TEAMWORK, to me, is MORE important than the “forever-loop” discussions of trying to make finances equate to efficiency. When we all work together, we are efficient. That doesn’t mean we don’t award incentives to those who add more value. However, it’s understood this value represents more CAPABILITY and return more RESPONSIBILITY. The beauty of our country – if you ACHIEVE, you are REWARDED in the VALUE that you DEMAND(Financial, Praise, Being right, Love). Roughly half of all people are not primarily driven by MONEY. In most cases, these types of people bring more to the table than those who who are driven by money and DO have it. Let me explain:Read More
MONEY = VALUE. Now think about that… When you are spending money. Think about who YOU are delivering VALUE to. Why are you placing VALUE with this company/person? How is this company/person UTILIZING the VALUE that YOU gave to them? If the answer is you’re not sure. Then you should take a look into what they represent. This is where illegal or shameful activity provides a voice (or VALUE) to those who mean harm. Placing money in a foreign bank is not illegal but considered shameful. It STRIPS -*OUR*- VALUE that -*WE*- worked together to build…
(Business tycoons stripping minerals(VALUE) from small boom towns and spending ALL value in BIG cities. Regulation now prevents this from happing to the severity of past.)
Please think about this. Does your VALUE invest in GROWTH or is it HOARDED in GREED? With great VALUE comes great RESPONSIBILITY. Unfortunately, those that believe their VALUE was SELF-MADE do not respect the VALUE that you have placed with them. Finally, they do NOT feel OBLIGATED to re-invest that VALUE back into US.
How do C-level prospects make decisions? Good question! Before I get started note that not all C-level prospects will think this way. This post promotes finding the decision maker, inbound marketing, understanding the significance of C-level decisions, and hunting prospects with software needs.
I had the opportunity to interview Tim Berney, President/Owner of VI Marketing and Branding, in an effort to better understand C-level buying decisions. VI Marketing and Branding is a nationally recognized firm based in OKC. It has 3 locations (Oklahoma, Colorado, and Missouri) and is most widely recognized for their impact on Okie health with the 5320 campaign.
Don’t stop at the USER – Find the DM
In our interview, I began by warning Tim that my main goal was to uncover his buying decision for payroll software. He began by telling me about his old solution for payroll. “My accountant didn’t really want to handle our payroll any longer” Tim said “so I felt that we needed to evaluate our options. I brought in the top 3 companies for evaluation. ”
Purchase Decision is often made BEFORE the Presentation
It is important to understand that before Tim had ever decided on “who” to bring in. He already had a very good idea of which company he would be going with. The power of research is so powerful, in this case, that 1 software company immediately had the upper hand. “I would type ‘payroll services’ ” Tim said as he discussed common keywords used on Google. In this case, Tim rated himself a 3 of 10 on difficulty to sell to saying “Research beforehand gave me an understanding for the direction we would go”.
C-Level Buying Decisions Affect Everyone
When asked about his concerns for the purchase decision. Tim said “You don’t EVER want to mess up on payroll. You’re talking about your employees wherewithal.” This brings to light a very important concept to understand when selling to a C-level prospect. They are making a big decision that can have extreme consequences for the entire company. Heed responsibility in ensuring your solution is what the prospect needs.
Your window of opportunity is LIMITED
After a need is uncovered there is no reason to ponder about a solution for too long. “Over the course of a month we made our decision” Tim said “time is money”. When asked about a suspected date he would revisit the buying decision he responded “Almost never. It would nearly have to be an accident for me to take time to reevaluate my payroll software as long as they are doing a good job”.
Tim finished his discussion by pointing out the difficulty of cold calls on Monday morning and Friday afternoons “This time is reserved for planning. Better luck in the middle of the week.”
Don’t get discouraged, find the decision maker. Provide inbound content superior to competitors to gain your prospects interest early. Understand, this sale is not about you. It is about the prospect. Bring your A game and focus on solving problems. If your client is aware of a need, they are looking for a solution. The bigger this need the more aggressive they will be pursuing a solution. Dominate the phones and close the deal!
What is your experience in closing deals with C-level prospects? How long did it take? How did you layout your schedule between cold calling and face to face presentations?
Today, I found out that someone else got the job. I know, I know… I cannot take it personally. You know what though? I busted my ass targeting my process for this position. They said my personality was a dead on match for the company AND I would put my resume and experience against any college graduate in the US… Yet, I lost. This SUCKS!
You know what though?
Here are 5 things that truly deserve a “This Sucks!”
#3 When you are in an/a hole so deep you cannot get out. This SUCKS!
There are a million things that suck worse than not getting hired. We’re all familiar with LOSING. And Yes. This SUCKS! But dammit at least you tried. You gave it every thing you had and now know that there are challenges to be had. WINNING isn’t easy. Obviously, you are like me and win a lot. But even if your not. Let’s not forget about how bad “this SUCKS”! Empower yourself to rise up to a previously unimaginable level. The one thing you cannot afford to LOSE is confidence. Dust yourself off and remember… It’s their loss but it is up to YOU to show them EXACTLY what they are missing out on.
Have you ever busted your ass on something to only be greeted by failure? How did you handle this? What kept you going while staring defeat in the face?Read More
Interview an Executive/Director of the company.
Use resources online to get your foot in the door.
Before contacting Hubspot I spent several hours looking for a way in. After finding out that Dan Tyre posted his LinkedIn account on the website. I quickly realized this was an open opportunity to get connected with him. After sending a message and a tweet requesting an opportunity to interview him for my blog. I received a tweet the next day with great news. NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that it takes time to get on the schedule of executives/directors. Stay willing to schedule and reschedule with him/her. You must be very understanding and truly treat this as an opportunity this person has gone out of their way to provide you with.
Capitalize on opportunity by impressing the interviewee
Create a list of questions that prove prior research and professional understanding.
The object of the interview is to keep the Executive/Director talking. Provide a list of the questions beforehand that allow for the interviewee preparation material. This can also serve as a map to keep the interview moving. Shut up and listen!
Record audio from the interview
Type out the recording and use for interview preparation
After creating an audio of the interview you can use it for several things. The biggest benefit is its utility for interview preparation. Assuming you were able to capitalize on the interview this will help you stand out from other interviewers. You can also use the audio to create inbound content for your blog. There are plenty of other people who could make use of your insider information.
Ask for the Job Interview
Don’t wait for them to “select” you, close the deal
Come up with a couple of questions that were not on the list provided to the interviewee. These questions should be focused around opening up the door for you. “What is your advice on getting an interview with company?” “How does this interview help me standout from other applicants?”. If they haven’t already provided you with the hiring managers information ASK FOR IT! NOTE: You have nothing to lose by asking for this information. If they have not provided you with the information by this point, your last chance for a foot in the door is getting the Hiring Managers information.
Over prepare using your exclusive resources
Don’t waste your hard work by treating this as a guarantee. Your foot is in the door, now is where you must set yourself apart. This part is purely up to you
A. Customize your cover letter and resume addressing the qualities presented by the executive/director that the company looks for in applicants. Find an expert to mentor you on this process. Click here for more information on a qualified professional.
B. Create a list of at least 25 industry specific interview questions that you expect your interviewer to ask. Remember to use the STAR method in your response. Cick here for more info on the STAR method. These responses should be focused around a specific story that proves your efficiency.
The purpose of this article is not to encourage you to take the exact same steps that I took. The purpose is to show that with proper combination of research, social media, and preparation. You can open up opportunities that you never thought possible. Just use your creative imagination to come up with ways to get yourself in front of people who matter and have a strategy in place to capitalize on that opportunity. The biggest mistake people make when getting their foot in the door is treating the situation as a guarantee. When/if you get yourself in the door of the company of your dreams. You MUST capitalize on that opportunity or it means NOTHING.
I know that there are mixed emotions to the things that I believe. So you tell me. How did you get your foot in the door? Do you have any better ideas for making yourself stand out in front of other applicants? Please give me your feedback!Read More
Ya ya I carelessly deleted my old blog after export completed. It just seemed easier than transferring the install folder from jamesboissmith.com/blog/ to jamesboissmith.com. That fancy one touch install from Bluehost.com SWEET!
This ignorance just cost me 2 years worth of blog photos. Yeah, I did not have them backed up either. Any content that you see before this post will not have pictures with it. Now you know the story.
In order to help you avoid this issue in the future let me share what I have learned. It is best to keep a folder on your computer that has all of the blog photos stored safely. As long as you are not changing the file name on upload this should be fairly simple.
If you don’t want to keep a backup dont worry. The new WordPress software allows you to transfer photos AS LONG AS your old blog is still live. This means WordPress is using the image URL’s successfully make the transfer.
Key takeaway: Do not delete your precious content until you absolutely know it is backed up.Read More
My first reaction is overwhelmed when looking at this many numbers together. Analytics are far to important to your success to give up that easy though. When I look at my analytics I always keep in mind that their is a STRONG chance for misinterpreting the data. You might be wondering “So why do I even look at it?”. Data is important because it can help you complete the circle of understanding relationships between cause and affect for your marketing campaign.
Take a minute to look at the graph below.
By simply taking a minute to look at this information you can begin to understand the hotspots for my website. This says to me “Hey people are seeing your site mostly at Midnight, Noon, 5PM and 11PM. As we complete the circle of understanding for cause and effect its important to think about “why” these numbers are the way they are.
For example: When do I post my content? When do I share my content? What type of content am I posting? Who is my audience? etc…
All of these different questions could be reasons for a different fluctuation of hours.
Social Sharing times MAY have the biggest impact of when people are finding your site. So lets look at some key insights from http://blog.kissmetrics.com/science-of-social-timing-1/?wide=1.
So lets continue to make sense of this jargon! Look at the Key Takeaways shown in the picture below.
If the best day for sharing on Facebook is Saturday and the best time for sharing is Noon. This backs up my hypothesis that most of my web viewers are coming from Social Media. But we can’t give Facebook all the credit for this. I use other Social Media platforms to spread the word as well.
Lets take a look at Twitter Insights:
Twitter appears to have a much more dynamic schedule for hot times. From this info we find out that the best time to share your content on Twitter is Midweek and Weekends. The best times in the day to share info is Noon and 6. This again backs up the fact that people are engaging with content at noon.
Something doesn’t add up though-
My high traffic times are at 5PM – not at 6PM and 7PM(Hotspots for Facebook and Twitter in the Evening). This goes to show that you cannot completely rely on the numbers your metrics are putting out. Sometimes you need to have some backstory to fully understand what is happening.
Let’s take a look at where my traffic is coming from -
Most people are accessing my website straight from the link! Normally about 30% of my traffic comes from Social Media. With my final semester of college in motion I have been somewhat of a blogging slacker the last few months. But here is what this means. Most people are actually accessing my information directly or through my email. This is a HUGE insight as I have passed out roughly 80 business cards in the past 2 months. The continuous emails reaching out to new connections could also be a factor.
End Result – Posting my blogs on average of 11PM to Midnight is putting me in a low point area for Social Media. However, the hands that I am shaking and the people that I am communicating with via email ARE accessing my website AND they are going straight toward my blog reel.
New Gameplan – No more sharing my blogs at Midnight. This is keeping me from capitalizing on the highpoint areas. Sharing less on Facebook will provide more ‘likes’ for my page. Which in turn builds my Websites SEO strengths. I will share the most important blogs only at specialized hot times and review the gameplan next month.
I hope you have found this article useful in developing an understanding for A way to approach your online analytics.
What difficulties do you have in understanding analytics to make business decisions?
Special thanks to http://blog.kissmetrics.com for providing awesome insights on best share times for Social Media.
Tools used to create this blog -
Providing intuitive training systems for customers is vital to online success. Focus on having the best training systems for your online customers and leverage your time/success forever.Read More
Happiness is an everyday choice. It cannot be achieved in glory.Read More
I am getting ready for a challenge! On April 29, 2012 I will be participating in the 12th annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon – the Run to Remember! This year, I am Tied to the Mission by raising funds to support the privately owned and operated Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. I have set a personal fundraising goal of $500 and I need your help!
One of the greatest contributions of the Memorial is their mission of education, reaching students at a critical point in their lives, when peer pressure, growing responsibility and the need to belong are at their peak. A 13 year-old student visiting from Ohio said, “I feel as though this made people realize that life is precious and should not be taken for granted. It made the world see how one bad decision or one idea ignored could determine the fate of so many people. This bombing was a tragic event that has made so many people realize how important life is so I will end saying live your life to the fullest.”
I am not only participating in this race for the Memorial, but also in honor of the 168 innocent men, women and children who were killed, the hundreds of survivors and the heroic rescuers. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Memorial each year from all 50 states and more than 70 foreign countries. They come 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. They walk away with the challenge to do their part to make this world a kinder and more peaceful place.
As I run, you will be with me in spirit, and your sponsorship will inspire me to run stronger and faster to the finish line. A donation of one dollar per mile is suggested, but whatever you can contribute makes a life-changing impact! With 100% of your donation going directly to support the Memorial, you truly can make a difference and help create a more peaceful world for this and future generations.
Please visit my website for more info, to donate online and for the latest news on my progress! http://bit.ly/MemorialFundraiser
Thank you so much for your generous support of me and the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum!
In Part 1 of this series I wrote to explore the meaning entrepreneurship. Click here to read part 1. In part 2 I listed BIG questions that assist you in building a strong foundation for your business. Click here to read part 2.
One of the scariest parts about being an Entrepreneur, in my opinion, is trying to figure out how to fund the launch. If you are like me, you probably thought you would just walk down to the local bank and pitch them a great business idea. Within a few hours they would give you all the money that you need to build your dream… Not so fast. The brutal and honest answer is 64% of start-up businesses go under within the first 10 years of being in business. This is a bad investment for a lender unless you can ensure their success by putting personal assets on the line.
“Money is a foundational need for owning a business.” Cory Miller, CEO/Founder of Ithemes
Later in the series I will talk about ways to raise big money through venture groups. However, personal finances are a foundational piece of preparing to own a business.
“So you have 2 choices. 1. Manage your money or 2. Be managed by your money.” Cory Miller, CEO/Founder of Ithemes
What is your financial burn rate(speed at which you spend)? Is it beyond wasteful? I have personally seen 13 close friends, family, and professionals forever changed by Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. This audio series can change your life and your thought process for money, but like anything else it will take the effort. Get yourself used to managing your income right now. Not because people tell you to. Not because it will make you less stressed. If for no other reason learn how to manage your personal finances so that you are experienced enough to manage your businesses finances successfully.
Here are 11 ways to change your financial mindset.
1. Get synced with your spouse. (Align your views on money)
2. If you are not in debt. Stay there!
3. Get lean and mean! (If your over your head in debt. Get purged!)
4. Go part-time! (I like to use my skills/hobbies to make money in this way. But part-time jobs work too!)
5. Live UNDER your means!
6. It’s about quality, no quantity. Spend money on things that are important to you. Not other people!
7. BE a tightwad.
8. Finances before business.
9. Sometimes you have to push pause to play.
10. Join a Financial Peace Group
11. Start building your war chest! (One day this chest will be overflowing with booty! )
“If you have great dreams & vision. It’s NOT a sacrifice! If it is a sacrifice… get better dreams!”
“Learning from failures is the road map to success.”
If you would like to sign up for free small business classes at The DIV in Edmond, Oklahoma. Please click here!
Join us next for more on understanding the successful entrepreneur’s state of mind.