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!

 

 

 

Coming Soon: My Soon To Be Published Book!

Self-published via Amazon that is.

Writing a book has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. But like so many other things, it fell into the “someday” category until the Fall of 2018, when I casually mentioned my goal to my long-time friend, Stacy Stephens. With her encouragement and introduction to her friend and editor, Sara, my dream became reality.

Sometime this fall, my book “How to Score from First Base! (In Sales)” will be available in both print and electronic copy on Amazon.

Here’s a short description:

If long-term growth is your goal, this is your playbook. Are you struggling to get to first base with targeted companies? 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.

Cheers!

Ray Ruecker

(Photo by John Schnobrich)

 

And Another Lead Generation / Corporate Gifting Idea

Happy summer everyone!

Today is the last day of June! 6 very long months down! 6 more to go! Cheers to the rest of the year. I’m hoping things get smoother!

No worries, I won’t be talking about the global pandemic. Or protests either.

A few years ago, my wife visited her parents and came back with a bottle of red wine. I am not a red wine drinker so I was very indifferent. She kept raving about how wonderful this “Middle Jane” red wine was but she couldn’t find it anywhere.

So as a surprise for her, I scoured the Internet and local liquor stores looking for it. No local store in Kansas City carried it but I finally found out the source.

Scout & Cellar is a direct sales company that sells clean crafted wine directly to consumers. They use reps similar to other MLM companies out there BUT I like this firm because they sell a product that people use frequently and need to reorder. Especially with the recent pandemic.

I spoke with a gal I knew was a rep, signed up under her, and have been giving bottles of wine to friends and family AND sending bottles of wine and gift sets to current clients.

No worries, I email my clients beforehand and ask a very simple question: “Red, White, or Blush?”

This also helps to make sure I don’t offend anyone who isn’t a wine drinker without any awkwardness.

With clients, prospects, friends, and family going unchartered territory the past few months, here’s a not expensive way to make yourself memorable and stand out.

John Rulin wrote THE book on corporate gifting titled ” Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention” and I encourage you to read it.

He didn’t give me the idea of sending wine to clients but his book triggered the idea.

Happy early 4th of July everyone!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

(Photo by Justin Aikin)

 

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.

 

 

Another Sales Weapon To Add To Your Arsenal

Happy 2020 everyone!

I can’t believe half of January is already gone! Where does time fly?

Last July I was in Hawaii for a family reunion and met up with a Sales VP who was a past client of mine. She told me about BombBomb, a video service. I looked it up and put it in the “Save for later” ideas.

She joked that she was waiting for the FBI to show up at her condo any minute.

Then later in the fall, I heard about BombBomb through Vanessa Edwards because I subscribe to her newsletter.

So in December 2019, I filled out the contact form to request a demo, took a tour, got my questions answered and signed up for one year.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s really hard to get prospect’s attention because they are busy and bombarded all day long.

AND, lots of companies have done away with work desk phones and the ONLY way to catch executives is via email or if you have their cell phone, which they don’t tend to give out easily.

BombBomb is a video marketing service you can use from your desktop and very user friendly. Their website is www.bombbomb.com.

(No worries, I don’t get a penny for referring you to them!)

You can send quick, personal videos to prospects using your work Outlook email or through their online platform.

Voicemails can be impersonal, boring and easily deleted.

Bombbomb gives you a chance to stand out when leave a message, maybe even the same exact voicemail you’d leave a prospect, BUT the prospect can now see you and it gives you a chance to be memorable and let them know that you’re a down to earth individual who wants to connect and communicate versus some anonymous stranger trying to get your attention.

The company has plenty of resources, tips and secrets to get you going. Don’t worry about your videos trying to be slick, professional and perfect. Aim instead for authenticity and just being real.

Let me know how results are working for you if you sign up!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

Guess how many websites there are globally?

(And we wonder why it’s tough to get prospect’s attention!)

Happy December folks!

I came across an article recently by Netcraft.

Netcraft is an internet services company based in the United Kingdom which provides internet security services.

Netcraft did some surveys in January 2018 and realized there are 1,805,260,010 websites worldwide.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that almost a year later, that number’s gone up since then.

So what? Why does this matter?

Because one of the things I’ve argued over and over is that sales executives aren’t losing to competitors a majority of the time, they’re losing to the status quo. With 1.8 BILLION websites and counting, executive decision-makers are overwhelmed and time is a precious commodity.

Andrew Jenkins said it best: “Too many fishermen, not enough fish.”

In the words of Jeremy Miller: “Prospects are experiencing digital marketing fatigue and are tuning out. With the noise factor skyrocketing and digital fatigue setting in, you need to find new ways (or more accurately, old school ways) to engage your customers.”

Old school ways? Dare I say direct selling or outbound sales prospecting?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

 

Content Marketing Myth: Good content rises to the top!

Hello everyone!

I read an article recently by Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding.

In his words verbatim straight from the article:

“Today, you can write a hundred articles and not generate a single lead. According to a research report by Moz, 50% of articles published have no likes, shares, comments, and probably no views.

Sure, it’s easy to say things like, “Good content rises to the top.” No, it doesn’t!

You can write brilliant articles that people should actually pay for, but that doesn’t mean anyone will be compelled to buy your services. Why? Because they don’t see them!”

Here’s the link to the article from Moz.

Takeaway: so are you wasting time, money and effort to generate content marketing that no one is reading or seeing?

Perhaps we should write less content and be more intentional at doing outbound outreach (AKA direct selling) to your ideal prospects. Just a thought.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

Greetings from San Francisco!

Happy Friday everyone!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000!

I left Thursday afternoon for San Francisco and returned Friday evening. A 31-hour trip.

I visited with an old client/contact who does outsourced fractional marketing for tech firms in the Bay area first.

We met up at Chef Chuy’s in Los Altos and had a nice dinner and Peking duck. When Oracle acquired Talari last November (public news), my friend and contact advocated to Oracle to keep my 3 reps assigned to them through the transition AND has referred me other business. We ate, caught up and got to know him better since my last in-person visit in September 2019.

The next morning I ubered to downtown San Francisco off 44th and Montgomery and met another client at her office and we grabbed delicious sushi nearby. When I was here last fall, I met with another contact from the client, but he’s no longer with the company and I had never met my existing contact in person. No agenda, just good old fashioned face time and building relationships.

How’s your fall so far, world? Any cool trips to share?

 

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.