a client for 3 months and I knew I’d never be any more closer geographically than my visit so we connected, had lunch on the waterfront and had a great time.

My purpose for visiting with her was more personal than professional and I wasn’t looking to gain more business from her. Just a nice, casual lunch. We had spoken via phone countless times but never met in person.

It was great! I encourage you to reach out to past and present clients if you’re in the vicinity and get out of your routine and comfort zone.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Happy almost fall everyone!

Happy Almost End of June!

Happy summer everyone!

Not much to report here!

I’ll be flying to Atlanta next week to see two of my sales reps who work for Connect 5000 remote.

I’ve known Anne Brown since 2012 but we’ve never met in person.

I’ve known Hanna Rodriguez since 2013 when I was the interim Director Sales for her company when she lived in California and saw her many times and we’ve stayed in touch all these years.

In our high tech world, there’s no substitute for face to face conversations and having some good meals together.

I came across this blog post today and encourage you to read it.

If you’re too busy, here’s the summary:

When a prospect asks you: Why are you so expensive?

Response: That’s my rate.

That’s it. Simple. Straightforward. To the point!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Hope your summer is well!

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

If you are bored and have too much free time on your hands, feel free to check out my new sales vlog at www.connect5000.com/videos .

(A VLOG is short for video blog)

16 short videos to give you a better feel of who I am and what we’re passionate about.

Join me as we honor the brave and countless men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 and as a Vietnam orphan, I am very thankful.

5 Timeless Sales Lesson Learned From Jury Duty

Hey everyone!

Hope you had a great Easter holiday.

Last week, I was selected to be on a jury trial for the first time ever in my 45 years of living.

It was a civil trial centered around the Plaintiff suing a City and their Police Department for a car pursuit that ended in a fatality and unfortunately, an expectant mother lost her life. Thankfully the baby survived. This took place back in 2016 and the trial centered around recovery of lost lifetime wages of the deceased.

Both the plaintiffs and defense presented their cases and rested. The judge dismissed us for the day but instructed us to return the next day at 9:30 am to deliberate. (The case was settled before deliberations.)

Here are 5 takeaways that I noted while sitting in the jury box:

  1. Appearances, NOT looks matter.  You can’t control your looks, but you can control how you dress. When in doubt dress up and step up your wardrobe appropriately for the situation. I’m not suggesting you wear a suit and tie or dress, but dress accordingly to the situation.
  2. Make eye contact when communicating with people. One side barely made eye contact with the jury. Maybe it was done intentionally or because they were nervous. The other side hardly looked at the person asking questions and mainly looked at us jurors and answered the questions. Look people in the eye!
  3. When the Plaintiffs questioned the economics professor who was giving his analysis of what the lifetime value of lost wages were, he was pretty specific in his number. He could have easily rounded up a number to say, $1,000,000, which we are all familiar with. Nope, he used some figure like $983,753.00. It sounded more believable. When presenting pricing to prospective clients, perhaps use not so slick numbers but round up or down a bit? When sharing with prospects on how much you saved a client or helped generate some revenue figure, use some non-rounded off numbers that are more believable and increase your credibility.
  4. Both sides seemed prepared and thorough. When meeting with a client, do the same. Don’t be sloppy or lazy. Come prepared. Enough said.
  5. Whoever communicates the best, usually wins. The Plaintiffs and Defense were engaged in a sales contest. Money was involved. It was a sales contest. They were selling each side of the story. Thankfully us jurors didn’t have to declare a winner or loser. Communicate well, be concise, and ask good questions!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 and proudly performed my civic duty!

 

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.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 here.

Does anyone remember the movie “Bed of Roses” back in 1996 starring Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson?

It’s about this guy who delivers flowers to random people, falls in love with a gal, etc. Romance movie.

I connected with a local florist here in town a few years ago.

He said he needed extra help on Valentine’s Day since it’s his busiest day of the year. So I agreed to help him last year and this as well.

It’s fun to get out of your normal routine and element and do something different.

I delivered flowers to people at their work, homes, offices and even the hospital.

As I walked into different locations, everyone smiles and is extra nice to you, while wondering who the lucky recipient will be.

It was perfect weather as well for 50 degrees in February in Kansas City.

The moral here: get out of your daily grind, do something different and go brighten up someone else’s day!

Sometimes while you’re out of your element, you get new ideas and solve problems while it’s not staring you in the face. Cheers!

The life of Zoey Anne Ruecker

Happy New Year everyone!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 here.

I survived the holidays and no in-laws or relatives got harmed in the process. (I’m kidding.)

Personal story: My wife and I got married Memorial Day weekend in 2005. We agreed the first year of marriage we wouldn’t start a family or get any pets as we transitioned to being newlyweds.

A year later, my wife said she wanted a baby. I said, “Let’s get a dog.”. So we did. We went to a breeder and picked out a 6 week old Labrador Retriever and brought her home 12 and a half years ago.

Zoey was a wonderful dog and great companion for our household. In April 2018, we noticed she had a malignant mass on her ear and she had surgery in July 2018. In December, her health started deteriorating badly and unfortunately we had to send her to doggie heaven on December 28.

She was a wonderful dog and will be sorely missed in our family.

What’s the sales lesson here?

There’s no obvious lesson but here’s a takeaway if you want one:

When you’re communicating with clients or prospects by phone, email, or in person, you never truly know what’s going on in their personal or professional lives. Us humans can put on a good fake front. I know for me personally as we made plans to take our dog to the vet for end of life finality, I was pretty quiet and stoic on the outside.

If they seem down, distracted, or impersonal, there may be things going on in their lives that you may know nothing about.

I’m pretty extroverted and social, but I can keep a good front like the rest of world when I don’t feel like showing my true feelings.

Your prospects and clients can do the same.

Cheers to a successful 2019!

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.