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Happy Ears Are Bad For Forecasting

15 May

Alyssa Dver is author of, “No Time Marketing” and was recently on Barry Moltz’s Business Insanity Radio show again. She had a great quote that was both funny and deadly accurate.

She said that “Happy Ears” is her term for confusing prospect enthusiasm with purchase authority.

What a great quote! It should be one of your top concerns when submitting your forecast to management. And management should be filtering forecasts with same consideration.

What about your forecast, does it have too many opportunities in it based on Happy Ears?

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Innovative View To Inside Sales Metrics

27 Apr

I worked with Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group on a few inside sales consulting engagements when I ran PeakSales Consulting in the late ’90’s.

Her company specializes in improving the Insides Sales department, especially when the group is involved in the full sales cycle till close. So they’re well qualified to publish reports on Inside Sales Best Practices. Trish’s latest offering is the “Periodic Table of Insides Sales Metrics” which I think is a really neat way to summarize the important data relevant for building a top-tier Inside Sales Group. Best of all, the table is free to download from The Bridge Group website.

trishtable

If you’re local to Boston and would like to hear Trish speak, why not print out the table and get her to autograph it at the Sales 2.0 Conference on May 21, 2009? I’m first in line!

Engineering Can Wait

31 Mar

Even though I have 2 degrees from Boston University and live 15 minutes from campus, I’m not a big BU alumni. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t a big fraternity scene or football tailgating parties. For me, it was the city of Boston itself that’s the attraction. Since BU is 1 mile long and a block wide, the campus really becomes the city itself. So I’ve ignored BU attempts at bringing me back.

bu_banner

The one sport BU is good at is hockey and they’ve been ranked #1 most of this year and are going to the Frozen Four next week. Watching hockey on HD with the boys is almost as good as watching the games live so I’ve been caught up in the BU spirit. And then BU got me at a weak moment and I said, “Yes” to attending a BU Engineering industry night last week.

I’m back on campus, walking thru the student union and knowing that I can’t even pass for a grad student getting their PhD. Obviously not a professor, maybe the parent of one of these kids. Go into the dining room where they’re hosting the event and take a big breath.

The room is full of engineering seniors wanting to mingle with alumni and ask what’s it’s like in the real world. No speeches, just a quick intro and then mingle the crowd so that the kids could ask us questions one-on-one. I told the crowd, “I don’t know why BU ENG asked me to attend as I got out of engineering and into sales within 2 years of graduating BU.” Of all the other alumni, only 1 other wasn’t still in engineering and he was a patent attorney. I figured I’d be left alone for the next 2 hours, scorned for going to the dark side of sales.

Instead, I was mobbed. And I really enjoyed talking with them and was glad I attended. Why? Because I can remember being in their place and knowing I had spent so many hours studying to be an engineer, hours that my English and Business major friends were spending in the bars downtown. I can remember that eager but tight feeling of, “I have to get a Engineering job right now” without realizing that working for the next 40 years is what’s ahead of me. After all, I thought 30 year olds were due Social Security benefits when I was graduating BU. Just no concept of 4 years of school vs 40 years of working.

What these kids wanted to hear from me that it’s OK not to do the expected and get the obligatory engineering job right away. So I told them it’s OK. Be a (gasp) sales person. Join the Peace Corp, get a teaching job, be a bartender or ski instructor, travel the world if you can. Take some time to discover what you love to do. That job will be waiting when you’re ready.

Minding Your Money Interview with Inquisix

25 Mar

Tom Cafarella, Inquisix member, owner of accounting firm CMB Accounting and host of “Minding Your Money” on TV, interviewed Michael Kreppein of Inquisix recently. Tom and Michael spoke about the challenges facing small businesses, specifically how they can find new business.

http://www.viddler.com/simple/59f0d3df/

Boston Business Networking with dancing II

16 Mar

I wrote about NetParty‘s Business Networking event last August 2008.  Well, they’re back and hosting a new party in Boston on Tuesday, March 24th.  Their parties combine Business with Social Networking.  First h0ur or so is business networking with just light music in the background.  Then the social networking kicks off and the music gets turned up.

Will you attend?  Get your free invite here by March 23rd.

Boston not local to you?  They have other cities to choose from.  Wonder what the party in Buenos Aires looks like?

netpartylocations

How To Integrate Your Online Networking with In-Person Events for Best Results

27 Feb

We had a great turnout to Friday Feb 20th’s Executive Club of Boston event hosted on BlitzTime. I was invited to talk on integrating your online networking with your in-person networking efforts.  While the audience on the 20th couldn’t see the attached presentation, it’s what I used to prompt me during my speech.

[flashvideo file=”wp-content/uploads/2009/02/inquisixonblitztimeflash.swf” /]

Inquisix Presentation and Networking Event – Fri Feb 20th

5 Feb

Brent Trethewey of the Executive Club of Boston has invited me to speak on Friday February 20th at 8.00am ET to his group. The topic of the discussion is “How To Integrate Your Online Networking with In-Person Events for Best Results”

Come join us by phone!

speed-networking

Brent is a member of Inquisix and runs a “speed” networking event every Friday. The concept is pretty cool, I’ve attended a bunch of his meetings. Instead of meeting face-to-face every Friday, he’s using a technology from BlitzTime that allows participants to connect via phone with up to 6 other executives, all in 45 minutes. Each week, Brent invites an expert to talk and then the participants get connected with each other to talk for 6 minutes. After your 6 minutes is up, you are connected with another participant. Hence, the “speed” in his networking.

So please come join us! It’s best to be online while on the phone.

At the moment, there’s only a US-based number to call into. I’m talking to the BlizTime founders to add a European number so our Inquisix members there can join us for the next event.

Get in the Door – Be Assumptive not Consultative

16 Oct

I attended the “Winning Big Company Clients” event in NYC earlier this week.  The event was hosted by Nigel Edelshain, CEO of Sales 2.0 with a panel discussion led by Jill Konrath, author of “Selling to Big Companies” and Razi Imam, CEO of Landslide Technologies.

Jill’s discussion was very interesting.  While she admitted that much of what she wanted to talk about was in her book, it was beneficial to get the synopsis.

Her main point is that the corporate decision makers use the delete key first.  When listening to your voice mail, their finger is on the *3 or whatever key combination they use to delete your voice mail and email.  Their preference is to delete, not listen.  So if you are not relevant, your message is deleted immediately.

That means that you don’t have 30 or even 10 seconds to get your point across.  You have 5 seconds to be relevant.  Her studies have shown that corporate decision makers also believe that it’s your responsibility as the sales rep to call them back.  Jill says that you’re their conscience.

Being relevant means you can’t be consultative.  No more, “Hi, this is Jill and I’d like to understand more about your business issues so that we can find a solution for you.”  Corporate decision makers don’t have the time or desire to educate you.  Jill says that you must be assumptive in your belief that they have a pressing problem and that you can solve it.

Jill says that the corporate decision makers will review 3 things in their head as their finger is poised over the delete key.

  • Are you relevant?
  • Is this an urgent problem?
  • Are you credible, ie are you the one to solve this problem?

I found what she said very timely and very interesting.  Thanks, Jill for your insight.  And thanks to Nigel for hosting!

NYC Event – "Winning Big Company Clients"

3 Oct

Jill Konrath, author of “Selling to Big Companies” and Razi Imam, CEO of Landslide Technologies are discussing new Sales 2.0 technologies for helping salespeople win big corporate accounts. The event is being moderated by Nigel Edelshain, CEO of Sales 2.0.

I will be there as a guest of Nigel.  Will you join us there?

DATE:
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

LOCATION:
The Penn Club
30 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10036

AGENDA:
6.00PM – 6:45PM Networking and Hors d’oeuvres
6:45PM – 7:45PM Presentation and Interactive Discussion
7:45PM – 8:00PM Wrap-up & Networking

Register here for this event. I look forward to meeting you there.

Referral Expo 2008 – Register for Free NOW

1 Oct

There’s a little more than one week left to take advantage of the Referral Expo 2008. We’re in the last stretch of 2008: Gain insight, expertise, new ideas, and power yourself through this these challenging economic times.

The Referral Expo is a virtual event, conducted over the phone. It’s free to attend, but registration is limited:

  • Breathe new life into your business
  • Generate more referrals
  • Find better quality referrals

Get new, innovative ideas! Bolster yourself against the economy. The Referral Expo 2008: Register now.

In times like these, building relationships and creating referrals are the keys to success. By attending this virtual expo, you’ll get loads of innovative ideas and strategies for generating referrals – all from the comfort of your home or office.

The Referral Expo 2008
Tap into 15 world-class marketing experts as they share their best referral strategies. I’m honored to be included in the team presenting at this year’s Referral Expo.

What: Referral Expo 2008
When: Now through October 10th

  • Each 1-hour presentation will be conducted over the phone on successive weekday evenings.
  • Monday – Friday at 5:00pm Pacific / 6:00pm Mountain / 7:00pm Central / 8:00pm Eastern

Cost: FREE
Register now!

See you there!