Wednesday, December 9, 2015

In One Minute, What Happens On The Internet?

Consider this: Every minute of every day, staggering amounts of data are being generated as consumers connect to, search for, watch, create, download, and shop for content.
Making sense of what all this data means is critical for the success of your company or brand.
So what are the 3.2 billion people who make up today's global internet population doing online?

Every minute:

  • YouTube users upload 300 hours of video, an increase from 72 hours a year ago
  • Netflix subscribers stream nearly 80,000 hours of video
  • Vine users view more than 1 million videos
  • BuzzFeed users watch more than 34,000 videos
  • Instagram users like more than 1.7 million photos
  • Snapchat users share nearly 300,000 snaps
  • Pinterest pinners pin nearly 10,000 images, up from 3,400 a year ago
Here are five more stats:
  • Facebook users Like more than 4.1 million posts
  • Twitter users tweet more than 347,000 times, up from 277,000 a year ago
  • Apple users download 51,000 apps, up slightly from 48,000 a year ago
  • Amazon sees more than 4,310 unique visitors
  • Uber passengers take nearly 700 rides
See all 15 statistics below:
ConnecTheDot-Every Minute of the Day

Monday, December 7, 2015

Are you a 'Risk-Taker'? Would you ask your clients this question?

To me, Rule #1 of Selling is to be crystal clear on your value differentiation. Unless you can clearly articulate the outcomes a client gets from using your product or service, it's nearly impossible to get them to change from the status quo.

Let me flashback to a situation that took me years to recognize.

At the time, I was selling consulting services. My own. I helped companies shrink time to revenue on new product/service introductions.

Specifically, I worked with the sales teams to focus on the right opportunities, rapidly create interest, get buy-in to the business case for change -- and close deals quicker.

I thought it was pretty compelling! Little did I know, I lacked metrics since my clients never benchmarked my approach to their old way of working -- which pretty much sucked.

I finally decided that I needed more data from my client.

I invited a client to lunch, telling him I had some important questions to ask. We went to a nice place. My treat of course.

After reminiscing for a while, I finally got up the gumption to ask the BIG question.

"Client," I said, "I'm trying to get a firm grasp on my business value -- the difference I make for my clients. Can you tell me what I'm doing for your business that makes you keep hiring me?"

ConnecTheDot Crazy Ones
"That's easy," he quickly responded.

"You make me see things differently."

"Can you be more explicit?" I asked.

"Nope," he said. "When I'm with you, I think things differently."

End of conversation. I was stymied. It was useless data. I couldn't imagine calling a prospective client and saying, "Hi. I'm Travis Rothstein. I help my clients think differently. Ready to meet?"

So I disregarded my clients message -- for years, actually. Perhaps I wasn't ready to appreciate it.

Now I totally get it -- and there's even data to support the approach I was using.


According to Forrester Research, you have a 74% chance of closing a deal if you're the 1st vendor to create a viable vision for the future.

That's what I was doing. I was using my value prop of "shortening time to revenue on new product launches" to set up a meeting.

In early conversations, I'd focus on what they were doing, their objectives, the challenges they faced and what they'd already tried.

Then, after a few more meetings, I'd bring them ideas on how to improve the process. They were too busy to think about it. They were just trying to get the new product out the door. I suggested ways to do it better, more effectively, faster.
I helped them see things differently.  I still do. It's probably my greatest asset -- one that I was totally blind to for decades.

ConnecTheDot simply does that for all our clients.  We help you see things differently, think differently, act differently and grow your business differently.

After all, if you’re not different you are the same.  Who wants to be the same when those that are different are the ones that change the world!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Start Strong - Finish Tough

Sometimes, when know that the end of a sprint or top of a hill is just 15 seconds away—so close that you can "see" it—I notice we do one of two things: “We” either slow down right away, coasting to the finish without much effort – OR – “We” buckle down and push on through the end with strength and heart. Which person are you?
Finish Strong - ConnecTheDot

When you lose a sale, do you give up for the rest of the week, or get back on track so that one slip up doesn't get in your way?

When life gets busy, do you skip your sales preparation entirely, or do you squeeze in whatever you can, even if it's only 10 or 15 minutes?

Finishing strong isn't that much different than any other challenge or goal in life. You have to decide that you want to do it, work hard even though resistance is working against you, and then follow through until you reach the top.

Two common phrases I reflect on during these times, "Give yourself a finish that you'll be proud of," and, "Finish just as strong as you started." And that's what I want to encourage you to do as you're facing the most difficult time today.

You will never regret choosing to work hard and climb to the top of that hill, no matter how challenging it may be or how much resistance is trying to hold you back. But you will regret giving up early, putting it off, and simply coasting to the finish line (which is a lot like backpedaling). In a race, a runner doesn't start to walk once the finish line is in sight ("Whew, I'm almost there, so I'll just relax now!"). That runner kicks it in and gives everything he or she has left until they cross that line.

So why should you treat your own goals any differently? Your personal finish line is no less important, and you owe it to yourself to get there without giving up. Use whatever effort you have left so that you, too, can finish out this quarter—that final hill—with a sprint to the finish. A finish you can be proud of.  A finish of victory!

Hail To Victory…here-here!

If your business needs a victory because you are losing every race against your competition then reach out to ConnecTheDot so we can help you start and finish strong!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

3 Key 'Sales' Steps + Referrals = $

ConnecTheDot 3 Key Sales Steps + Referrals = $

I know you all have been in sales for different variations of time, but I did want to put in my two cents if I may here.  Sometimes it seems we get so focused on the number of sales we are “supposed to make” that we forget what gets us there.  Too many times we focus on the numbers rather than the actions.  To make clear the point I’m trying to make I’ll say it this way, the product doesn’t make the sale, the price doesn’t make the sale, the appointment with the customer makes the sale, if you can't get the appointment nothing else matters! 

The more (QUALITY) appointments you make the more sales you make and it’s that simple.

I still live by the same three rules each and every day that brought me loads of success:

1.      Break sales down by the numbers
2.      Give the customer a reason to buy
3.      Be persistent

I’ll break these down even further.

One: Sales need to be broken down by numbers, and I don’t mean the bottom line. 
Example: One sale is made for every 3 appointments.  3 appointments are made for every 6 decision makers you talk to.  6 decision makers are found for every 25 businesses you call on (walk in or telephone).

With this in mind if you want one sale a day, you need to visit 25 businesses a day to try to talk to the decision makers and complete 3 appointments.  Sounds like a lot, but keep in mind you are talking to 25 businesses for no more than about 5 minutes just to make the 3 appointments, so really your day wouldn’t be overwhelming.   Anyway, the numbers may not be exact, but from what I’ve seen and experienced one sale per 3 appointments is very doable with our products and services.

The reason I’m pointing this out to you is that sometimes we get so focused on the sale that we forget what gets us there. If you do this, the sales will naturally follow.

Two: Give the customer a reason to buy.  Simply put this means, you may be able to think of a hundred reasons why the product is a great product, but if none of those reasons are important to the customer, they don’t matter.  Selling is taking control, teaching, and tailoring the message (Become a Challenger), finding out what the customer needs figuring out the problems they face and offering a solution that fixes those problems.  When you find that one thing the customer needs, you’ll make the sale.

Three: Be persistent.  This means, when they say maybe later don’t say ok, and then call them back a week later. Challenge their decision making on the spot!  Remember a “NO in sales simply means you haven’t given me enough information to make me say yes.  So just because they say “not now” don’t give up, keep challenging them with new ideas until you find the one that makes the sale.  (Personally I wouldn’t go so far as to have them need to get a restraining order, but you get the point)

Lastly...ask for "referrals".  I can't think of a more powerful selling tool.

Customer referrals = customer retention

Friday, October 30, 2015

My 2016 Social Media Marketing Prediction

ConnecTheDot Social Media Marketing
ConnecTheDot Social Media Marketing Complexity
The world in which we live is evolving faster and faster. With the advances of the Internet, Social Networking sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have become part of our natural way to communicate every day. It’s now common to see television shows, beverages, cultural events and even pet food inviting us to join their pack, with callings such as "Follow us on Twitter", or on Facebook, or on any of the other 12,000 social networks. How about me? That’s the question that many of us ask ourselves…now, what’s in store for us in 2016?  Let me get to the point!

2016, in my opinion, is to become the year of “being connected”.  With the large migration of Generation Y moving to the “need” to be synced at all times will become the big shift to be wary of…or is it Generation Z?  Generation Z will be coming to work one day having used smart devices as early as kindergarten.  This group will be using better and faster technology at home than we will be able to provide at an enterprise level.  How many businesses out there will be ready to host these new workers one day in the near future? 

I/ we/ my company/ the world need to become aware of this migration revolution.  We all are aware the content is king and context is queen, however, 2016 mobile technology will shape the evolution of the way consumers find, read, and buy. Don’t think too hard about this, but, what is the first thing you touch in the morning? just said it indirectly or even looked at your mobile phone…and that technology is getting better by the day! Are you aware that the ‘average person’ is not outside a 4 foot reach from their phone at any given time?  Addicted perhaps or connected?  2016 = “Ultra Mobile” where we wear smart watches, smart clothing, and live in smart houses.  SMART = STANDARD in 2016

So now LOCATION plays a pivotal roll in the paradigm shift.  I’m not talking where you are simply located; I’m talking about where you are, when it suits you, when you are ready, A.I. (artificial intelligence)!  Today consumers have to check in to get specials, unlockable, and promotions.  2016 will be the year of the beacon.  Simply allow your device to connect with    brands matching your personal preference and voila!

So…the social challenge is next…I mean, really.  Did you think social media still runs on gut feelings?  You can’t even begin to count the numerous dashboards existing online and standalone.  2016 will be the year of strategy.  Businesses will need to find a way to interpret big data intelligently keeping it simple and to the point (the exact thing that corporate policy stops).  Social updates, going viral, telling a story, being compelling and creative through innovation all requires the same thing…stunning Social Media Marketing!

The need for employee advocacy is the new “NOW”.  Marketing isn’t your sale window to the world anymore.  Neither are sales.  Every single employee is an ambassador of your brand which means businesses have to lead by example.  Forget social media in this instance.  Rethink “SOCIAL BUSINESS”

ConnecTheDot is here to help.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Star Wars - It's #stickyadvertising impact 24 hours after trailer release

As tickets for the Dec. 18 film release went on sale, online ticketers Fandango and theater chain Alamo Drafthouse suffered temporary outages as fans flocked to their sites. Alamo Drafthouse apologized for the "frustration and disappointment" on Twitter after customers were unable to purchase tickets.
Star Wars = #stickyadvertising

Fandango said on Tuesday it "experienced unprecedented ticketing demand." The company declined to give ticket sales figures for "The Force Awakens," but said it was eight times more than previous record holder, 2011's "The Hunger Games."

Online ticketing site also declined to give sales figures but said "The Force Awakens" was the biggest first-day sales in its history and accounted for 95 percent of tickets sold on the site in the past 24 hours.

While it is rare for tickets to go on sale two months ahead of a film's release, studios will do it for big fan-anticipated films.

Twitter said there were more than 17,000 tweets per minute when the trailer aired, and more than 1.1 million tweets about the trailer in the 12-hour period after it aired.

Facebook said 1.3 million people engaged in 2.1 million interactions within the first hour of the trailer release.

The trailer has so far garnered more than 13 million views on YouTube and 8.8 million views on Facebook.

Now that is #stickyadvertising.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Is your sales approach "sticky"?

Why and how do customers decide to “BUY” from one person or company vs. another?  Below are what non-savvy sales professionals do:

  • Pressure people into buying the program with hard-sell tactics.
  • Act like their program is the greatest thing in the world.
  • Overpromise and under-deliver or provide the WORST #customerexperience.   

All three of these approaches are guaranteed to turn off a huge number of potential customers, and send your sales down the commode.  That’s no way to run an enterprise.

What you want for your business is to have created a Sales Professional that differentiates themselves – in other words, that makes your customers say “Holy ****, I want that Sales Professional and whatever they have because they are unique, have strategies and bring something DIFFERENT.”

You need something different, something that nobody else can provide.  Something, "sticky"!

Are you ready?

There are a lot of things you can do to create programs or solutions that people are eager to buy, but focus on these three first, and you’ll be well on your way to bigger sales.
  1. Link your program benefits to outcomes that ideal customers are itching for.
  2. Create your program to match the experience your ideal customers want.
  3. Show potential customers how your program overcomes their objections and differentiates themselves from their competition with a fresh, edgy and "sticky" strategy.
Your customers don’t want to buy your program; they want to create an outcome in their life or their business.  They want to see themselves thriving with your program that leads them to financial success.

They are in the market for the shortest path to their desired solution, and they couldn’t care less what your product is because everybody else out there probably has the same thing in one way or another.  All they care about is “Will this program give me the outcome that I need to have?”

Outcomes come first, product comes last.  I can’t stress this enough.  I see too many smart people positioning their products instead of positioning the program outcomes (and experiences) the customer desires to have or subjectively don’t realize they have the need to switch because they might perceive themselves as being “loyal”.

We all have objections when we’re considering buying something.  Think of the last thing you had to think about before you bought it, whether it was a digital product or a physical item in a store.

You had objections that you were going through in your mind, and you had to justify the purchase to yourself before you made it.  Eventually, something pushed you over the fence and you whipped out your wallet.  I bet it was something that was a “differentiator” or "sticky" that persuaded you to choose.

If you don’t know what your customers’ objections are, you won’t be able to address them in your sales material (and in the product itself).

Whatever it is that’s bugging them, fix it in your program and make sure “they” can see the path to solving this by being “different”.  Explain how it’s designed to take as little time as possible, or to fit into a busy schedule.  Talk about how you’ve made a complicated subject dead-easy to understand and drives results.

Whatever the objections are, defuse them by answering and solving for the inevitable before you go see your customer.  How might you ask?  Just look at what the competition is doing, identify from a “consumer” and a “business” point of view how your program brings a “different” solution to the market that addresses the needs and wants people are looking for.  Again, bring something “different”!  Nobody wants status quo or something that is easy to copy or mass duplicate.  They want something unique that builds a BRAND and is "sticky!"

And then they buy.  Your sales funnel explodes exponentially.  And then they tell their friends.

What have you read thus far that can change your Sales World, be “DIFFERENT”, be "sticky"…that’s all!

It’s not as easy as it sounds but hey…that is what separates MONEY MAKERS and MONEY BREAKERS.

ConnecTheDot - #stickyadvertising