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Inquisix – Business Relationships that Last

27 Oct

BusinessRelationshipsThatLast

I just ordered this book because that’s what Inquisix members do – they build business relationships that last.

If you’ve already read the book, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Learning from Previous Mistakes

19 Oct

Fabulous article about Hulu from Fast Company magazine. Great lessons for every entrepreneur, every growing company or company wishing they could grow.

Can Hulu Save Traditional TV?

Lessons to be learned for all on:

  • Improving user experience
  • Using analytics to figure out what users want instead of asking them (because they don’t tell you – think Edsel)
  • “Dinosaur” TV networks learning from a lesson (missing out on YouTube) and taking the appropriate steps.   RIAA needs to do the same
  • How to build revenue and market share.  Amen!

Yes, I know this blog post is not about referrals. But I’ve been reading Fast Company a lot lately and find so many of them to be well written and insightful.  Their articles should be required reading for anyone looking to grow in the new economy.  Maybe that’s why it’s called, “Fast Company”

hulu fastcompany

Sales Rant – Why can't your company handle an onbound query from a prospective buyer?

16 Oct

I called a division of Acme Industrial [name changed to protect the guilty] a week ago and asked to speak to someone in sales as I had some questions.   The service runs about $7500-12,000 per year, not an insubstantial amount of investment. The phone system asked me to press 1 if I wanted to speak to someone who “would be happy to answer your questions about our services.” The person I got didn’t know anything about the product at all, and said someone would call me back.  Already a bad precedent, I wonder how the sales rep covering my territory would feel about their inside team dropping the ball.

A week goes by. A week!

SalesRant

So I call back today and go thru the menu prompts again and again I’m told I’ll be transferred to someone who “would be happy to answer your questions about our services.” When they did answer, they said that they have no record of my call last week. They put me on hold for 4 minutes. They come back on the line and ask me for the same contact information I provided a week earlier. Didn’t ask any qualifying questions, curiously, like budget, timeframe, or even what 2-3 top questions I wanted answered. Said “someone will call you back.” When I asked when I would hear from them or who would call me, the rep didn’t know. I pointed out it had been a week and I wanted this information as soon as possible so I could make a final decision – would I get a call back today? “I’ll ask them to call you sooner rather than later.”

By contrast, their competitor took my call live on the first time I called them, answered my questions reasonably well, and sent me email today to follow up.

What company can afford to put themselves in this situation? How many other calls did they handle this way? Sales live by the numbers, but this team isn’t doing themselves any good. And with marketers scrambling to justify their existence and their budgets based on closed leads, its clear that getting the metrics right is only part of the equation. What does this experience communicate to me as a prospective buyer about what it may be like to work with these guys? I felt a lack of accountability, lack of concern for me as a customer, and a very low service experience.   Guess who’s product I purchased?  And that Acme Industrial sales rep handling my territory never even knew what they lost.

Thanks to Malay Pharma Sales Rep Rant  for the picture.

That "SEND" button causes mischief and unintended response

5 Oct

Ever hit the “send” button on your email too quickly and then wished you could pull it back?  And if you try Outlook’s “Recall Message…” all it really does is highlight to the recipient that you made a mistake.

Here’s a perfect example of not proofing before you email.  And this was a cold call email blast to me from someone I don’t know.  Think I’ll be responding to this email with anything but “unsubscribe?”

ContactFirstName

Joanne Black adds social networking links to her site

26 Aug

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Joanne Black and her book, “No More Cold Calling” because so much of what she writes is the foundation on what Inquisix is built upon.   When Dave and I were first sharing the referral exchange idea that became Inquisix, we were introduced to Joanne by Philippe Lavie, sales trainer from Chicago.  Joanne and I talked a few times and then agreed to meet at the first Sales 2.0 conference in San Francisco.  I had a chance to pick up Joanne’s book and read it before meeting her in Chicago.  I felt like I was in college again because when I was done reading her book, it was filled with my yellow highlighting.  I’ve now met Joanne a few times while I’m in San Francisco and her advice on building a better Inquisix has proven invaluable.

NoMoreColdCalling

Joanne has now extended her website’s offerings to include a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account.  It’s now even easier to get her good advice.

Great Zig Ziglar quote to start the week

24 Aug

As a salesperson, are you selling to your prospects or helping them solve problems?

Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life  you want if you help other people get what they want.”  As quoted in Selling Power maagazine, June 2009 issue, page 28.

Zig’s message at first glance seems a bit naive especially since it seems contrary to messages you receive at school, on the playing fields and at work about being number 1.

But in this new Sales 2.0 “empowering the customer” environment, is there any other way to be successful in your career?

Talk Radio Event: Emergence of Reputation Networks : Sept 23, 2009

23 Aug

Jon Hansen hosts a Talk Radio Show, “PI Window on Business” that reaches an estimated 300,000 syndicated subscribers worldwide every month.  The PI Social Media Network is internationally recognized for its ability to identify, structure and disseminate the ideas and visions that are reshaping the emerging global enterprise.

JonHansen

He’s talking with Michael Kreppein, Chief Sales Officer of Inquisix, to examine more closely the emergence of “reputation networks” and their effects on personal branding in the Web 2.0 world. Reputation networks, like Inquisix, are gaining ground to combat the growing problem within the realms of social networking, where references or testimonials are bartered by an ever-expanding network of interloping relationships between name collectors versus relationship builders.

Please join us.

Wednesday September 23, 2009 at 12.30pm ET

Consummate Networkers Presentation by Inquisix

29 Jul

As mentioned in a previous post, Pat Weber runs an online networking group called the Consummate Networkers and she invited me to speak to her group last week.

Pat has three key areas of consummate networking:

* Show Up
* Dive In
* Follow up

Pat asked me to talk about the Dive-In area so I presented to over 30 attendees on, “The Morning After….Attending the Networking Event.” We used the BlitzTime solution so that everyone could see & hear the presentation and then do one-on-one networking afterwards. All from the comfort of their home, office or car.

http://www.viddler.com/player/b22c378e/

Phone Event on July 23rd – The Day After the Networking Event

21 Jul

Pat Weber runs an online networking group called the Consummate Networkers and she’s invited me to speak to her group this week. The event is phone-based and anyone can join the call via BlitzTime.

networking

Date: Thursday, July 23rd at 7pm ET

Topic: The Day After the Networking Event – What Do I Do Now?

Why not join us and participate by signing up here? The event is free and you’ll have a chance to meet other professionals interested in networking.

Can I Date Your Sister?

10 Jul

Very nice article by Michael Katz about why asking your clients for referrals is a bad idea. His analogy is that asking customers for referrals is like someone asking you if they can date your sister. As I’ve written before, I agree about not asking your customers for referrals and instead ask them to be references.

Michael sends out an e-newsletter focused on writing better e-newsletters. You can read why Michael feels the same way I do about customers and referrals here. If you’d like to listen to the newsletter instead, click here.

And why a penguin below? Because Michael’s company is called Blue Penguin Development.

penguin_standing