Turnover: Another reason to keep your sales pipeline full!

Hey everyone!

In December 2016, I had a conversation with a VP of Marketing of a $3.7B software company in the Kansas City metro as well as a referral lead for a Sales Director in California by an existing client of mine.

We had solid conversations, both prospects had pain and need and I could see a potential fit.

The next action item step was to continue our conversations in January 2017.

Both of my follow-up calls were this past week and neither person showed. Not unusual, things and life come up.

I left a message with both prospects and sent a follow-up email.

Immediately, I received an auto responder back from the VP of Marketing that she was no longer there.

Later in the evening, I received an email from the company of the Sales Director informing me that my contact was no longer with the company, etc.

I know I’m stating the obvious but people quit, retire, get terminated or change positions.

This is another reason we as sales professionals and small business owners should keep our pipeline full.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, made this famous quote: “Change is the only constant in life.”

How true and a timely reminder this week for me following up with sales prospects!




Sales lesson learned from my 7-yr old daughter selling Girl Scout cookies

(This blog post is geared towards companies who sell B2C or sell multiple products or services at a low to middle price point in the B2B space.)

My daughter, who is in 1st grade, joined Brownies this year and started selling Girl Scout Cookies for her troop.

We had a late start on sales so I gave her some suggestions on whom to call.

I texted several friends of mine in advance and asked them if it was okay if she called them and that they were fully free to say no and tell her no as well if they weren’t interested in purchasing cookies.

Several friends gave the go ahead for my daughter to call them. I want my daughter to learn how to communicate with adults, especially by phone, which I think is crucial. I also wanted her to experience rejection at a young age. Getting told “No” is okay and better to learn rejection now, than for the first time at 18 years old. Finally, I wanted her to get good at asking people for orders and be direct, rather than prance around the issue.

So my daughter made sales calls while I sat there and listened and critiqued her. She ended up selling 44 boxes or so in less than 2 hours.

One thing I did NOT coach her on was this: After she wrote down the order, she asked on her own as she was getting to hang up: “Do you want anything else?”

Funny thing is, several people made additional requests for more boxes.

I was one proud Dad! I didn’t teach or coach her on this phrase at all. I don’t think my daughter realized she was upselling.

If you sell multiple products or services, this is a perfect question to ask, assuming you’ve built trust and credibility. Plus, it’s better than asking, “Hey, do you want fries with that?”

“Do you want anything else?” is a great ending question for salespeople to ask once they receive an initial order. Happy selling folks!

2 Book Recommendations for 2017

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that your 2017 started off in the right direction.

I’m an avid reader. I have roughly 156 books on my Barnes and Noble Nook and 27 books on my Amazon Kindle App.

I enjoy reading about sales, marketing, management, small business success stories and entrepreneurship.

If you were to visit your family doctor and found out later that your health care provider wasn’t keeping up on the latest news and research and hadn’t cracked a book in 2 years, would you be slightly disturbed?

Of course you would!

It’s no different than us sales professionals or small business owners. I’m now stepping off my soapbox.

One common theme I hear from other companies is a lack of sales. How do I get more sales?

The other is that companies don’t have a system in place on how to prospect effectively to identify and qualify potential buyers.

Well, I have 2 book recommendations for you. (Don’t you worry, I receive no commission if you purchase either book.)

Mark Hunter recently wrote “High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results” and the link is https://www.amazon.com/High-Profit-Prospecting-Powerful-Strategies-Breakthrough/dp/0814437761/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484001108&sr=8-1&keywords=mark+hunter

Jill Konrath came out with another solid book titled “More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today’s Crazy-Busy Sellers” and the link is https://www.amazon.com/More-Sales-Less-Time-Surprisingly/dp/1591847265/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484001177&sr=8-1&keywords=jill+konrath+more+sales+less+time

Both authors are very easy to understand give relatable illustrations rather than just pie in the sky.

Take time to read this year and keep your sales skills sharp!

Ray Ruecker

A Creative Way to Get a Sales Meeting

Happy December everyone!

There’s a Sales VP in town who I wanted to secure a meeting with. As with other prospects, he was very elusive and busy. I looked at his LinkedIn profile and noticed he was on the board of a non-profit organization here in town.

I checked out the non-profit and decided to make a donation for $100 in honor of the Sales VP.

After I received my email receipt from the non-profit, I forwarded it to him and asked if he was open to a conversation. He said yes and I got the ball rolling.

Two things this showed:

  1. The executive knew I did some research on him and I took the initiative to be creative and stand out from other companies trying to grab his attention.
  2. The money went towards a great cause.

Does it need to be $100? Absolutely not. Maybe the amount needs to be only $25.

Because Sales VP’s like him are constantly bombarded, here’s another creative example on how to get in the door of a targeted prospect.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Voicemails and Cleavage: What should they have in common?

Answer: They both should arouse curiosity if they are done properly.

Crude analogy? Perhaps!

Is the desired end result the same? I say yes! Read more

2.7 Seconds To Capture Someone’s Attention?

“According to email provider ExactTarget, people take 2.7 seconds to decide if they will read, forward, or delete a message. These busy people sit with their finger on the delete button…” confirms Jill Konrath in The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting.


2.7 seconds! That’s it?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I did some Internet research and experts guessed that we see an average of 3,000 ads per day. What if they are only half or a third right? 2,000 ads a day? 1,000 ads a day? Regardless, it’s a large number. Read more

Ask and You May Receive: A Short Story On Price Discounting

A few years ago I bought a brand new Toyota RAV4 which came up with an optional subscription for satellite radio. I won’t say who the company was but it rhymes with “curious”.

I tend to keep the radio off in my car to think and clear my head but do like commercial free radio as well. Especially the 80’s music since that’s when I grew up.

Every September is renewal time. Like many other companies out there, if I wait long enough and ignore multiple calls and emails to renew, I know the price will come down.

The yearly subscription fee was $231.05. Would I probably renew at that price? Yes.

So the company left me message and I finally called them back. I told the customer service rep the price was too high. She immediately dropped the price to $131.05.

I hesitated and said simply, “That still sounds too high.”

She responded and said that she’d like to put me on hold and talk to a manager. I said that was fine. She got back on the phone a few minutes later and said they could do it for $104 and change. I agreed and renewed for another year.

I’m in sales and typically have some sympathy for other sales reps. Again I probably would have renewed for the full price.

People are conditioned to ask for discounts. Nothing wrong with it.

BUT, you don’t have to say yes. The prospective client may feel they have nothing to lose by asking for a discount. Or they want to make sure they’re getting your best pricing. So they ask for a discount but will invest or purchase what you have regardless.

Maybe the customer service rep should have asked me, “What did you have in mind?” and put the ball back in my court. She handled the call well by the way.

Moral of the story: Ask and you may receive. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

How many appointments should a sales person have in 12 months?

The answer is of course, it depends!

I’ve interviewed candidates for Connect 5000 recently since we are slowly expanding and growing.

When I chat with sales candidates, I ask them how many sales calls were they required to make in their previous job. Their answer: 100 a day.

When I ask how much money do they want to make a year. Their answer: $100,000 a year.

There’s something about the number “100”. But I digress. Read more

Sales Reps Make Less than Two Call Attempts

Here are three interesting or depressing sales statistics whether you’re a CEO, Vice President of Sales, or sales representative surveying the sales landscape today.

According to RainToday.com, about 50% of sales people won’t prospect. That’s the research. Even worse, the percentage of consultants who won’t prospect is even higher.1

According to Insidesales.com, it takes between six and eight call attempts to reach a decision-maker. Their research also shows that most sales reps only make 1.7 call attempts to reach a new prospect2

Here’s the good news! In studying 4,658 actual business technology buyers, research organization Marketing Sherpa found that more than 50 percent admitted to short-listing a vendor after receiving a well-timed and relevant phone call. 3

At Connect 5000, we firmly believe and tell our clients and prospects that on average, it takes between seven and 10 touches to get your message to sink in. There’s a reason why Coca-Cola keeps playing commercials over and over on television.

The research clearly shows that sales reps make less than two call attempts and then give up. If you are looking for a firm to do the dirty work behind the scenes and make quality touches and calls, then we might be a good fit for you.

2 www.insidesales.com/insider/dialer/4-sales-tips-for-making-contact-and-avoiding-prospect-badgering/
3 Art Sobczak, Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection From Cold Calling (New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2010), p.10.


Sales Book Review: New Sales. Simplified.

Happy almost Labor Day!

My daughter was a flower girl in my wife’s cousin’s wedding recently. So my wife, daughter, and her parents flew out to LA to make it to the rehearsal in time. I flew out Friday evening to join them. I ordered Mike Weiberg’s book “New Sales. Simplifed.” on Amazon and took it on the plane with me.

Quick and easy read.

2 points that stood out for me personally: Read more