Post Election Results

So to get straight to the point: I lost the election handily. I lost approximately 70% to 30%.

It was a fair race and as far as I know, my opponent kept it clean and professional and he ran a good race.

In fact, my neighbor brought me 3 pieces of direct mail she received from him in the last month of the campaign.

I’m glad I ran, it was a good experience, and I met some wonderful people.

With that being said, I’m retiring from politics with a perfect record of 0-1.

I knocked on about 30-40 doors while campaigning and realized while doing it, I didn’t like it and wasn’t energized or passionate about it. Ironically, I’m a high extrovert who really enjoys meeting new folks. Not in politics.

So I lost the sales contest but kept my values and character intact.

You can’t complain but sit on the sidelines. Politics is not for the faint of heart.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: Photo by Depositphotos (<a href=”https://depositphotos.com/category/holidays-events.html”>Neon Concept of winner and loser Vector Illustration. Glowing neon sign – depositphotos.com</a>)

 

What does running for city council have to do with sales?

Happy belated fall everyone!

It’s been a few months since I last blogged so here goes.

I live in the Kansas City metro. I specifically live in Mission, Kansas. Kansas City is a collection of several cities on both sides of Kansas and Missouri. The Missouri border from my home is just a few miles away.

The population of Mission is roughly 10,000 people or so.  Four years ago, an open city council position came up, I applied and interviewed and they chose someone else. There are 4 wards in my city with 2 representatives each. It was a good experience and I put it behind me and moved on.

Fast forward a few years later. I had lunch with the former mayor of Mission who served 3 terms and was running for another public position and we caught up over a meal and I asked how things were going. She lives in my neighborhood and our dogs play together quite often. This past spring, we caught up again and she asked if I considered running for City Council. I said no and it was out of sight and out of mind.

We had a few more conversations about the open position and right before the deadline, I filed with the election office, paid my $25, and became an official candidate for City Council. I’ll spare you the boring details of elections and politics, but I want to share with you 3 quick lessons that tie into sales and lead generation.

Tap into YOUR circles of influence and don’t try and do it all yourself. What I mean by that is this: After I threw my hat in the ring, I connected with past and present city council members, mayors, influential citizens and let them sing my praises and endorse me. Me tooting my own horn = self-indulgent. Others tooting my horn = solid testimonials and referrals. These people know others I didn’t know personally and it helps to get the word out.

Target your profile audience ruthlessly well. I obtained a list of registered voters and combed through it. I was able to see their basic contact information and more importantly IF they voted or not in the past several elections. I’ve been sending out direct mail, placing signs in people’s yards, etc., and wanted to target ACTIVE voters. It didn’t matter if they were the same affiliation as me. What I cared about is, have they voted in the past 4 recent elections? That eliminated several folks to reach out to. I understand that national elections get the most sizzle and attention, and local elections are not high turnout elections. In sales, targeting correctly is half the battle. Don’t waste your time on prospects who aren’t a fit for you.

Perception is a reality to a certain extent. I ordered 100 signs and have placed them strategically throughout my ward and city. Yes, I had permission to place signs in my neighbor’s yard, but I also connected with friends and people who DON’T live in my ward, can’t vote for me, BUT live in high traffic areas. For example, my friend Nick lives across from a large park with lots of walkers and people driving by. I placed two in his yard. I also approached businesses I frequent that have high traffic and placed them in their work area. For companies and sales executives, pick the RIGHT channels that make sense and be there. Don’t be on every social media channel. Go to the places where your target audience is. I’ve gotten calls from old friends out of the blue who keep saying they see my signs everywhere. Everywhere is relative and I appreciate the sentiment. Have a good website, solid LinkedIn profile, and channels that fit YOUR situation.

Normally I don’t mix business and politics but there are similar principles that overlap between sales and politics. At the end of the day, all elections are sales contests and it’s our job to convince the voters to choose us.

My platform I’m running on? Common sense at the local city level.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

(Image by Kevin Norris from Pixabay)

Happy Late Summer and Greetings from Omaha, Nebraska!

Happy late July everyone!

Last year’s summer was slow and each day dragged out.

This summer? Not so much! My kids start school on August 12, less than 3 weeks away!

Everyone seems to be literally on vacation, not for a week or 2, but for the whole month! I see the auto-responders from marketing emails and people are gone, which makes connecting with decision-makers even tougher.

Last summer, many people weren’t able to go on planned vacation and PTO, so they are making up for up it this summer. Kudos to them!

My long-time rep, Patti, recently celebrated a birthday so I drove up to Omaha this past Friday and met up with her. Kansas City to Omaha is 3 hours away and I hadn’t seen Patti in person since last Labor Day. She’s been with me for 10-12 years and I’m grateful for her contributions to Connect 5000 and she is the model of what a business development rep is. I’m proud to have her on my team.

Patti and I grabbed dinner at Mahogany Prime Steakhouse in Omaha, drove around the city, and even drove by Warren Buffet’s house. It was wonderful to see her and get quality time in person. Zoom and phone calls are great. In-person meals are even better.

On an unrelated note, I follow Mark Hunter, a sales expert who I admire and respect from a distance, on social media and email. We had exchanged emails a while back and he said to look him up whenever I was in Omaha. After Patti and I finalized plans, I reached out to Mark and we made plans to do breakfast Saturday morning before I headed back home. I referenced one of his books in my list of resources for a book I published last fall on Amazon.

We had a wonderful breakfast on Saturday morning, the 3 of us, and nice again to connect with Mark in person, talk shop, and get to know him in a smaller group setting. I highly recommend you check out his university here: https://learn.thesaleshunter.com/

Here’s the obvious, uncomplicated truth about sales and relationships: People like dealing with people. Yes, I know that technology and the pandemic have complicated things. BUT, there’s no substitute with connecting with others!

My breakfast with Mark was a social call. Not much work discussion planned. We talked about trends and patterns in the marketplace with pandemic but it was nice to spend some time with Mark and have no hidden agenda.

Bottom line: If you have BDR’s or SDR’s or remote employees, make the effort if possible to meet with them in person and stay connected to them.

If there are social media sales leaders that you follow and are nearby, reach out to them and connect with them. Get to know them on a personal level. Don’t try and sell them anything.

Towards the end of our time together, Mark brought up the question of how to work together and we generated some ideas.

Stay connected folks! I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

Vacationing and Unplugging As Entreprenuers

Happy Sunday everyone!

Over Memorial Day weekend, my family and I flew to Sanibel Island in Florida and enjoyed our first family vacation in over a year and a half.

We were gone from the Saturday before the holiday to the following Thursday.

Other than keeping an eye on email and Slack and handling invoices and payroll, I was able to disconnect, spend time with the family at the beach, sightsee, enjoy dining out at various local places, and getting out of the normal day-to-day flow. I even ran into a fellow small business owner from Kansas City who was on vacation as well with her family, 5 miles away. We were able to get the families together for the first time and dine out.

I had let my staff know in advance that I was going off the grid and that unless it was an emergency, don’t contact me. That they should contact the two other managers in charge. I’m all about delegating!

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s tough and at times feels impossible to disconnect, unplug, and get away. Our companies are our “babies” and we have the mentality that our firm can’t function without us. For solopreneurs, that may be true.

Yet it’s critical to step away, unplug, rest, and come back with fresh eyes and ideas. I encourage you to get away when possible.

At Connect 5000, we have had some solid growth and have probably doubled the number of reps since last year.

With growth comes challenges and growing pains and the culture kind of takes a life on its own. More personalities and problems to manage and get out ahead of. But such is the life of small business ownership and entrepreneurship!

Happy Summer everyone!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

(Photo courtesy of Elizeu Dias.)

 

Continual Training and Professional Development

Happy Friday everyone!

A few weeks ago, my firm finally joined the correct century and moved from IMAP email to Google Workspace.

Christy Rogers of Training Umbrella did some remote training with my team and was excellent! Continual education and professional learning are musts in this current remote age of working. I highly recommend her training and company.

(Not all of the staff are pictured here.)

When your team is working remotely, they may feel isolated and disengaged!

Have some friendly lunch and learn sessions and let them expense their meals to the company.

If you don’t have any topics to come up with, have your staff go around, share interesting facts and stories about themselves that others may not know about, and it’s a wonderful way to teambuild.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

Podcast Interview with Real Media

Happy March everyone!

February was very frigid here in Kansas City and I believe we had 7 to 10 straight days of the temperature no warming up past 10 degrees.

Don’t get me wrong! It gets very cold here but I don’t recall it that many consecutive days. Such is life.

I was recently interviewed by Brad Burrow of Real Media here in the metro of a book I published last fall titled, “How to Score From First Base! (In Sales!).

You can listen to the podcast here and welcome to purchase the book if you wish.

Happy listening!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

(Photo courtesy of Jukka Aalho.)

Greetings From Nashville, Tennessee!

Happy belated 2021 everyone!

I noticed it’s been since mid-December when I last blogged something.

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything earth-shattering to say.

For the first time since September 2019, I hopped on a plane and flew to Nashville. So almost 1.5 years of no travel.

It was surreal to be on a plane with everyone masked up.

I attended a conference as a guest of one of my clients and visited with a few other current ones as well.

Nice to get out of town, meet and greet with clients and have good old fashioned face to face time.

Attached are a few pics from my 2 days there.

Yes, my face was cut off a few times but I wanted the focus to be on the clients, not me.

Here’s to optimism that things will improve for the better in 2021!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!