Blog Archives

STEEEEERRIKE! Is a Blinding Fastball Enough?

NOTE:   Here in the thick of World Series season, it reminded me of this post from last spring.


So I was listening to a Grapefruit League game on the radio yesterday and I feel the first stages of  full blown BaseballFever.  I guess it’s time for a baseball/business analogy.

Two pitchers: One consistently throws 97-98 MPH 4-seamers. He has other pitches but nothing spectacular.  The other has a fast ball that doesn’t go much above 86-87. His specialty is alternating the fast ball with a 65MPH change-up.  He also throws a great curve that drops straight down at just the right moment.

They are both about the same age and their ERAs are similar.  Which one is the more valuable pitcher.  The answer according to Schwartz’ Guide To Baseball is the second pitcher.   His variety and control can make him unbeatable.

He has BALANCE

Balance is important in your sales an marketing efforts as well.  You may be bringing in 5 new accounts per month.  That’s all fine and good, but what are you doing to retain and grow your existing clients?

Keep a close eye, not only on revenue but also on how long clients actually stay with you.  A successful business will do it all.

OK – enough of this,  back to the game!  Here’s one of my favorite Yankees combining two of his talents – baseball and music.

5 Things Not To Do at Networking Meetings

There are a lot of different types of Networking meetings.  There are many formats. There are large groups, small groups, free groups, breakfast groups, evening “cocktail party” groups, event groups and others.

The thing that they all have in common is the vast majority of the folks who attend are doing so in order to grow their own network of prospective clients and referral sources. Everyone is there to meet others and increase the size of their community.  We do this by learning about the other folks at the meeting and helping them get to know us as well.

The one exception, is the paid, industry limited groups – you know, where there is a limit of one person per industry. These groups primarily exist not to help people grow their network but to exchange leads.  The following list does not necessarily apply to those groups.

The thing that I am fascinated by is the number of attendees whose behaviors are counterproductive to their own best interests.

Here is a list of 5 of them.  Read the rest of this entry

Marketing Is Worthless If You Don’t Convert Leads

There are many different types of marketing, each having a specific goal. At a high level though all marketing has the same goal – To generate interest in your product. It is about getting people to raise their hands and acknowledge that they are aware of what you sell, and there is a possibility that they are interested in making a purchase.

There a soft value to putting your name in front of as many people as you can. Brand awareness can be critical to a company’s success. While it’s not a bad thing to increase awareness of your product or service the question becomes that in terms of ROI, marketing programs are often measured using circumstantial evidence.

The bottom line goal of every company is to increase profit.  That’s why profit is on “the bottom line” of a financial analysis.  There are only two ways to improve profitability – increase revenue or decrease expenses.  The prime revenue source for a company is sales.

Take a look at this sales results graph from a hypothetical company that launched a new marketing campaign in January and ended it in May.  “Sales Results” is typically defined as orders that are delivered and invoiced.

With complete certainty we can state that the marketing program was PROBABLY a driving factor in the sales increase that began in February, continued to rise until about 30 days after the program ended. We deem the marketing program a success.Are there other factors that could be the root cause of the increase in sales?  Of course there are.  Better inventory management, improved shipping measures, better invoicing procedures – just to name a few.

So how do you actually measure the success of a marketing plan if not on sales results. It depends on the objective of the  program.  The most common type of program for small and medium businesses generally has the objective of increasing the number of “Leads”, “Inquiries” or “Requests for information.”

So at the end of the day if the number of leads received during the run of a program went up, the program can be declared a success regardless of the sales results.   Sort of like a surgery that is deemed successful regardless of whether the patient lives or dies.

What exactly is the value of a lead?  I would submit that if you don’t do anything with the lead, it has absolutely no value.  Another way of putting it is this: “A Lead and $2.25 will get buy you a ride on the subway.”

Soooooo – acquiring the lead is important, but selling to the prospect is equally important.  If you don’t have a specific plan to follow-up and close as many of the leads as possible, the money you spend on marketing could be wasted.

As Jerry Seinfeld might say “You know how to GET the lead, you just don’t know how to SELL to the lead.”

Presentation at Networkers Anonymous Today

I’ll be at Rocco’s Restaurant in Brookfield today speaking to Networkers Anonymous, an open networking group that anyone can attend. Come by for lunch, networking and to listen to my incredibly engaging and relevant talk on Entrepreneurial Selling.

Starts at 11:30, with networking and lunch until around 1, at which point you can hang on my every word for 30 minutes.

LEAD MANAGEMENT PROJECT: Step #1 – Gather

I wrote earlier that you should have ZERO TOLERANCE for not having a documented “next step” for EACH AND EVERY name in your database.

This is the first in a series of posts on how to get there and what to do next.  When you’ve completed all the actions in this series you should have a crystal clear picture of how to begin using the vast amount of information you already have to increase your sales.  Read the rest of this entry

COLD CALLING IS NOT PART OF A SALES REP’S JOB

This is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation of cold calling.  In some models, it makes sense, in some it doesn’t.

This post isn’t just about cold calling – it is about all lead generation activities.  Lead Generation is a marketing function.

I draw a distinct line between marketing and selling.

  • Marketing: Reaching out to potential buyers with the goal of having them raise their hand and say “I’m interested in discussing your product.”
  • Sales: Working with those folks who raised their hand with the goal of closing a sale.

Once you embrace this concept, you’ll see that the time spent on lead gen (or any marketing activity) means that the individual working these activities is NOT working on sales activities.

Sales activity is the part where revenue is generated.

That’s all fine and good but what if you are a small organization Read the rest of this entry