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.)

Happy Holidays!

Happy mid-December everyone!

Seems like yesterday was the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March and now 2021 is right around the corner.

Where did the past 9 months go? Please tell me!

It’s been quite a year for almost all of us.

Thanksgiving came and went. Now, Christmas is almost upon us.

Cheers and blessings to you and your loved ones!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000

PS: Thank you, Greg Rohm, for the new logo design! Thank you Chuttersnap for the holiday pic!

It’s Official: My Book Is Finished and Published!

Hey everyone!

My 2-year-old “baby” was finally born on October 8, 2020, a few weeks ago.

How to Score from First Base! (In Sales): A Step-by-Step Guide to Shorten Sales Cycles and Multiply Revenue is now available via paperback or Kindle.

Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735638307

If you’re a sales, marketing, or lead generation leader or executive, I highly recommend this book if you have outbound sales challenges or need improvement with your current system.

Here’s the book summary:

Do You Struggle to Get On First Base with Targeted Companies?

If long-term growth is your goal, this is your playbook. Because in today’s business climate, connecting with key decision-makers and securing meetings is a challenge. Executives rarely pick up the phone, typically ignore emails, and if you do happen to make a live connection, you have seconds to gain their attention. But even with these challenges, you can be successful at connecting with targeted companies by generating qualified sales meetings.

Learn how to:

• Write an introductory email or sales letter that gets a response.
• Leave voicemails that pique curiosity and result in a returned phone call.
• Quickly find contact information for direct decision-makers.
• Bypass the gatekeeper and connect with executives.
• Communicate your values and capture someone’s attention in 10 seconds or less.
• Ask open-ended questions that uncover a prospect’s pain, problems, and challenges.

Whether you are a new or seasoned sales professional, How to Score From First Base! (In Sales) will breathe new life into your day-to-day sales activity. Using both creativity and purposeful connection, this playbook provides a step-by-step guide to shortening sales cycles and multiplying revenue. Because if home plate is your endgame, first base is where you have to start.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Hey everyone!

Fall, football, and school are back in full swing. (Sorta!)

It’s odd to see empty NFL stadiums nationwide. The KC Chiefs hold 80,000 seats and they only allowed like 17,000 for their first home game.

My kids have done virtual school since September. It’s much better than last spring but they go hybrid next week. Woot woot!

It’s weird to see half-empty college stadiums as well.

One thing that hasn’t changed: Kansas Jayhawks football is STILL terrible, pre and post Covid-19.

What hasn’t changed?

The need to prospect, make outbound calls, and hunt for new clients!

Casting a wide net to strangers never goes out of season, quarantine, or not!

As we enter the 4th quarter for 2020, make it a priority to set meetings with ideal prospects and continually fill your pipeline.

Cheers to a crazy year and the upcoming final quarter!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

 

 

 

Happy Memorial Day 2020!

Hey everyone!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

Seems like 47 years ago we began lockdown/quarantine/shelter-in-place. Yet it was only 2 months ago.

Where I live, the Kansas City metro, things are opening up gradually and we are returning to the “new” normal.

We’ve eaten out a few times and I also got a new haircut after shaving it myself since mid-March.

Again, I hope you all are holding up okay and hope the worst is behind us.

Cheers and a toast to honoring all the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

(Photo by Daniel Foster)

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.

 

 

Happy November Everyone!

Hey everyone!

Wow! This year has flown by quickly.

10 months down. 2 more to before we say goodbye to 2019!

I don’t have anything life-shattering to say that hasn’t been said already but I have much to be thankful and grateful for.

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in a few weeks, I am thankful for clients, revenue and income.

And for my sales reps who work for me: Anne, Hanna, Linda, Patti, and John! You are the ones who make Connect 5000 happen each and every day!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!