Category Archives: SALES

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, HUMANITY, LEADERSHIP, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, SALES, WELLNESS

Stephan Aarstol: Shifting to a five-hour workday, and changing your life forever!

Joined in the house today by Stephan Aarstol, the CEO of Tower Paddle Boards, and the author of The Five-Hour Workday: Live Differently, Unlock Productivity, and Find Happiness.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Stephan Aarstol:

Stephan Aarstol1. What’s wrong with the current eight-hour work day and 40-hour work week.

2. What prompted him to move his company to a five-hour workday.

3. How a shorter work day makes businesses more profitable and productive and employees happier, healthier and more loyal.

4. Steps to implement a five-hour work-day at your company, and how to test risk free!

5. How winning on ABCs Shark Tank changed his life.

6. The importance of the pursuit of happiness.

Find Stephan Aarstol’s book here:

About Stephan Aarstol:

Stephan Aarstol is the CEO and founder of Tower Paddle Boards, an online, manufacturer-direct brand in the stand up paddle boarding industry. With a three-year growth rate of 1,853 percent, Tower was named the Fastest Growing Company in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal, and was featured in the Inc.’s 2015 500 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies.

After appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank and securing an investment from Mark Cuban, Aarstol was featured by People Magazine as one of “Shark Tank’s Biggest Winners.” Aarstol’s company quickly became one of Mark Cuban’s best-performing investments from the popular show, and in early 2016, ABC returned to feature Tower Paddle Boards in a nationally televised episode, “Beyond the Tank.”

Tower began as a disruptive, direct-to-consumer stand up paddle board company, and has since evolved into a more holistic beach-lifestyle company. Today, Tower offers a growing array of beach-lifestyle products, sold and shipped directly to consumers at a fraction of traditional retail prices. Tower’s successful brand extensions include a beach-lifestyle magazine, Tower Magazine, a sunglass company at SunglassesByTower.com, and a direct-to-consumer surf- and beach-lifestyle company at TowerMade.com.

Aarstol’s objective is to build Tower into the world’s premiere beach-lifestyle brand, and he currently has plans to extend the Tower brand into many additional business units.

As an entrepreneurial-thought leader and online-marketing expert, Aarstol’s insights have been published in the Washington Post, Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Mashable, and many other prominent business publications.

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BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

The Intrepid Guide To Maximizing Trade Shows

I spend a lot of time hanging out at various trade shows, national association gatherings, annual sales meetings, and user conferences. Blows my mind how poorly most organizations handle gigs like this, wasting SO MUCH opportunity (and money).

After observing for all these years, here are a few thoughts on maximizing trade shows:

1. Go to your next show with a plan. If you plan to play it by ear and go with the flow, you will almost certainly fail.

2. Too many organizations go to trade shows with a goal of walking away with 2,000 new leads. When in fact, they should try to walk away with 50 to 100 REAL leads. (Note: This is from the context of the B2B leads 99% of my clients are seeking, not B2C…)

3. Your real success at a trade show depends on the work you do months before the trade show begins.

4. Scanning badges to collect thousands of email addresses is NOT how you collect “leads” at a trade show.

5. Scanning badges to collect thousands of email addresses is NOT even a good way to build your mailing list (if your true goal is to drive business growth).

6. FREE BEER may get a few people into your exhibit. But it sure won’t build viable leads.

7. The only thing you are accomplishing by giving away candy is the spread of diabetes.

8. Most likely, all of the major industry thought leaders and influencers are under the same roof as you. You are fool not to seek them out and learn something.

9. Do you really think you’re going to grow your business by giving away GoPro cameras and iPads through raffle drawings?

10. Meaningful face-time is everything. Collecting brochures and reading displays is nothing.

11. Why do teams at trade show exhibits all have to wear the same damn logo-wear golf shirts? Can’t we be individuals? Aren’t we individuals? I know we are a team, but do we have to look like some army marching in lock-step?

12. If you have to tackle me in the aisle to get my attention, you are doing things wrong.

13. If you look at attending a trade show as a way to escape the office, you should be fired. Immediately. And with malice.

14. Your organization probably paid $800 to rent that sofa for three days. And all you are doing is sitting on it to check your iPhone?

15. Do you need a 40X40 space when a 10X10 will do?

16. If you have to exhibit at the industry trade show to be seen as viable in your market, there is something terribly wrong with your market.

17. You really should be thinking about approaching your trade show experience as a full-on campaign, one that lives before, during, and after the exhibition itself.

18. I’m still amazed at the poor follow-up post-show. Most prospects are NOT ever contacted again following the show. Why did you even bother attending the exhibition in the first place???

19. Do you actually have a plan with all those business cards you just collected? For what it’s worth, I always makes simple notes on the business cards I collect…as I get them. Because I will NEVER remember post-show.

20. I am amazed at the special events that so many organizations host at trade shows, and I’ve attended some that had to cost half a million. In my modern view of business, simply “outspending” the competition isn’t going to work anymore.

21. So many people standing around waiting for something to happen. And with all those prospects walking around the hall. Why are you even there?

22. Tchotchke giveaways: the biggest waste of time and money in the history of trade shows. Although great for giving the kid a gift, especially when you forgot to get them a real gift and the airport gift shop just won’t cut it.

23. I’ve never understood why an organization exhibited dozens and dozens of products and demos, when only two or three products really moved the needle at the show. Why not focus on the small handful of products that the market really cares about? Why spend thousands transporting products most people don’t care about?

24. It always frustrates me when someone says “the trade show didn’t go well for us.” Really? If you are saying this, you didn’t plan well, missed the prospects walking right under your noses, and you didn’t take advantage of all the educating and learning. Shame on you.

25. Why are your displays so complex and full of copy? Do you really think most people are going to stop and spend ten minutes readying all of that stuff?

26. Why are you not incorporating a more mobile-friendly presence for you and your organization? Trade show attendees are getting younger and younger…

27. And if you complain about the conference, trade show, and exhibition, host your own damn event then.

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Video: Here is what I am usually doing at trade shows!

And yes, in case you are wondering, here are some ways we help our clients with maximizing their trade show investment…

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Shawn Herring: Using the freelance economy to bridge a growing skills gap

Joined in studio today by Shawn Herring, the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Torchlite Marketing:

Torchlite is a SaaS marketplace that connects businesses to digital marketing experts. While other tech platforms exist to help companies find freelance talent, Torchlite is the first platform that allows companies to manage, collaborate with and evaluate that talent. It’s a single application that provides businesses with visibility into freelance campaigns across all digital channels – online, email, mobile, advertising and social media.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Shawn Herring:

1. The “marketing playbook.”

2. Using the freelance economy to bridge a growing skills gap.

3. The race to create tech with the newest bells & whistles has resulted in a shortage of employees who possess skill sets specialized enough to actually utilize the latest advances in their field.

4. What is the Torchlite concept / How does it work?

5. What was involved in putting together the platform and the experts?

6. What is the business model?

7. How are you reaching potential customers?

8. What is the plan for the next year or so?

About Shawn Herring:

Shawn HerringA dynamic and enthusiastic leader, Shawn built and managed the global demand generation team at ExactTarget. His team helped increase return on investment across all marketing channels and was instrumental in ExactTarget becoming one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world before being acquired by Salesforce.com.

Shawn holds an MBA from Indiana University and has previously been in marketing roles at Harlan Laboratories and Roche Diagnostics.

In 2015, Shawn co-founded Torchlite Marketing, a SaaS Marketplace that connects businesses to digital marketing experts who develop, manage and execute campaigns through a collaboration platform.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, MARKETING, PERSONAL GROWTH, SALES

Geoff Blades: 5 Business and Life Lessons from Trump

In studio today by Geoff Blades, who joined us to discuss his book The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard’s Path to the White House.

Geoff Blades teaches people to win. A former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and investor at the Carlyle Group, he is an author and advisor to senior Wall Street executives, CEOs and other leaders on all topics related to winning and getting what they want in their businesses, careers, and lives. You can learn more about Geoff here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Geoff Blades:

Geoff Blades1. Business and life (and campaigns) are all about transformational leaps.

2. Business, life, and politics is a game. Why don’t people understand this? You have play. Most don’t.

3. Trump understands this is about influence.

4. FIVE KEY LESSONS FROM TRUMP:
A. Stay on point.
B. Be more skilled.
C. Powerful messaging.
D. Be yourself.
E. Play the part.

5. Geoff explains how to apply the lessons above. And yes, he explains how you can both be yourself AND play the part!

6. What are the specific skills Trump used to win the GOP nomination?

7. Can Trump win it all? It’s a new game with old rules.

Find Geoff Blades’ book here!

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Paul Downs: Surviving your own small business

Joined in studio by Paul Downs, small business owner, New York Times columnist, and author of Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business. Learn more about Paul and the book here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Paul Downs:

Paul Downs1. Paul describes his business as one that has neither failed nor thrived, which is the reality for more than 25 million small businesses in America.

2. Describes three ways to fail.

3. FINDING NEW BUSINESS: A big challenge to most small business owners; how to see when also running the business; how to balance between selling and doing the actual work that you sell.

4. EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT: Hiring, firing, and supervising; how decisions you make impact your team, not just you.

5. ACCOUNTING: The importance of sharing the numbers with the entire team, and the impact that can have on how people function in the organization.

6. WORK-LIFE BALANCE: Is this for real? Why you need to focus on things OTHER than your business, and what your true goal should be.

7. Running a small business is hard. And you are not alone.

8. You don’t have to run a billion-dollar business to be considered a success.

You can find Paul Downs’ book here:

About Paul Downs:

Since 1986, Paul Downs has been the owner of a small custom furniture business, now specializing in premium conference tables. His company has neither failed nor thrived, a narrative that is the reality for more than twenty-five million small business owners in America. Many business books tell aspirational stories of a few successful, famous, and wealthy people, glossing over their career arcs without exposing the realities of being a boss. In BOSS LIFE: Surviving My Own Small Business, now out in paperback, Downs explores the real issues facing small business owners today, like online advertising and a global customer base.
 
For years, Downs contributed to the New York Times “You’re the Boss” column, sharing his experiences as a small business owner and manager in posts that focused on topics like navigating the healthcare exchange or firing a veteran employee. Loyal readers of his column were vocal and supportive and the comments sections became their own forums on small business issues, guided by Downs’s knowledge and candor.

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Karen Leland: Build your brand by design rather than by default

Joined in studio by Karen Leland, the CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, and the author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand.

Karen Leland1. Why is a personal brand so critical today,

2. How does a CEO’s brand differ from the business brand?

3. Does everyone need a brand?

4. What are the biggest mistakes people make in building their personal brand?

5. What are the most important things to do in building a personal brand?

6. The seven brand enhancers, brand mapping process.

7. Strategy vs. tactics, when it comes to building your brand.

8. Becoming a thought leader, leveraging content.

9. How to ACCELERATE your brand!

Find Karen Leland’s book here:

About Karen Leland:

Karen is CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding and marketing strategy & implementation firm helping CEO’s, businesses and teams develop stronger personal and business brands. Clients include AT&T, American Express, Marriott Hotels, Apple Computer, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

She is the best-selling author of 9 books and writes regularly for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. Her most recent book is The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand.

She has spoken for Harvard, Stanford, YPO, the AMA and been interviewed on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC and Oprah.

Karen Leland

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Hal Barr: The Art and Science of Sales

Joined in studio by Hal Barr, speaker, consultant, coach, and author of the new book, The First Billions’ The Toughest. Learn more about Hal here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Hal Barr:

Hal Barr1. The importance of moving through the sales process systematically.

2. Learning to relate to people better.

3. The art of sales.

4. The science of sales.

5. Applying the 80/20 (Pareto) Principle to your sales and business processes (and frankly, everything else in your life)…

6. Hal explains how all his art and science lessons can be applies across the board from sales, to marketing, to life…

7. Relating to people requires learning to truly listen to people. And in so doing you will learn to define people as thinkers, tellers, talkers, and taskers. Once you know this, you can relate and collaborate with these folks in a truly meaningful way.

Find Hal Barr’s book here:

From Amazon:Sales is possibly the hardest profession in the world because professionals are tainted by those that don’t do it right. This book is your guide to how to improve your skills to be the professional that others will admire and emulate. The methods discussed in this book have been tested and worked for literally thousands of sales people throughout the US and beyond.

-Learn to Speak the way people are willing to listen
-Understand who your clients are that truly deserve your time and attention
-Streamline your business and become more successful with less stress

Hal Barr has over 30 years in sales during which he developed and authored a proven sales process that increases sales, revenues and client retention. The process is based on the Pareto Principle which is almost considered a law of nature.

A little about Hal Barr:

Nationally recognized thought leader on business development. Hal presented the 80/20 Principles over 180 times a year for the past 5 years to Fortune 100 companies. Hal’s sales strategies have helped thousands of independent business people in the US grow top line revenue from 25% to 125%.

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Ali Mirza: The importance of sales training to getting results

Joined in studio today by Ali Mirza, the President of Rose Garden Consulting. We focus on his different approach to sales and sales training, and how they relate to getting results!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Ali Mirza:

Ali Mirza1. “Sales training never ends. Understanding this leads to sales success.”

2. Why is sales training important, and why companies need to invest more into their sales department.

3. What is sales process development?

4. What are the expectations of your sales people, and how do you motivate them properly?

5. Sales Coach vs. Sales Manager.

6. Consultative sales vs. Account reps vs. Business development rep vs. Sales closers!

About Ali Mirza:

Ali is an accomplished Sales Master and Trainer! Starting his career in sales at the tender age of 18, Ali quickly realized that he would have to become better because being terrible at selling was not fun. Ali’s first sales role was in Insurance Sales, spending 3 years going door to door, outselling everyone in the country, Ali grew bored and tired and needed a change. Rose Garden Consulting was born and since then, Ali has personally closed over $100 Million in sales for many companies from small local establishments to large multi-national organizations.

Since 2012, Ali has taken his passion for closing deals to teaching others how to close deals. Ali firmly believes, there is no such thing as a born salesman; the only things born are baby boys and baby girls! Salespeople are taught. Ali currently lives in Atlanta and travels the country helping companies increase their sales.

Ali Mirza

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2 Key Metrics To Monitor With Your Customers – Everything Else Is A Distraction

A client recently bemoaned that she was investing as much as she possibly could in marketing her business, often times at the expense of her drawing a salary. When we asked her how much new business was coming from these marketing campaigns, she shrugged her shoulders.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” ~ John Wanamaker, Advertising Pioneer

Today we have mounds of data on everything from customer acquisition to customer retention and while this information is designed to create efficiencies and improve the way we do business, it actually only serves to create more confusion. Studies show that having a bunch of information doesn’t necessarily help you solve the problem.

When it comes to getting and keeping customers, there are two key metrics that every business owner should know:

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

If you have an expense line item for marketing and advertising campaigns, then you should be tracking how much new business is coming in as a result of those campaigns so that you can measure its effectiveness. One client had invested $6,300 over a three year period with a glossy magazine that gets drop shipped into a geo targeted area. The seductive pitch of it landing on the desk and countertops of 30,000 of her ideal customers was too good to pass up.

Since she tracks in her CRM how her new customers find her business, it was a simple matter of pulling a report that revealed it was a wasted investment. She didn’t receive even one new customer from that campaign. Further, when you put it in perspective that if she had acquired, for example, 3 new customers as a result of that campaign, her CAC would have been $2,100 (that’s $2,100 for each new client!). Can you get a new customer for less than that? Absolutely! You can get leads for a few dollars in Facebook all day long.

Every marketing campaign should be measured against your CAC. Simply break apart your marketing line item and understand how much is being allocated for each campaign, query your new customers as to how they found you, monitor the results, make decisions as to whether the results are in alignment with your goals then slash and burn what’s not measuring up.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

Walk into any bookstore, go to the business section and what you’ll find is that the vast majority of them are written about customer acquisition. While acquiring new customers is essential, Gallup estimates that businesses are only doing ⅓ the business they should be doing with their existing customers. That means if you’re doing $1 million in sales, there is a full $2 million in low hanging fruit that is going unpicked. If you want to pull the profit lever in your business, this is the metric to dial down.

The key to increasing profits is to get your existing customers to come more often, buy more and tell others.

Businesses that focus extending customer engagement beyond the first transaction have a higher probability of creating greater customer loyalty, which equates to higher profits.

The benefits of knowing your LTV:

1. You can increase LTV by extending your product and service offerings.

2. You can put parameters around what you would be willing to invest to recover that customer should things go off the rails

3. You now have an understanding of how much to invest to acquire a new customer. For example, if your LTV is $1,500, you can make an investment decision based on real numbers, not guessing. A good rule of thumb is 5:1 ratio (LTV to CAC).

While it’s easy to get bogged down in the process of getting and keeping customers, keep it simple and focus on the two metrics that tell you the true story of your customers. Manage and monitor your campaigns closely so that you can determine your CAC and make swift decisions if they fail to deliver results. Cautiously enter into long term advertising agreements that don’t give you an exit if it’s not performing to your metrics. Keep your finger on your LTV as it is the True North that will guide your increased profitability.

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Pam-250-x-250Pamela Herrmann & Patty Dominguez are the Co-Founders of CREATE Buzz, committed to helping small businesses get customers and keep customers by taking the overwhelm out of technology, thus creating sustainable thriving businesses that are relevant. They co-host The Morning Would Show bringing the latest in marketing tips and strategies.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Tim Matthews: How to get from Can’t to Can If…

Joined on the show today by Tim Matthews, the Vice President of Marketing for Incapsula!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Tim Matthews:

Tim Matthews1. Sales vs. marketing.

2. And why there needs to be a healthy tension between the two!

3. Need to get from CAN’t to CAN IF…

4. What’s it like running a marketing team at a high-growth cloud software company? What are the challenges?

5. Give us a sense of what’s really going on these days in Silicon Valley?

6. You write a lot about marketers from the past, in one case from the 1800’s. Why?

7. What’s one marketing development you are really excited about?

8. What drove you to write “The Professional Marketer”? And what’s this I hear it had something to do with your wife’s being a chef?

About Tim Matthews:

Tim Matthews is VP of marketing at cloud service Incapsula and author of The Professional Marketer.

Tim was born in New York City and grew up in a nearby leafy suburb before taking the long route to Silicon Valley through Tokyo. He has worked in high tech for twenty years and managed marketing teams at six companies. When not writing or poring over marketing texts, he golfs, crosswords, and tries to keep up with his wife on a standup paddleboard. He has long wondered which is harder: crossing the chasm or a 200 yard carry over a water hazard.

You can find Tim Matthews’ book here:

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