Networking Shorts

This article was originally posted on 6/25/2009 on the Kurlan blog. I thought that we should resurrect it in honor of Dan’s most recent comment! Enjoy!

In case you don’t know Dan Tyre, I’ve heard him described as a machine. I’ve been told that he’s the first one on the phone and the last one off the phone and his last call is as energetic as the first. This is a paraphrased email from him today. “I’ve offered my rolodex (look it up) to hundreds of folks to ask for intros and you are one of 10 who have taken me up on it. One of my customers has generated 100 leads from it.”

10 out of hundreds….Come on people. You have to show up!

Pete Caputa has a great conversation happening over at Hubspot. I got involved. Subscribed to the comments. Read Barbara’s comment. Checked out her blog. Commented there. She quoted me. Guess who’s gonna get a call. Tim Patterson made a very thoughtful comment. I checked out his blog. Just in time for me to pass it out to all of the attendees at our seminar tomorrow. Bob Poole says, “I Dare You.” and started following me on Twitter. OK, so I’ll call him, too.

You can find people to talk to anywhere. Be open. Take a chance. They’d probably love to here from you. (They’re probably trying to avoid making cold calls, too.)

Finally, is anybody else wondering how many referrals Jason gave?

Thanks, again, Pete!

BTW New addition on 1/4/12 – Is your online presence synced with your sales process?

Sales Goals, Revenue and Mindset

I talked to the owner of a marketing agency recently because they wanted to talk to me about growing their business. I was referred to them by an existing client in the same space. They’ve been “free-lancing” for years, but full time for two years. Their goal last year was to bill $40,000. They didn’t do it. During the past year, I’ve had many clients bill $40K in a month and some billed $40K a week. $40,000 a year? Why would somebody set that as a goal?

Then I thought back over some of the agency owners that I’ve worked with over the past three years.
I remember one that had sales averaging $2,100 a month. He paid $1,000 to get started. His first month working with me he did $3,800.
I remember one that had sales averaging $3,475 a month. She paid $1,000 to get started. Her second month sales were $6,800.
But, the one that I remember best went like this. An evangelist of mine told him that he had a sales problem and that he should call me. He pushed back by saying that he’d sold lots of different stuff and he knew how to sell. The evangelist said, “Trust me. Talk to Rick. He taught me.” We talked. We agreed that he wanted to get to $250K/year with monthly retainer revenue of $20,000. He paid me $7,000 to be evaluated and for a three month program. In December, the month before we started working together, he billed $3,500. In January, he billed $7,000. In February, he billed $14,000 and in March he billed $20,026. We met to wrap up our relationship and I asked, “We good?” He asked, “How much to get to a million?”
I have dozens of these stories, but I talk to hundreds of people. What’s the difference between the dozens and the hundreds? It’s not the money. If they have two things, they find the money. Skills, knowledge, talent? Nope! If they have two things, they get all those. Connections, product, service, experience? Don’t matter. Two things matter.
Desire – Most people will say that success would be nice, but they can think of a guzillion reasons that they won’t or shouldn’t succeed. If we can’t get through that, it doesn’t happen.
Commitment – Some think that “Doing whatever it takes” means long hours, taking on clients that you don’t like, or giving up their principles. Not so. It was summed up best by one of my favorite clients when he said, “I figure that there’s enough space outside my comfort zone that’s in your shadow and that’s where I’ll spend my time.” You have to be willing to step (not live) outside your comfort zone.
If I’ve got you thinking, feel free to do one of three things.
Talk to one of our partners about our 12 week sales & marketing integration course that starts 1/11.

Sales Senses & Awareness

I just went to the supermarket for Elaine. (At this point, you need to know that I drive a Ford Fusion Hybrid.) So, I’m driving in the parking lot and I watch this lady get out of her minivan, and without ever looking around, walk to the back of her minivan, turn and face the minivan, point her remote at it and chirp the minivan to lock the doors. Then, she did an about face (still without looking up) and walked directly in front of my car. During her about face, she dropped her keys in her purse, snapped it shut and then looked up and was startled when she realized that she was standing directly in front of my car. She waved sheepishly, but I didn’t hear her thank me for not running her over. (I was stopped because I had a feeling.)

As I drove home, I realized that this kind of stuff happens every day to salespeople that aren’t using all of their senses. That lady may have been listening, but my car is silent in hybrid mode. If I wasn’t paying attention, she was dead. Salespeople have 5 sense and they often either aren’t using them or choose to ignore them. Either way, their sale is dead.
If you see a prospect shift their position in a chair, make a facial expression, or raise their eyebrows and you don’t find out why, your sale may be dead.
If you hear a prospect change their tonality or change one of your words and you don’t find out why, your sale may be dead.
If you put your hand on your prospect’s shoulder or hand them a sample and they avoid it and you don’t find out why, your sale may be dead.
If the decision maker won’t talk with and continues to hide behind his gatekeepers and lackeys and you don’t find out why, your sale may be dead.
If you don’t like the way your words taste when you’re telling the prospect what they want to hear (like OK, I can deliver in 2 weeks or sure, I can cut my price in half) and you don’t find out why, your sale may be dead.
Understand that your sale may be dead anyway and if that’s the case and it can’t be saved, don’t you want to move on sooner rather than later?

Inbound Marketing Conversions

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of inbound marketing, internet marketing and social selling. Get rich by writing a blog post. Let your Twitter followers send you customers. Discover the magical keyword that customers are using this week. Get your friends on Facebook to get their friends’ friends’ friends to ‘like’ your company and don’t forget to invite every Tom, Dick and Harry to connect on LinkedIn. Optimize. Personalize. Evangelize. Aggrandize. Then realize….

You’re not rich yet! How come?
Last week I read, “You are your biggest competitor
What’s going on? Should you or shouldn’t you?
Of course you should! BUT, as my wife says, “Moderation in all things.”
Before you quit your inbound marketing effort or before you start, ask yourself these questions.
Does the person that I’m buying from understand my business? Have they ever owned or run a business my size?
Can you do it yourself or do you need help and will a wrong decision put you out of business?
Do you understand that top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel, and sales ready don’t mean that your customer has their credit card in their hand and they’re ready to buy? Do you understand that you will need to change the way you sell?
Can the person that I’m buying from help me market? Do they do it themselves?
Can the person that I’m buying from help me sell? Do they do it themselves?

If you want 2012 to be your year,
send me an email
and ask about our 12 week course on the “12 steps of Sales & Marketing Integration” that starts next week.

Do Followers Impact Sales?

Asked differently, “Does the number of Twitter followers, blog subscribers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections have any impact on sales?”

Yes! Of course! I’m not stupid! Nor do I think that you are.
Then why don’t I care about how many I have, nor teach my clients how to have 10,000 followers?
Let’s use President Obama (or any past or present elected official) as an example.
How many millions of Americans voted for President Obama? Lots.
How many of them would love to have dinner, a drink or coffee with him? Lots.
How many of them would he like to have dinner, a drink or coffee with? Probably a lot less.
Why? He’s just not that into you and truth be told, you may not be that into him. He wants your vote. He says what you need to hear (or not) and you vote for him (or not), but if you call him on the phone, will your conversation be personally meaningful to either of you?
I’ve met many entrepreneurs with huge followings that struggle trying to convert a follower to a paying customer. They try to ‘sell’ in a social networking medium and wind up alienating followers because ‘following’ is free and followers don’t want to be asked for money, but if you try to disqualify your followers as customers, you may wind up disqualifying them as followers. Then you won’t have followers or money.
I don’t work with politicians. I’m not attracted to ‘vanilla’. I like Ferrari drivers.