Blog

The Best Job I Ever Had!

Posted: 2015-03-05

Love My Job

Let me be clear about something: I made more money in HIGH SCHOOL than my first year as an entrepreneur. Results like that make you seriously evaluate your decision to “go it on your own.” People tell you that you want to be self employed…until you start making less than minimum wage.

However, last week reminded me why I started my own company. Companies hire me to train their sales executives and marketing teams to use social media and mobile technology to improve engagement with their customers. Last week I made more in 2 days than I did in the first month of my last job. Although I like getting paid, money is not the reason I started my company. Entrepreneurship can be a long and lonely road, so profit and revenue should not be the sole impetus for beginning this journey. So why do I subject myself to these daily trials and tribulations?

  1. Respect – I have the unwavering respect of the people who hire me. They recognize me as an expert in the fields of social media and mobile technology. They ask questions and wait patiently for me to respond. We’ve all worked jobs where we were neither respected by our peers, supervisors or customers. I am now in a position where I am consistently recognized for my skills, abilities and leadership…and paid handsomely for my expertise.
  2. Hard Work – I work about 12 hours per day (slightly less on weekends). However, the work I do I am passionate about. I research new and emerging technologies as they are developed. I attend social media and communications conferences. I am in charge of marketing, sales, research and development, human resources, business development and graphic design. I don’t have to do it all, but I need to make sure it gets done. I have never worked so hard and felt so rewarded for my efforts. However, is it really work if you enjoy it this much?
  3. Fun – I enjoy waking up in the morning. The hardest part of my day is going to sleep at night. And my entire day is full of challenge and possibility. My job is to study the latest in innovation and technology, connect with other thought leaders and teach a few classes. Some of the largest companies in the world pay me handsomely for my knowledge. I even get to purchase new technology and write it off as a business expense. Party on!
  4. Family – My daughters LOVE the fact that I run my own business. I even hire them for data entry and minor administrative tasks. I once asked my middle daughter if she preferred my old job in sales (6-figure salary) or my job now. Without hesitation, she responded, “I prefer Scientifically Speaking! I think it’s cool you run the company. You really are the boss.” I never knew how much of a positive impact my work has on my family.

There have been many days when I have wanted to quit Scientifically Speaking and “get a real job.” Then I remember one of my first workshops. An older woman had purchased her iPhone 2-years prior and still did not know how to work her text messages and Notes app. When I taught her something that easily solved her problems, she enthusiastically gave me hug. Moments like that help keep a smile on my face. And don’t worry; the money has gotten a lot better since then.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.

5 Reasons My Sister Won’t Buy My Product

Posted: 2014-11-10

Some salespeople quote their sales philosophy as, “Relationships based.” After a conversation I had last week with the CEO of a marketing company, I realized that good relationships do guarantee a  sale. As we talked, I realized that in spite of the great relationship I have with my sister, she wouldn’t buy clothing or accessories from me. She’ll go to Nordstrom, Macy’s or Ann Taylor, and she would rather buy from the strangers in those store than from me. Of course, my wife, mother and daughters would also rather go to these establishments. If I can’t sell to my family based on my relationship with them, how can I be expected to sell?

Woman with signed contract

When most salespeople are applying for a job, they will try to reassure the hiring manager they build great relationships with their clients and customers. Because of those connections, the people you visit buy from you, right? Relationships can help a sale, but they will not guarantee it. I sold against competitors who took physicians (and their families) on golf outings, movie nights and ski trips. You don’t win contracts with prizes, gimmicks or solely on relationships. You win contracts with…

  • Superior Products – If a consumer feels there is a significant difference between your product and your competitor, the relationship won’t matter. People do not intentionally buy inferior products. “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a  path to your door.” Make sure you build the best mousetrap.
  • Communication – Scientists and engineers are frequently the smartest people in the room. Unfortunately, we are frequently lousy communicators. We have all bought things we didn’t need because a salesperson was a great communicator. If I have the best product, I need to clearly share the benefits in a way that makes sense (even to my sister). 
  • Like You vs. Respect You – I will not buy from someone who I don’t respect. My wife loves me, but she won’t ask my opinion on wedding dresses because she does’t respect my opinion. My teenage daughter asks my opinion about calculus because she respects my opinion. It’s nice if your clients like you; it is critical they respect you.
  • Value – After 5 years of social media consulting, my sister has not even opened up a Facebook page. In spite of the long conversations we have had on the benefits of social marketing, she does not see the value. Until your prospects and leads see the value in your product or service, they are not going to buy or even return your phone calls. Make sure they understand how it reduces their pain points.
  • You Charge Too Much – Even if you have a great relationship with a client, the price must be right. Research your industry and know the fair price for your product or service. If you charge too much, they may feel you are trying to take advantage of them. If you charge too little, they may see little value in your product. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price. That may help your customer pay want they feel is fair.  

Relationships have always helped me generate prospects, leads and early stage opportunities. However, the relationship I have with the person will not always move them through the sales funnel. Value, respect, communication, price and quality all play a large role in my client’s buying decision – even if she is my sister.

Do Financial Advisors Need to Be “Social?”

Posted: 2014-10-16

Financial Advisor Social Media

My pastor uses Twitter to announce his sermon topics and share scriptures. My daughter’s Girl Scout Troop uses Facebook to post upcoming events and share pictures from camping trips. My wife’s hair stylist posts new styles and creations on Pinterest. What about my financial advisor? Does he need to use social media?

More financial advisors and wealth managers are beginning to embrace social media as a valuable tool to connect with their clients and generate new leads. Almost 75% of advisors use at least one social network for business. Of that number, 91% use LinkedIn, 32% use Facebook and 22% use Twitter.

However, as I facilitate training workshops and webinars across the country, I regularly hear three concerns:

  1. Am I maximizing my efforts?
  2. How do I get started?
  3. Will I get in trouble?

What the Pros Do – Look at the LinkedIn profile of Michael Kitces or Bill WinterbergEven if you can’t add publications or conference presentations to your profile, include your work experience, a detailed summary and a professional picture. If you have a regularly published blog, add that to your profile. Be consistent about tweets, shares and posts. Connect with and follow the companies or groups you respect.

Getting Started – Talk to other professionals in your industry and find out what platforms they are using. Before you commit to a particular channel, do some research and learn the pros and cons. Once you have decided, pick 2 platforms and dive in! Many organizations and companies offer webinars on effective use of social media. Participate in a few of these to learn special tips and tricks.

Policies and Procedures – I’ve talked to some people who are afraid to add a picture to their LinkedIn profile because they fear they will get in trouble with their legal department. Ouch! A safe rule of thumb for social media is to not publish anything that could not be on the cover of the New York Times. Tweet publicly available information. Tweet pictures and data from a conference you attend. Post and share interesting pictures and articles. If an investor has a detailedquestion about the information, set up a meeting or phone call.

Statistics show that 78% of sales people who use social media will outsell their peers. However, it’s not a popularity contest. Don’t just use it because everyone else is doing it. Choose the social tools that will work for you and allow you to effectively communicate with your audience. Your clients are already out there talking; join in the conversation.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.

Top 10 Consumer Apps


 

Fill out this form to receive a FREE list of our Top 10 Apps for Consumers! All fields are required.

 

Name

Business name

Email

Profession

×

Top 10 Business Apps


 

Fill out this form to receive our FREE list of
Top 10 Business Apps! All fields are required.

 

Name

Business name

Email

Profession

×

Top 10 Education Apps


 

Fill out this form to receive our FREE list of our
top 10 Education Apps! All fields are required.

 

Name

School Name

Email

Field of Study

×