Podcast Interview with AVANT Technologies

Happy early Halloween everyone!

Adam Stein, an old client and colleague introduced me to Ken Presti, Research Vice President, Analyst & Producer/Host of “AVANT Technology Insights with Ken Presti” podcast.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently wrote a book, self-published it on Amazon, and was interviewed about the book.

The interview was 27 minutes long. If you need help falling asleep, turn it on and doze off gently! Here’s the link:

https://goavant.libsyn.com/ray-ruecker-how-to-score-from-1st-base-in-sales

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

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.

 

 

A Very Belated Super Bowl Hangover Post

Happy late February everyone!

As you may or may not know, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years!

Disclaimer: I’m an avid Denver Broncos fan BUT a big fan of Head Coach Andy Reid and their quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

According to CBS Sports, the Chiefs were the FIRST team to trail by 10+ plus points in ALL 3 postseason games and come back and win each games

The city was electric and energetic and great to see the town painted red.

I won’t bore you to death will all the game details but in the Chief’s first playoff game at home, they were down 24-0 in the FIRST quarter and came back and won! What a comeback. Lots of teams would have given up and gone home.

What was their secret formula?

My answer is this: Grit. Persistence. Perseverance. Determination.

(I know, not very sexy or glamorous answers, but I think it’s part of why they won.)

How does this relate to lead generation, business development, or sales?

Too often we look for quick, easy and instant answers, formulas and quick fixes.

More often than not, it doesn’t exist. Sometimes we have to grind it out, day by day, whether we feel like it or not, no matter how far behind the score is.

Can you relate?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Congrats Chiefs on your championship year!

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.

 

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Early Labor Day everyone!

I received a well-written email from a potential provider this week asking for some of my time.

I ignored it.

The CEO sent another email and I responded. We went back and forth and I agreed to a demo.

After I agreed to a demo, he emailed me 4 questions, which I graciously answered.

The calendar invite was sent out, I accepted it and thought I wouldn’t hear from them until the scheduled time.

WRONG!

The CEO’s direct report then reached out to me asking me to fill out a 2-minute survey.

I get what he was trying to do but it was a bit too much, especially when they reached out to me initially.

I politely declined the survey and shared with him I had already answered the CEO’s 4 questions.

Folks, don’t over qualify your prospects and don’t make them jump through several hoops! Especially when you made the first contact.

Now if I had originally reached out to this company FIRST, I would understand them wanting additional information before moving forward so they didn’t waste their time or they could assign the appropriate rep.

Make the buying decision experience as smooth and easy as possible.

And if you pre-researched your prospect in advance, you shouldn’t have to ask several questions once they agree to a demo.

Wait for the discovery call to ask these questions when you can chat live with them, not via email.

Have a great holiday weekend!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Cheers!

Aloha from Hawaii!

Just kidding!

I’m actually sitting in my office back in Kansas City!

Happy August everyone! My, how time flies!

7 months down, 5 more to go!

From July 20 – 28, I was in Hawaii for my father in law’s retirement party/family reunion.

It was nice to get away and hit the ocean and beach but nice to come back as well.

Getting up at 3:30 am doesn’t qualify as vacation nor does overnight flights where you can’t sleep on the plane.

While I was on the island, I reached out to an old client of mine. She lives on the island, her CEO lives in San Francisco and the rest of the company works remote all over the United States.

This company was a client for 3 months and I knew I’d never be any more closer geographically than my visit so we connected, had lunch on the waterfront and had a great time.

My purpose for visiting with her was more personal than professional and I wasn’t looking to gain more business from her. Just a nice, casual lunch. We had spoken via phone countless times but never met in person.

It was great! I encourage you to reach out to past and present clients if you’re in the vicinity and get out of your routine and comfort zone.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Happy almost fall everyone!