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Let's Talk Lead-Gen: Qualifed Vs. Not

As I state in my marcom materials and in proposals, if you engage me - you will get LESS meetings/opportunities, but when you get them - they will be qualified. And I mean, QUALIFIED - what that means is that the prospect really wants to do business - they understand the product or service, it fits their needs, and, they have money - now or in the future. If they don't have the money now or the timeframe or need is out a bit, or they are just doing a "looky -loo", I know that and will convey accordingly.

To some people, less means less - while as I have written before less can be more - particularly when the meeting/demo is worth $25, $50, or $100K - named account or not. Even I would rather have another SMARTFormulator, Clear-Demand, or SkyStem then some dumbass who goes to market unprepared and does a 3 month trial thinking they have the "IT" product. I want quality, my clients want quality, the client's prospects - want quality.

I had a conversation with a prospect for myself, he was "concerned" about the time and the fact that he may only get one demo/meeting a month. He wanted TWO and the cost per lead was high to him. I tried to explain, that what I deliver - that one meeting a month is generally "sales ready" - it is beyond a lead. His response, "yeah, yeah, I know the difference between a lead and sales ready lead", but it was clear he really did not - because he was using cost per lead for a lead that had a very high likelihood of closing. What is cost per lead? I spend $200 to generate an appointment to introduce the product/service or I spend $200 to generate an appointment where the person is fairly informed about the product/service and understands key differentiators and is 80% sold already? How do you calculate cost per lead? $200 for entry into a months long sales cycle with yet a lot of work - that is expensive for sure, $200 for a meeting where there is another meeting and decision to buy - within a short timeframe - well that isn't expensive at all!

It is like someone stated somewhere on the internet, some sales "guru" - cost per lead in complex b2b sales is an archaic measure. I use ROI - how much the client invests in me per year and how much sales they close to earn that investment back and then some. If the client pays me off - which most do - then I did good.

One time a client worked with a well known pay for performance firm, you pay for a meeting regardless of outcome. Twice the company set up meetings that I, in a matter of minutes, disqualified - a little research and I knew a competitor contract was signed, in the other instance the COO had someone call me to inform me that a competitive product was rolled out. You pay for a meeting, but not for a sales-ready or qualified lead. I was told actually that that is another service level and costs more. It costs more to do something which naturally should be part of the process.

If a client spends $15K and gets $300K back in closed sales or gets $24K+ in repeat year-over-year business, isn't that a better condition to consider? What is the cost of everytime I leave a voicemail, email, or talk to someone where they learn the name of the company and solution? What is the cost of when someone you talk to calls back 2 years later and hands you a $50K opportunity?

We are so short-term in our thinking and ways, that we lose sight of what really matters. Quality leads that mean real opportunity, real business - not necessarily today - but tomorrow. What the real definition of ROI actually is.

Permalink 08/30/13 -- 07:18:14 am, Categories: Background, Information

Why I Chose Not to Work with You

So at the end of Spring, one client who was faring poorly - was faring poorly and I knew their effort to introduce a new service was not getting legs and another client threatened to end. The client who threatened to end, by the way, was not aware of how many leads he actually had - once he realized and closed a deal or two - he quickly changed his tune. I reached out to a former client to see if they would be interested in working together again.

The answer was "Yes", almost immediately, an email came in saying that the new owner wanted to talk about re-enagaging. They had a new product to launch and my timing was great, plus I knew everything about the old company, their products, and had connections. It was a perfect scenario on both sides, no training or ramp up even needed! The company had come under new management, but I did not know why.

We set up the first meeting, 2 hours of talking about past and present. The owner went on and on about how awful the prior management was, how mismanagement nearly caused the company ruin, but he treasured the employees there - one or two named who were "the best" - one who practically SAVED the firm cause of her tenacity and connections. It was a long conversation, but meaningful from a business update perspective.

There were a few interim meetings, I joined a hastily scheduled impromptu call with the team and he glowing spoke of strategy and all this great stuff. I submitted a proposal. Oh, he would pay me almost double my hourly rate and generous commission. Wow!

Then nothing. I called, I emailed. Nothing. Finally, we scheduled a call - supposed to be one hour to go over the proposal and discuss next steps. Well, when I tell you that that is NOT what happened! The owner not only suddenly became the penny pincher - "forgetting" what he stated as a rate and commission - clearly not having a whit of an inkling as to what he should offer, but he rambled for another two hours in what I term a vitriolic diatribe against everyone and everything associated with the prior company, the culture (which he mentioned over and over), and the products. It was all I had to not only tell the idiot to shut the fuck up, but my god - stay the hell on track. Holy Ravioli Batman! And, he kept going on about "the culture" and how even I exhibited "the culture" which is IMPOSSIBLE given I never went to their facility, worked with anyone in any kind of super close/direct fashion - how the hell could I have any "culture". I wouldn't have approached this company to re-engage if I had a bad experience, which I told him clearly - I was unaware of any issues, didn't care about them (past is over), and I was treated really well and did very well with them. The clod couldn't take the hint.

Even after I told the owner, I had to cut it off, he still rambled on - clearly with a need to control when the meeting ended. I was blown away. Already angry at my time and my remaining client's time being wasted and disgusted by the vitriol, I thought it over and emailed the next day - that he didn't have to worry about sending me anything - cause I wasn't going to go forward. His reply, "U R Making a mistake....".

A month later, the "hero" of the company whose tenacity and relationships were so crucial to their success changed her LINKEDIN profile to "Looking for Sales Job" and there were 3 people listed for the firm.

The only mistake I made was letting this guy waste my time as much as he did. Wow! Was that not the right move or what! Bye-bye!

Permalink 08/04/13 -- 01:33:46 pm, Categories: News, Background, Information

Anatomy of Client Engagement Failure

As happens occasionally, I run into a bad client. Not uncommon in the entrepreneurial world where entrepreneurs and hired guns lose focus, receive market intelligence that changes things, and other mishaps. This is the story of one such situation, where hindsight is 20/20.

I engaged with a technology solution provider for which I had a good knowledge of the industry, contacts, technology, and prospective need. The training was easy and ramp-up required little time or energy. The provider was launching a new solution for which they had already pre-announced, it was out there in the right circles. They recognized that it would take time to build a pipeline and wanted to prospect and "pre-sell" to gauge market interest and set up introductory discussions.

While difficult to reach the people, the first three months yielded some feedback and interest. A demo was scheduled, another demo scheduled, and a few introductory conversations occurred yielding future opportunties.

The first demo did not result in business because the product was not ready to show and the need was immediate. The organization could not wait and did not want the risk of waiting to see what ultimately would result. The second demo yielded a person with need and interest, but who could not afford the solution (as is) and the client was unwilling to provide the tool on a flexible payment plan or discounted rate. One lead generated was never followed up on by the client manager who said he wanted to deal with it. Other opportunties, including an RFP situation, were not occurring until the next season.

I had complained that I was lacking sales support materials (particularly when a prospect asked for more information and I could not give him anything "next level") and the website they had was awful and not reflective of the company's capabilities. I offered to help with materials, but was limited in developing anything since I too - had no knowledge of the new product scheduled to launch. Plus my client manager insisted that he would hire a marketing person in a month or so who would do all of that.

Four months into the engagement, I was told the new product that I was engaged to take to market would not launch at all. Some issues arose that would push the product launch til the 2nd Quarter of the following year. Nervously, I asked if the engagement would end - but was told "NO" since they had no sales presence and could sell other services and products. I was confused about WHAT to sell and changed the messaging for the third time with the client manager's assurances. Also, the client provided me a list which I was working off of, they received weekly reports as to who I talked to and outcomes, and I used Salesforce.

The call came finally. Given the delay and lack of interest in other products and services, the client was "suspending" the relationship until the new product was ready and would contact me in Spring. I sent my invoice for the month and ended everything neatly.

When my final invoice was not paid on time (the second occurance), I inquired. To shorten the story, the company claimed that I had not fulfilled my duties and refused to pay the invoice - blaming me squarely and saying I did not deliver my deliverables "leads, meetings, opportunities, and market intelligence" and they should have ended the relationship "months ago".

So, lets recap:
1. The company failed to develop and launch the product they promised to the market.
2. The company could not deliver the promised product to the interested prospect and would not negotiate or compromise to get another interested client on the new product.
3. Despite reviewing every weekly report and seeing every piece of feedback from people talked to, they still continued the effort.
4. They continued the effort well beyond the three month trial I mandate for all clients.
5. They claimed I did not do any marketing or sales support work, yet did not approve of me doing any or get on the ball with providing me with any marketing support to help the effort.
6. They provided me with all the tools: the list, approved messaging/scripting, and used their CRM.
7. The client manager was clearly not suited to manage a sales effort, he oomplained a few times he was overworked and had too much on his plate to handle. So, I was not supported.
8. Despite the delay in product, they still continued the effort.

Am I to blame here? Isn't it usually the salesperson that is blamed for not delivering revenue or opportunity when the fault is in poor management, poor product strategy, poor support, poor processes? I know from my experience I could have easily taken them to court and won my invoice, but it wasn't worth my time.

The client manager was fired, the company is on vapors, and I found a super replacement client who is getting a ton of "leads, meetings, and opportunities". By the way, thanks to the reference provided by the former client's manager.

Permalink 02/23/13 -- 10:43:56 am, Categories: Background

Marketers and Parenting: How Discipline Creates Customer Experience

In today's Wall Street Journal, there was an article in the lifestyle section of the paper discussing the "secrets" of French parents with respect to the creation of well-behaved children. The key pointers are what most people would consider obvious: delaying immediate gratification, telling the child "no", and being consistently firm in an educative fashion - and a few more things. All of which I may add, my parents imparted to me - in fact, I felt incredulous that this article was written or HAD to be!!!

Then I thought about Kohl's and the "YES, we can policy" which has gotten so out of control that the "kids run the store". At least in our store, coupons lack expiration dates, discounts are freely imparted to anyone, returns years old are refunded without question for more money than they are worth (that is opinion, there), and essentially customers can do anything they want.

Case in point: A POS colleague of mine told a customer that there were no coupons. Believe it or not, at occasional points in the year Kohls will actually NOT have coupons, discounts, scratchoffs, etc. The cashier advised the customer in a stern, but professional tone that Kohls did not have ANY additional coupons, promotions, etc. The net result is the the customer wrote a SCATHING letter to corporate which went down thru the ranks. My friend was called into our Store Manager (who knew the story and felt it was overboard) who had to discipline her - as to the new policy of writing anyone up who received a corporate complaint (unfounded or not). That customer claimed that because she owned a Kohls card and was a loyal shopper she should get a discount, regardless of whether there was one available or not. If you even question a customer about whether they have a card and intend to use it to receive a discount, you are labelled rude. If you say "NO" to a customer, they immediately want a manager who will override you and "give it to them anyway". The first words out of a customer's mouth when they come to a register isn't "HI" or "nice day", it's "I want my coupon", "what discounts are available today", "I forgot my coupon, give me my 15%", "any Kohl's cash?".

Without discipline, the customers are too empowered and are running wild. Like children with no rules, the customers get what they want, when they want it, how they want it. Marketers need to be aware of how bending the rules or eliminating them can create even worse customer service, lower profits, and wreck a business.

Consider: Now customers will call managers and write corporate even when the rules are correctly enforced - service levels need to be even higher to keep them happy and "in line". Eliminating coupon expiration dates will erode profits and reduce sales intentions. Customers who abide by rules get slighted and will not shop where they aren't treated fairly. Scenarios that aren't far-fetched, particularly if things do not change to a more compromiseable situation (i.e., Kohl's cash is still redeemed a day or two after expiration or for a good justifiable reason like a snowstorm, versus whenever people feel like using it - even months later!!!).

Hopefully things will change and swing to a compromiseable middle ground which is fair for customers and employees of Kohls alike. And, entrepreneurs pay heed - it is OK to bend a little - but not so far, that you reset expectations and create monsters.

Permalink 02/04/12 -- 04:27:52 pm, Categories: Background, Information

The CIO's Do Not Call List

I had spoken with a client last week who informed me in a very serious tone that they were speaking with a prospect, a mid-market CIO and asked his advice. One thing he told them was that mid-market CIO's do not respond to emails and phone calls, particularly phone calls from people they don't know. They rely on their own internal network (which apparently you have to break into). She said, no matter how good you are - like you Rachel, it is impossible to sell to these people. A little extra info is that these CIO's are part of the Gartner Group club. My client now wants to stay with shows more than any outbound since that gets faster results.

A couple thoughts went through my mind here (aside from concerns about losing the client):
1. The Gartner Club probably represents 1% of the million or so midmarket companies out there, which means that while you get a few who have a need and visibility - then what of the others who have a need that are not being reached?
2. If the CIO's are are the bell weathers of innovation aren't interested in innovation then what does this say for the economic growth? If the CIO's stay within their network of peers only, how are they promoting competitive advantage for companies through technological innovation or application? They are using the same stuff, by the same people, in the same way? Wow, that's as bad as the marketing people who use the same agencies and tools? Boring.

I also had found a posting from a CIO who wanted to create a do not call list which had a rah-rah agreement from peers.

Then I realized, who cares? The CIO is going the way of prospecting people - walking dead, right? I mean with SAAS and IAAS and all the "as a service offerings" no one really needs a CIO - particularly a mid-market CIO. Consider that most applications will be hosted by "GOOGLE" type companies, so all you need is someone to maintain physical infrastructure. As a salesperson, I don't want to talk with or need to talk to the CIO - they wouldn't know the feature/benefit/need of a SAAS solution for a marketer, accountant, or finance person right? I don't need to call them or need their approval or advice on technology implementation.

So, I guess the CIO's can retain their club and set up the do not call list. No one cares to call on them much anymore anyway (unless it is a pure technology solution).

Permalink 10/31/11 -- 08:55:36 am, Categories: Background

Fall in Love with Your Spouse Not Your Employee

Whether intentional or not, some managers tend to "fall in love" with an employee and hold them on pedestals affording them attributes and importance that from my experience is generally not deserved. For some reason, the manager refuses to see shortcomings or issues that generally will manifest later and long after many of the true valued employees have departed or have been irreparably harmed by the presence of the "oh favored one". Here are a few examples:

1. At Kohl's a manager took a love to a an employee who was fast, the person was always finished in the department first, her hair streaming with sweat down her face. She would go to other sections and other departments and get done. She was the backstabber who told this manager how slow I (and others) were which resulted in a disciplinary cut hours for me and others. Now, this would be acceptable - if it were true. See, the reason why this person is so fast is that she doesn't do anything - she puts returns away for her section of the department only and simply shakes the racks into neatness - no rack integrity, no weeding of items that don't belong, no sizing or colorizing, nothing. Plus, she is negative and sarcastically biting to colleagues and customers. In fact, because she doesn't do rack integrity, anyone who follows her (next day for example) has to do it - resulting in a major slowdown and double the returns and work.
2. A manager hires his dream employee, the welcome message was over the top with joy about how the employee would change the business. She has tons of experience in the industry and worked with key vendors, plus knows people. He defended her to the gills citing her experience and knowledge and success. Although in the position for a mere matter of weeks, he said that she will be promoted into a more responsible position (based on what success measures? What revenue growth is she responsible for?). The trouble is - the company is terribly inbred which is preventing any progress to new areas of opportunity or realization of changes in the industry. Additionally, the employee has not recorded any (although titled "business development") indication of real revenue growth or impact at any prior employment siutations, not to mention the person has not stayed at a company for more than 6 months to a year - not long enough to HAVE any real impact. Red flags flying everywhere, plus she isn't as sharp as indicated - and - of course, why didn't she work at the company before - when the opportunity existed?
3. I love to talk about Hexaware and how the US Head hired a Marketing Manager who he thought was just the best, didn't like me very much. Like I say, when "oh favored one" disloyally left for a better opportunity - sulking because she wasn't promoted to a more responsible position...and I came up and worked with my boss (the one who had the right skillset to drive the business needed), the impact was significant with dramatic increases in leads and new business. I and the right fit boss drove what the company was striving for (not to mention I streamlined the marketing budget and cut fat where the prior person just added and added and added).

My last employer favored everyone but me, although my particular skillset and knowledge was absolutely critical to the success of the business. I am starting to believe the employee that is disliked is the one who will really contribute to the success of the organization, probably because they take an HONEST and counter-approach to what the owner believes and sees things without the haze of love or bias.

So business owners, managers, entrepreneurs - fall in love with your spouse - not your employee. Favor those who actually do the job, meet performance goals, show the right attitude and care about themselves and the company's success - and not just one person, but all people. Then you too, will have loyal, happy employees that will do great things for you.

Permalink 08/06/11 -- 01:16:43 pm, Categories: Background

My Former Boss' Come to God Moment

So, as I was poking around the internet the other day, I found a blog written by a former boss. He was one of the two evil entities that created the situation that sparked the final straw and launch of Magnus Marketing Group. The situation there was so bad, that I and a few others ended up on anti-anxiety medication for a while after. And, I explored legal support to remedy the situation I had faced, it was that bad.

This person writes drivel about "not breaking promises", "being a better person", "facing adversity", and all kinds of gooey stuff. I find it unfortunate that his "come to god" moment did not happen while I was an employee of the company since that would have prevented the bullying and abusive treatment that I and others had faced and probably would have opened the door to success. I bless the fact that this person is now employed by a company, slaving to the man - while I have clients and fulfilled my ambition of having - more than a division - an actual company, a scaleable one even of my own - which is still going as MY decision enables.

Nothing he writes will ever change the situation or the ramifications of it. Luckily, after recuperating from the experience - Magnus Marketing Group became reality and the results of that are seen in the consistent successes of my clients, year after year. Interestingly, my colleagues who worked with this person became equally successful - one has a 6 million dollar marketing consulting firm, another a successful social media company, another teaches high school. All these highly motivated, superiorly intelligent, experts under one umbrella - at one time. To think what that company COULD have been had things been different. Oh well, when you roll the dice on the wrong people, treat the right people poorly, and try to be something you clearly aren't - that is what happens. "Right, wrong or indifferent" - decisions lead to nothing but disaster - yes?

Let him write drivel and believe in his new self. He can write all he wants, looking out his office window, turning in a report to his boss, collecting his paycheck, and staring at a picture of his wife and kids - just like everyone else. I, on the other hand, will pick up the phone and find another entrepreneur who needs my help, watch DataBiz get yet another client and argue with John over pricing, and know that my immortality is reflected in yet another piece of innovation making someone else life easier.

Permalink 06/04/11 -- 04:20:43 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], Background

SAAS Does Not Mean Fire and Forget

In my prospecting is hell adventures, I find - including reading LinkedIN - that many SAAS software developers believe that they can "fire and forget". By that, I mean basically develop a SAAS solution, launch it, market the hell out of it, get the sign ups, and collect money. If it's SAAS, it's got to be good.

Problem is, is that SAAS is still a software and as someone mentioned around LinkedIN, it is a service. You are asking customers - particularly business customers to sign up for a service that they will pay monthly for, hosted by an unknown entity, with their data somewhere else. And, no one knows who you are or what you are about.

Forget crowdsourced SAAS where people participate in the development of the application, besides which those are largely free with paid services on top of them (i.e. LinkedIN, FreeCRM). I don't pay for those services because I don't need them, either there are ways to get the info I need or other ways that I can execute what I need.

Consider standard SAAS, believe it or not - people still sell services. If anything the personal relationship and transparency, the transmission of trust through person to person contact can still be a key differentiator. Sending email blasts and waiting for calls to come after registration without actually talking to people using the SAAS solution, without doing demos to show the value of the solution or gaining feedback for development, without personally touching customers will lead to SAAS death. If your SAAS solution is "fire and forget", then it will be too easy to switch. After had their little crisis, I moved most of my clients to Zoho and I only keep for myself, because of Zoho, I actually am considering cancelling Salesforce - but because it is only $99 a year - hell, who cares.

Once you build a brand like Salesforce and have mass volume where customer churn won't affect profits, then you can switch to a "fire and forget" model. Although I do wonder how many Salesforce customers churn and would leave if something better were developed. Eventually, many software solution providers - including the big boys with better brands and more trusted services will go SAAS. Of course, much like the dot-bomb days (which no one learns from), eventually everyone will go SAAS - every supply chain provider will look and sound the same, every ERP, every EMR, every social media, etc. How many social media networks DID NOT make it? How many Amazons?

SAAS fire and forget will be the norm. Fire up a SAAS solution, soon to be forgotten by competitiors playing better.

Permalink 05/01/11 -- 04:36:25 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], Background

How to Lose a Sales Person in 10 Days or Less

Client: I very much disagree with your rationalization of your sales approach. A sense of urgency is one of the most important characteristics for a successful sales person. I do not have the patience to wait for your initiative to mature at the customers speed. You either start showing me the urgency I expect or I?ll find someone that will.

Rachel: You need to give the prospects time and let things happen. People do not appreciate being pushed into decisions or taking action - the "hard sell" does not work. I told you that I had talked with [the prospect] for over six months tracking this particular initiative. He told me clearly that he wanted the costs and needs to discuss what they will do.I will follow up with him in a few days after he has time to consider what action to take.

The context of this was a discussion with a prospect who committed to working with my client, but was deciding which course of action to take. The deal is worth at most $300 with a commission of a whopping $60. Not really worth my time or energy, not worth a commission sales rep's time - if that is the route they want to take. Just the week prior, as a result of prospecting efforts a $3,500 deal was quoted on from a company that is like Fort Knox to get into. The month prior, I closed on 2 deals and set up 2 meetings with large name organizations for even bigger $$.

The problem here particularly is the phrase: "I do not have the patience to wait for your initiative to mature at the customers speed.". Which I read to mean, I am not willing to go in synch with the customers buying process or decision cycle and want to short circuit that for a quick sale now. I want you the sales rep to *make* them buy now. Of course, we all know as experienced sales people that this is impossible without incentive or some type of support. Urgency is created by demonstrating the need or comparative need to take action. In this particular case, the person ALREADY established the need to do something and WANTED to work with the company. Issue isn't urgency, it is what course of action to take, which was explored fully with the prospect. The prospect was also at the mercy of others involved in the decision which is typically the case. I am helping him to make the case.

People will not buy until they are ready to buy, you need to be there when they are ready to buy and create support for their decision to work with you over others. Lecturing, demanding, cautioning them, pushing them to "do it now" (particularly without any incentive) will only cause them to walk away.

I am the only dedicated rep for this company focused on the service. Do you think it is wise to threaten replacement with someone else? Considering the fact I went to them originally, lets think about the time and cost to find a sales rep, train them, get them up to speed, and producing...part or full time. The sales cycle won't be any shorter, company does not market at all, offers no leads, and offers no support. I am thinking thousands of dollars down the drain, right?

Pushing someone against their will and threatening them with cautionary words will cause them to walk away. Much like I am considering doing with this client. Anyone want a sales rep who works with prospects, listens to them and cares about them?

Permalink 02/12/11 -- 02:03:16 pm, Categories: Background, Information

Notes from the Channel (as in Development)

Channel development is not an easy task because you need to find the right partners that fit your solution who themselves have the right market to sell to. And, from past and present, I see that many VAR's, MSP's, and technology consulting firms really do not have a good handle on how to sell to end clients. Aside from that, here are some notes on what I see going on in the reseller world:

1. Improve Front Desk Skills: I cannot tell you how many times I have encountered the truly unprofessional receptionist. In one case, while marketing my client 3X's data storage solution, the receptionist refused to take a message and literally hung up on me. I found the President's name and email, sent him an overview of 3X, and - you guessed it - he emailed back asking for a demo. I never mentioned the rude behavior, but it turned out he was looking for a solution. Lesson: Tell your front desk folks what is going on - advise them as to what calls to screen out and develop a process for admitting calls. Overscreeening can lead to a loss of competitive advantage.

2. Adopting the Same Solution Everywhere: It is revenge of the clones! Throw a stone and hit a reseller offering the same darn solution at a similiar price with the same incentives! No wonder it is tough to get new clients, you have absolutely nothing of any difference or interest to offer! Your buddy down the street has the same solution and is selling it for a couple bucks less. Sure, it is branded as their own company, but my- the presentation on the website talks about the EXACT same thing! Have you actually even LOOKED around to find any unique solutions or bundles of technology solutions to proffer? Lesson: Some of those smaller non-branded companies with unique technologies may be a great hook to get prospective clients interested.

3. Gimme Leads or Else: Recently, I called this reseller who listened to my pitch about 3X's data storage solution. He asked a few questions about the technology and the fit, said he would review the information. Then - the dealbreaker - he calmly asked if we had a lead generation program. I replied that this was in the works, but being a new company we were building the channel. He said, "call me when you have a lead generation program". I said "sure, no problem" and proceeded to take him off the list. First, 3X needs partners who can sell the solution, as a re"SELLER", we give you a nice profit margin in return for your help in facilitating a connection to your client base. We are not going to just feed you leads that you are inevitably going to use to upsell on your other services and consulting work. Second, partnering is not a one way street. In my personal opinion, all the folks to signed on and offered 3X should be graciously rewarded with leads and new business which they can upsell on their services - hopefully taking business away from the kind folk who decided to work with a competitor. :)

4. Think outside the box: I talked to the President of a software development firm, again, for 3X. He was a very nice person and even complemented me on my phone manner and pitch, but immediately decided to cut off the discussion because he didn't feel it was a fit. I had no problem with that, except for the fact that he just did not see the possibilities. Even with AlphaPoint's AssetCentral - it is a really damn fine asset management tracking solution, very unique, and it does the job it was intended to. I get people who immediately dismiss it because they use "IBM", one said - "sounds like bells and whistles" - the guy didn't even LOOK at the demo! They don't even consider what it can do and how it can help, even though it is spelled out in a famous Rachel email! Many people are reluctant to try the new things. Lesson: While everything is not suitable, consider some of the new stuff - will it help your clients or not? Some out-of-the-box thinking can help you to make money above what your competitors are doing. If you don't do it, someone else will and take your profits. Simple as that.

AlphaPoint and 3X embody the spirit of American entrepreneurialism, born and bred in the United States - these companies are helping to keep the economy afloat and provide jobs to people. They grow, we all grow. Yet another bonus to the quality and contribution of these companies. If we as consumers do not support these type of companies and their solutions, we are not helping promote economic growth. Over the next few years, there will be many more of these and other types of entrepreneurial firms being born from all the cast off executives, personnel, and others who had great ideas at now collapsing firms - the next generation is upon us. As resellers and IT consulting firms, the industry needs to help promote these new solutions and help the next generation flourish. Please give them a chance.

Reference: 3X Systems
AlphaPoint Technology

Permalink 11/20/08 -- 07:15:47 pm, Categories: Background

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