Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Excellent Guide to Cold Calling

This guide from InfoUSA is excellent:


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Direct Mail made much easier, more cost-effective

Anyone who knows me, knows I love using the internet to do everything that the rest of us do without the internet. Although I don't do direct mail campaigns, there has been a resurgence in their popularity, precisely because of the online revolution, which can't compete with the good old fashioned printed word.
The problem with DM campaigns is that they are cost effective when it comes to postage, but very costLY when it comes to the labor and upfront costs involved in printing the mass mailing, customizing each mailing with an customer name, labeling the envelopes, stuffing the envelopes, sealing the envelopes, filling out the complicated pre-sorted postage forms, packaging each and every letter in USPS approved trays, lugging everything to the post office during business hours and then driving back only to find out that - oops, you forgot one of the 15 or 20 trays in the mailing.
Recounting the miseries so well because I have done this. I used to run a print shop for IKON office solutions at Missouri Valley College. And believe me when I say, doing a bulk (500 pieces or more) mailing is NO picnic. A nightmare is more like it.
Fortuntately, I have found an incredible solution. It's called www.click2mail.com Simply put, you create your mailing on your computer, and click2mail does the rest...So you can, well, rest instead of doing all the work just described above, and instead of investing in all the fancy equipment and consumables like ink.
In case you're wondering, I have absolutely no ties to click2mail whatsoever. I just found out about it today and think it's so cool, I just had to share!
How does this relate to cold calling? That easy. By sending out a DM campaign to the folks you plan to call, you are increasing the "temperature" (and therefore likelihood of success) of the call from cold to room temp!
Happy Selling!!! Stay warm!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Father of Modern Networking" puts SendOutCards.com in the Spotlight

Ivan Misner is known as the "Father of Modern Networking" according to CNN and many others organizations. When Mr. Misner speaks, networking organizations listen....intently. I've personally read and highly recommend Mr. Misner's book, Giver's Gain, a book about BNI, the networking organization which Ivan founded way back in 1985 with the core philosophy that, as the title states, "Givers Gain.". In fact BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world. So when I read his Dec 20th article on how to build relationships to generate quality referrals, I was extremely impressed to learn that authorities like Misner are preaching the importance of good old fashioned hand-written snail mail, and for those who are pressed for time, a modern-day solution that's both high-tech and high-touch, from Utah-based sendoutcards.com.

As Misner astutely points out in the Dec 20th column in Entrepreneur Magaine,

"....it's not about getting more referrals; it's about showing your appreciation [emphasis added] for the ones you get and making the most of the opportunity, while strengthening your referral relationships to ensure that your referral pipeline flows steadily and reliably."

Not surprisingly, Misner, is aware of the value of SendOutCards as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. In fact, he's not only aware of it, but specifically mentions it in his recent Dec 20th column in Entrepreneur magazine.

I'm so glad Misner is shining the light of day on this service which I first learned about from Diane Walker, a top-notch, standup businessperson from Florida, and a senior executive independenly affiliated with the firm. Although I'm not a distributor like Diane, I have been an extemely satisfied customer of hers since 2005. Frankly, I absolutely love the service. All I do is select a card, type in whatever message I want and then include a photo. You can even have S.O.C. insert a gift card or include a box of chocolates. In fact, I can even put the card in my own handwriting and sign it with my signature---all online, without any extra computer equipment!!! Sendoutcards does the rest. Very nice.

So what's the take-home today? Simple. While it's important to make use of technology for some communication, when you really want to show appreciation, there's nothing quite like a hand-written card you can touch and feel.

As SendOutCards.com CEO Kody Bateman wisely notes, "Appreciation will always win out over self promotion." And as we all know, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That's a lesson every quality salesperson knows AND remembers.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

21 Ways to Bring in the Business

Here's a thought-provoking article from Entrepreneur Magazine. I particularly like the last one:
21. When in doubt, pick up the phone!!!!!! (!s added by me:)

Excellent B2B Sales Training

Sandler Sales Institute has an outstanding reputation for sales training that is markedly different and more effective than traditional training. The reason is their ongoing and intensive group training (they refer to it as their "President's Club") that allows business executives and staff salespeople to participate in weekly sessions with salespeople from other organizations. They also offer one-to-one daily executive coaching. They don't do 1 day hoo-rah, let's get you pumped up for a day, and we'll see you next year for another shot in the arm (the effects of which usually last for no longer than a month). Their pyschology of sales is based on Transactional Analysis.

TA is used to address the following needs, among many others:
  • Iinstitutional climate and culture
  • Self esteem building
  • Staff morale
  • Behaviour management

Sandler has franchisees all over the country. I've had the privilege of undergoing some of their training at Awareness Management, their institute in central Missouri.

Here are some of the Sandler Rules:
1. You don't have to finish the presentation.
2. Don't buy back tomorrow what you sold today.
3. Money does grow on trees; referral trees.
4. You don't have to like cold calls; you only have to make them.
5. You cannot fail at prospecting unless you fail to prospect

Some of the salespeople I have come across, including myself, that have had a lot of success with Sandler are those in retail wireless, wireless B2B, real estate, furniture sales, among others.

Any sales manager or senior executive who is looking at sales training for themselves and for their entire organization needs to give Sandler a call to at at least check 'em out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm an Aphorism Junkie

Ok, I admit it. I love aphorisms, proverbs, and fortune cookie food for thought. They help me to keep a positive outlook in my personal and professional life. Some of them I post in my work space to keep me motivated.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

Intro to OpenID

OpenID Bootcamp Tutorial

From: daveman692, 4 months ago

Simon Willison and David Recordon's OpenID tutorial from O'Reilly's OSCON 07.

SlideShare Link