April door opener

Fools rush in....are You really there to connect?

By Jean MacDonald

How many events have you attended in the last few months hoping to find the right connection, referral or power partner only to get side tracked with breakfast, lunch or a cocktail?  The business cards feverishly being handed out and sales pitches are the same old, same old tiring messages.

Let me ask you what have you done to change this picture?  Who have you brought to the party to help them and others?  

What message are you giving?  Is it boring, no punch or left us fooled again.  Maybe, just maybe it is time to make a change!
Networking is no joke.  Making a great impression, having a great message, building the right connections and the ability to understand how to access top leaders is the edge to outsmarting your competition and running a great business.
 
Let me ask you a few relationship building questions:
Do you maintain relationships with those in your network?  Do you reach out to them quarterly to keep yourself on their mind? What about all the business cards you pick up?  How many of those have you contacted for coffee?  Don't be fooled by going to events and thinking the phone will ring.  These cards and the relationships are the life line to your continual business.

I am sure you are excellent at what you do but without a system and great follow up tools you are working in your business not on your business.  Am I right?

It is a new month. STOP!!  Take a look at a great new way to be the ACE in your market space by looking at ACE of Sales.  The fisher-price simple way to build the relationships with awesome emails, great newsletters and beautiful cards (did I say cards, real cards sent in the mail). Your customers will love them and you will be top of mind every time.

Enough said, have a great April Fool's Day!


Dobie's Dollar

By Dobie Maxwell

Believe it or not, some of us remember a time when there was no internet. People under 30 can laugh all they want, but it’s true. They often ask incredulously “How did anyone communicate?”     

Well, other than smoke signals and painting murals on cave walls we did crazy thinks like talk, whether in person or on the telephone, or get this – hand write letters. That’s a lost art today.  

Something else that’s lost today is the concept of getting pictures developed. Technology has given us a lot of gifts, and one of them is all of us having instant access to cameras. What a treat.

Before we entered the world of George Jetson, there was a place called a ‘Fotomat’ which was a tiny kiosk located in a mall parking lot where people used to take their film to be developed.

I worked in one in the early 1980’s, right as I was cutting my teeth as a standup comic. I had a lot of time on my hands at work, as the film developing business was on its last legs at that time.

One day, I noticed someone had prominently written a phone number on a $5 bill. There was a strange area code on it I wasn’t familiar with, and it immediately set my imagination into action.

I realized that money circulates everywhere, and I don’t know why but I wondered what would happen if I would write my name and include a mailing address on another bill. I had to find out.

I wrote around the white edge of a crisp $1 bill, and promptly forgot about it. Two weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from a young lady in Alabama. I was living in Milwaukee. Jackpot!

Over the next few years, I wrote on the outer edges of as many bills as I could. I received letter after letter from people all over the world. I lost count at 3000 pieces of mail, and it came in from all 50 states and 22 foreign countries. It became a fun hobby and something I was known for.

I appeared on radio stations all over the world as a guest, and even got on the Oprah Winfrey show before she went with big time celebrities. It was great fun, and I appeared September 11th, 1991. Who knew then it was ten years to the day before one of the darkest days in our history?

Every once in a while even now I’ll have someone who finds one of my dollars look me up on the internet to see if I’m a real person. I obviously am, and it seems to delight them to hear back from me. It delights me to hear from them too.

So all of you under thirty, see? There WAS life before the internet – and it wasn’t so bad!
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I am so pleased to know Dobie and I hope you enjoyed his story.  He can be hired to work with associations, corporations and sales teams.  He is a funny guy with fabulous talent. To reach him: www.dobiemaxwell.com


Bus or Car - Which Sales and Marketing Vehicle are you driving?

By Andy Horner, CEO ACE of Sales

BUS OR CAR – WHICH SALES AND MARKETING VEHICLE ARE YOU DRIVING?

What was your favorite PBS show growing up? I loved Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as much as the next kid, but my favorite program was 3, 2,1 Contact. Remember that show? I can still remember munching on Little Debbie snack cakes while being mesmerized by their science skits and reoccurring stories, like the Bloodhound Gang.

One of 3, 2,1 Contact’s best pieces was a simple but brilliant math lesson about efficiency. Shot documentary-style, the setting was a school parking lot. Parked in front of a group of 60 kids was a school bus and a hatchback car. A young lady asked the viewer which vehicle could transport all the kids to the destination on a very small, specific amount of fuel (I don’t recall the exact volume).

As a kid, I thought the car would use the gas more efficiently. It’s so tiny! Both vehicles attempted the task. The hatchback, which could only hold 3 passengers, ran out of fuel on the 6th trip after transporting only 18 kids. The bus, which could carry all the children in one trip, successfully completed the challenge.

To my surprise, the bus was the more fuel-efficient method of transportation.

This illustration applies to the current Sales Automation business trend.

Sales Automation is the “set it and forget it” process of acquiring new customers. Email blasts and search ads drive prospects to landing pages, which then capture their info, score them, and queue them for salespeople to contact. The salespeople complete a call or demo and re-score the prospect, which triggers a whole new set of emails or higher tier calls.

Ugh.

That’s the bus at work. It’s fast. It’s efficient. And guess what, it creates customers who have no loyalty to you or the company.

Thinking back to the 3, 2, 1 Contact bus/car test, let’s ask a different question. Instead of "which vehicle was more efficient?” what if they were testing "which driver made more of a personal connection with their passengers?" The bus driver could never get to know the children they carried. But the car driver could have chatted and connected with each car load on a personal level - a few minutes to talk to each kid.

As you decide how to gain efficiencies in your sales process this “spring cleaning” time of year, protect the customer relationship!

Perhaps you route support calls back to the same sales rep the customer spoke with first. Maybe you send a printed thank you card with a unique message to every new customer. Try sending at least one unsolicited referral to one of your customers each week. Once a customer has been contacted, all templated messages should include a personalized intro.

Automation may dominate the current conversation in sales, but heed this warning:

You can automate a sale, but you can’t automate a relationship.
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I am so pleased to work with Andy and his very creative team.  This is the best product in the market to build relationships, keep it crisp, fresh and fun.