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.

 

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.)

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.