What do Super Bowl ads and lead generation campaigns have in common?

The Super Bowl is next month folks!

Answer: Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they bring in substantial leads and increased revenue. Sometimes they don’t.

The funny thing about sales, marketing and advertising is that some campaigns works. Some don’t.

Why? I have no idea. Maybe it’s bad timing. Or the wrong audience. Or just part of life.

When a $3 – $4M Super Bowl ad becomes a dud, the network doesn’t return the money.

Just because a Super Bowl ad doesn’t work (Groupon a few years ago), does that mean you never run another one? Of course not.

Same way with lead generation campaigns.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Happy Friday to you!

Holiday Gifts for Clients and Potential Prospects

Happy Monday Everyone!

As may or may not know, Connect 5000 is primarily an inside sales organization. I have clients I’ve never met in person before. It’s part of the way business is conducted in today’s economy and I’m okay with it.

For outside sales reps who meet with their clients or prospects face to face or in person, they can take these executives out to dinner, hit the golf course, or take them to an entertainment event.

Not so much for B2B sales reps. Read more

Sales lessons learned from my father’s death

Happy Holidays everyone!

Disclaimer: This is not a “get sympathy” post.

Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, my father passed away two days before Thanksgiving. He lived a long and fruitful life and he will be missed.

Through various channels, I informed friends of mine about the news.

During this time I unexpectedly received several cards by snail mail as well as phone calls from friends offering encouragement and support.

Receiving cards by postal mail was a pleasant surprise. I don’t hand out my home address too often but a few of my friends were resourceful enough to find it and drop a card in the mail. No matter the occasion, who doesn’t like to get a hand written card in the mail?

Who doesn’t like getting calls from friends letting me know that they were thinking of me and my family and that their thoughts were with me?

Unfortunately we live in a very impersonal, technology driven world and things like “phone calls” or ” handwritten letters” are considered too old fashioned and quaint. Emails and text messages are more modern and less intrusive.

Yet the calls and letters stood out greatly and I’m forever grateful.

As we approach 2016, perhaps we should go back to “quaint” ways of reaching out to prospects and clients. They may not respond but the extra effort and thought counts.

Merry Christmas everyone!

A Recent Asking For a Discount Story

Good morning everyone!

Recently my credit card expired and the bank issued me a new one.

I have a few monthly company bills on the credit card where vendors bill me automatically.

I happened to open a monthly statement that looked higher than normal. They charged me a late fee of $20. I called them up and asked why. They said my credit card declined and assessed a fee. I gave them my new expiration date and decided to ask them to waive the late fee since they didn’t notify me that my credit card expired.

Would I have stopped using them if they said “no”? Of course not.

I figured I had nothing to lose.

The customer service rep waived my fee and billed my card for the appropriate amount.

Key takeaway:

1. It’s okay to tell customers no when they request a discount.

2. Too many buyers are trained to ask for  discount but aren’t necessarily price driven. They too figure they have nothing to lose.

3. Even if you tell them no to a discount, that doesn’t always mean they’ll take their business elsewhere. It’s a buyers market and people are taking advantage of this. Of course if the amount is higher than $20, that’s a completely different story.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Hope you have a great week!

A Magic Email For When a Prospect Doesn’t Return Your Calls

Happy New Year everyone!

I have been reading Chris Lytle’s book “The Accidental Sales Manager” this month and it’s a great read.

I came across this email he uses after repeated attempts of getting a hold of a prospect. Here it is verbatim:

Subject: Quick Question


I still have you on my ‘waiting for’ list of people I’m expecting to hear from. Am I still on your radar?


Short, sweet and to the point. I love it!

I had been trying to reach a Sales VP for quite some time and had left multiple emails. I used this “magic email” and got a response on Thursday. Was it favorable? No because the Sales VP is switching jobs. Effective? Yes! I can move this company out of my pipeline and move on to other deals.

Will this work every time? Does anything?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 and hope your 2014 is going well!

Fancy Title – No Authority or Influence

Hi everyone!

At Connect 5000, we use Salesforce.com as our CRM. I’ve been going through the CRM and have been purging executives no longer at their prospective company, companies who’ve gotten acquired or who are no longer in business, etc.

It’s interesting how many people I’ve eliminated from Salesforce.com.

I came across this company who I reached out to a while back. I called the VP of Business Development and we chatted several times and eventually he said our service was not a priority. I assumed incorrectly that he had authority and influence to make decisions. Read more

Price vs. Time Saved: A Tale of Dry Cleaning

Greetings everyone!

I wear a lot of button up shirts to work. Shirts that go well with jeans, khaki pants , or black dress slacks.

I used to take my shirts to Hy-vee, a grocery store close to where I live, where I can drop them off and have them laundered and pressed and I can pick them up a few days later. $2.25 per shirt.

A while back as I was driving to the office I saw a Hangers Cleaners van so I visited to their website and called them up.

They will come to your home or office and pick up your laundry and deliver it a few days later.

Price per shirt: $2.50.

The difference between the 2 services = 25 cents. A quarter.

Why did I go with the more expensive option? Convenience!

I pay more per shirt but I don’t have to make 2 trips anymore. 1 to drop off my laundry. 1 to pick it up.

Is it worth the difference? Absolutely.

Moral of this blog: Prospects don’t always pick the cheapest option. They don’t just buy on price. They look at other factors like value, time saved, convenience, etc.

So when you are selling to companies, sell value!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

10 Creative Subject Lines That Get Your Sales Emails Opened

Using sales and marketing emails is one tool we use to engage and open dialogue with potential prospects for both Connect 5000 and our clients.

The telephone is another.

I’ve had several people ask me what the subject line should be for emails.

Below are several that I’ve used as well as others have used to get me to open their email.

The criteria should be short, sweet, and arouses curiosity to open the email.

Again, I didn’t not come up with all these on my own: Read more

Update up your CRM while sales prospecting

A few years ago I did an email blast of executives in my Salesforce.com CRM. I wasn’t targeting low level executives but CEO’s, Presidents and Vice Presidents of Sales and Marketing.

I got a bounce back rate of between 19-22%! The data put in my CRM was probably less than 3 years ago at the time.

People change jobs, people quit or retire, or people get terminated from their position.

There’s no reason to keep bad data in your CRM if that person is longer there. Read more

How Credible Are You: Part II


In my previous post, I wrote on credibility.

Here’s an example of not so incredible:

My office is in Cloverleaf Office Park among several other companies. On the 1st floor of my building is a licensed counselor / therapist. Read more