It’s Never Too Late Until It’s Too Late

Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame didn’t make good until he was well into his 60s. The Zagats, husband and wife legal team, didn’t create restaurant guidebook Zagat’s Guide until they were in the mid 40s. Ray Croc was in his 50s when he had success building a tiny hamburger restaurant chain called McDonalds. It’s never too late until it’s too late.

Arianna Huffington started the Huffington Post when she was 55! This article is a reminder, wake up call not a how-to post.

Do It Now

Sounds like the Nike commercial from years past but it’s true. Distractions like TV, sports, bars, chasing after a relationship, and the myriad of ways which we spend our time, telling ourselves we are relaxing or what we are doing is worth it, don’t help you in the long run. Smoking, eating out or just eating excessively, going to the gym but not working while you’re there, all fall under the category of putting off the inevitable: you’re not getting it done.

Was Tony Montana right? No of course not he ended up dead. Yet Tony, seized the opportunity, acted upon it, strategized on how to get power, money, and the woman. What are you doing to make your life better or a dream come true?

It’s Never Too Late Unless You Let It Be

One thing, idea, pledge, or promise to yourself – one that I’m making – don’t pass from this earth without trying to grab your dream.

Why Were Two Women Executed in Marin?

Author’s Warning

I recognize that after 30+ years my memory isn’t what it used to be. This story is a recollection of an event that happened to me. The event happened somewhere between 1985-1987. It was the 80’s and if you lived through the 80s then you understand: all bets are off. Some names have been changed but not the victims. To my knowledge this is a cold case that has never been solved. If I am wrong please leave a comment about the outcome.

Shot in the back of the head execution style

Executed, face down, with a small caliber handgun. Sounds like a mob hit you read about in the news, watch in a mafia movie, or stumble upon in an episode of Drugs Inc.

I picked up my mail and opened the manila envelope sent to me by way of California from my friend “Johnny.” It was 1992 and I was living in Washington D.C. the murder capital of the nation. The previous year in 1991 Washington had 482 murders with a population of 600,000: a murder rate of 80.6 per 10,000 residents. The first year I was in D.C., on one of the most violent weekends I lived through in my 7 years there, the crack turf wars in Southeast section of the city accounted for 24 people shot with 5 dead. The local newscast that night lead with the Redskins victory that Sunday.

I rummaged through the envelope and out drifted a newspaper clipping wrapped in a note. The note simply said – “Remember her?” When I unfolded the articles, the headline was screaming at me:

2 Women Slain in Kentfield: Bodies found in apartment behind College of Marin.

I was stunned. It took me a few minutes to read the article and realize what had happened. A flood of memories came back. One of the women who was murdered, Susan, I had met somewhere between 1985-1987, at the apartment she was killed in.

Looking back on the night I met Susan, things began innocently. Johnny asked me if I wanted to meet a friend of his. Johnny’s friend Susan lived in an apartment behind College of Marin and it was on the way to the Black Oak Saloon our eventual drinking spot.  

When he called her to say we were on the way and ask her if we could bring a 6 pack or some wine, Susan’s only request was that we would stay awhile and not just rush out.

I thought that was cool – she was probably lonely and needed some company – wrong.

When we knocked on the door this beautiful woman appeared ushering us inside quickly.

I was immediately struck by her presence – she was older, seemed far more sophisticated, and was somewhat preoccupied with something. My first impression was that feeling you get when talking with someone who is not listening to you but instead thinking of something else.   

Snapping out of my daydream, I began reading the article.

Susan was shot in the back of the head, with a small caliber handgun, execution style. She was found face down in a bedroom by her girlfriend’s boyfriend. Sue’s girlfriend was also executed and left in the living room of the small two-bedroom apartment.

What the hell happened? Why in a small, very upscale town nestled in the shadows of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, one of the most affluent counties in the country, were two women executed in a small, cramped apartment with nothing of real value in the place?  

According to the articles Johnny sent, after the discovery of the bodies and a full search of the apartment, police found cocaine residue, cut, and drug paraphernalia in the apartment. Then it hit me – I must have been mesmerized by Susan. Things began to add up.

I first began to wonder what was up when we arrived that night by the way Susan answered her door. She opened the door and quickly rushed us inside like a nervous cat owner who was worried her feline would bolt out the front door never to be seen again.

As we turned around, we noticed two guys sitting on the couch. At first glance, they looked nondescript nothing stood out except they reminded me of accountants at a networking event. What was strange is that nobody was talking. There was another person in one of the bedrooms and that person was the only one talking – softly and very fast. The two guys on the couch sat in silence. It was a small place yet there was virtually no noise, no chatter, no music.

Thankfully, Sue offered us a beer, which we gladly accepted, yet oddly nobody else was drinking. Johnny and I looked around for a seat, abruptly the accountants got up without a word and walked back to the bedroom following Sue who excused herself.

Now I’m beginning to worry – what the hell did I get myself into here? Nobody is speaking, no music, we were rushed in and then immediately offered a drink. Why no introductions to the two John Does on the couch and the mysterious person in the bedroom?

I looked at my buddy – he looked calm and content. But something wasn’t right. I leaned in and whispered: “Something ain’t right. We’ve gotta get the hell out of here.” His reply “relax there’s a fridge full of beer!”

We both began downing our beers. The whole scene was beginning to feel like we were sitting next to a very nervous Dirk Diggler in the scene at the dealer’s house in Boogie Nights. The difference – we just dropped in to see a friend.

After about five awkward minutes, the accountants bounced out of the bedroom, and rushed by us toward the door. As they were about to leave, a soft knock at the door. Sue sprang into action bounding past the accountants stopping them short and asking them to stick around for a few more minutes.

She then ushers them back to the bedroom before returning to answer the door. Every fiber in my body is screaming “Who is this now?” I remain frozen nestled into the couch as Sue answers the knock like she’s guarding Fort Knox.

After a brief moment vetting the people at the door, in walk two 20-something women dressed to the nines, a bit buzzed and very talkative. The girls introduce themselves to us which was a welcome relief – somebody normal! Then suddenly, Sue comes streaming back into the living room with the accountants in tow – they stride by her and out the front door of the “party” without uttering a single word.

Finally, Sue sits down on the couch between Johnny and me. She seems happy to see him and to meet me. Meanwhile, the rapid fire whispering in the bedroom has not stopped and the new guests are rummaging through Sue’s fridge like they own the place.

I begin to decompress and calm down but the little voice in the back of my head persists “Something aint right here.” As I was thinking about the next possible knock at the door and the mysterious whispering in the bedroom, Sue makes a curious comment that matches the curious night we were having: “It’s so nice seeing you Johnny, you guys can go whenever you want or just hang around for a while.”

What the hell – we need permission to leave?

We stay for a few more minutes, the beer is free, we relax and talk up the new visitors and Sue. Besides, I’m not going anywhere. Johnny is driving and there was no cab service in the 1980s in Marin. When you went out you were on your own at the mercy of your driver. Fuck it, I thought, let’s have another beer or three.

And that’s what we did, we stayed a half hour enjoyed our conversation with the girls and a number of beers later we were out the door.

The Aftermath

That was the first and last time I ever saw Susan. By 1988, I accepted a job on the East coast– something I did for the opportunity it presented, a change of scenery, and a way to remove myself from what was feeling like a stagnant environment.

Then in 1992, I receive the manila envelope delivering such sad news. Although I can’t say with any certainty why somebody would murder Susan, the world she might have been playing in was, and to this day is, an unforgiving one where mistakes, slights, missed payments, or simply meeting the wrong people at the wrong time can get you killed.

Truth, Fact, and Fake News: Who is Really Telling the Truth?

a man in red shirt covering his face

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Republican President Trump claims he coined the term “Fake News” but that is a lie, a mistruth, an inaccurate statement, a fabrication, a misnomer, an untruth, purposeful misinformation, and plain old bullshit.

Who coined the term Fake News? Buzz Feed’s Craig Silverman. So what would happen if we just stopped lying, embellishing, and running fake news like it’s the truth? We would have a far more honest world with a lot of people confused.

What would it look like if we all told the truth and what would it look like in our daily life dealings in the business world? A little like this:

Wine Critic/Winemaker/Your wine snob friend:

Fake: “This is an approachable yet precocious wine with depth and hints of pencil shavings, blackberry notes, and hard driving tannins.”

Real: “This stuff tastes good and gets me drunk”

Car Salesman when you are in their office negotiating a deal:

Fake: “I’m going to need to speak with my manager about your offer.”

Real: “I already know the price of the car I’m just trying to sweat you by playing ‘Good Cop-Bad Cop.’

Doctor suggesting medication that will help you sleep at night:

Fake: “You’ll need help sleeping and I have just the thing for that”

Real: “I’m getting paid by big Pharma to push these pills and I get paid really well to do it.”

A cop’s first question after pulling you over for speeding:

Fake: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

Real: “Of course I know why I pulled you over you were speeding and I have a quota to fill.”

Your girlfriend when she asks you where you are going:

Fake: “Is Johnny going to be there?”

Real: “I’m going to call Johnny’s girlfriend to make sure he’s actually meeting you at the bar.”

What Next?

So, the next time you are hearing something you think is fake then consider what the truth would sound like. Does it make sense? Is it not likely or does it not match what you know about the source? Think about it – now is the time to really think.

COVID-19 Changes Everything from Day 1

The announcement of COVID-19, March 16, 2020, shelter-in-place orders for California will live in infamy as the most impactful event our collective lifetimes.

A treacherous virus, mysterious to our world health community, COVID-19 (CV-19) hit us with such rapid effect that our “normal” way of life has been changed forever.

All of the data about this worldwide pandemic was delivered to our Republican led White House in Q4 of 2019. Yet President Trump did not act to protect America but instead he buried the vital information in hopes of protecting the economy and his bid for reelection.

The president then accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of sitting on the information too long and he placed blame on WHO for the current national health crisis we are in today.

As a follow through, the president (this week) cut all funding to WHO – an unheard of and unbelievable action.

The Facts We Know About COVID-19

  • 100,000+ deaths exceeding the casualties suffered in the Viet Nam and Korean Wars
  • 1,500,000+ positive diagnosis with the number growing in every state
  • Less than 2% of the US population has been tested for COVID-19
  • Victims from age 18-90 with all age ranges susceptible
  • Multiple symptoms including loss of taste and smell, low grade fever, and the most alarming symptom a full on attack of the respiratory system leading to organ shutdown
  • No national testing protocol
  • No national collection of data
  • No Federal leadership with states left to drive all action against the pandemic on a hyper local level
  • Hospital and health workers are undermanned, exhausted, and without the proper PPE masks gloves, testing swabs and other supplies critical to our and their survival

Future COVID-19 Predictions-Scenarios

The White House original predictions of 25,000-50,000 deaths was woefully miscalculated. With premature openings of state economies and businesses through the end of shelter-in-place orders there is a very real possibility, according to doctors and scientists, of a second more deadly wave of infections leading to deaths.


There is no conclusion to this tragedy. With the current lack of testing and people’s unwillingness to social distance and stay in place, the recovery period and back to “normal” can’t be predicted.

What can be predicted is that without a cure, vaccine to COVID-19, we will continue to go in and out of shelter-in-place periods until a solution is available. My prediction? 2022.


Inner Architect Named One of Top 9 PPC Agencies in San Francisco 2019

Inner (Expertise) has named Inner Architect one of the Best Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Agencies in San Francisco for 2019. IA is a Google Partner Agency having acquired the status in 2016. Expertise, a critically acclaimed review site, has the important mission of connecting consumers with the best local experts. They take this monumental assignment on by providing their Top business ratings in every major market in the United States. In determining the best pay-per-click agencies in San Francisco, Expertise scored 187 pay-per-click (PPC) agencies serving San Francisco Bay Area. They utilized more than 25 variables across five categories during the process and hand-picked only those agencies that met their scoring criteria.

In the final analysis, Inner Architect was one of 9 agencies that met the level of excellence for inclusion. Currently, Inner Architect oversees, nationwide, in excess of $140,000 in PPC campaign management per month.  We take great pride in this recognition and award!

The Best PPC Agencies in San Francisco Selection Process

“Our proprietary research and selection process identifies the top service professionals in over 200 different industries across the top cities in the United States.” -Expertise

Every month Expertise helps over 10 million customers find the best qualified service professionals for their needs. The selection process begins by identifying a broad pool of active professionals within a given business category and geographical area. Using their custom tools and resources, they analyze only publicly available data.

Next Expertise verifies contact and license information to assure selection candidates are actively doing business and are in good standing in their communities.

Expertise’s Criteria for Selection

Expertise’s brainchild in the selection process is their in-house software algorithm which grades each business across the following criteria:

  1. Reputation“A history of satisfied customers giving excellent recommendations.” At Inner Architect, we strive every day to provide a blanket of support, customer service, and follow through for our clients.
  2. Credibility“Established in their industry with licensing, accreditations, and awards.” Founding Principal Susan Hanshaw and her PPC team is certified in Search and Google Ads. As of this writing, the Inner Architect PPC team is responsible for over $100,000 per month in PPC campaign management and strategy.
  3. Experience “Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.” Having launched in one of the most uncertain times in the economic history of our country during the 2008 recession, we have persevered and are celebrating our 11 Year Anniversary in 2019. During Inner Architect’s evolution, we have worked with clients that include the New York Times, Napa Valley luminary Opus One Winery, Media One Studios official broadcasting partner of the San Francisco Giants and ESPN, and in the aggressively competitive asbestos toxic-tort legal niche.
  4. Engagement“Approachable and responsive to clients and available for new business.” Susan Hanshaw in her research identified Live Chat as the mechanism for instantaneous customer service at the infancy of the response time revolution for websites. We understood early on that open lines of communication begin with recognition and response to inquiries, consistent plan of follow up, and scheduled outreach and strategic review.
  5. Professionalism – Dedicated to providing consistently quality work and impeccable customer service.” Founder Dean Guadagni believes that the strength of Inner Architect is professionalism built on our collective experiences in marketing and business development since the 1980s. “Having cut our teeth during a time when there was no Internet, Susan and I understand the value of relationships, trust, and the meaning of giving your word. Being a consultative partner and solving solutions is our focus – we are not salespeople we are solutions people.” – Dean Guadagni

What Makes the Best PPC Agencies in San Francisco?

It is simple. The support of recognition programs like are indicative of the importance of training and customer service. At IA, we believe in order to continue to evolve and improve, one of our core values is our own research into our clients’ business niche. Staying ahead of the curve means seeking out and finding new trends, technologies, and strategies as they begin to take shape. In our own right, Susan Hanshaw has creatively launched new services based on her research. As we continue to move into the data driven marketing age, with artificial intelligence, machine learning, the IoT, and other sea change moments, Inner Architect will strive to be a leader in bringing these changes forward to our clients and business community.

Marketing Fundamentals Check List to Conversions

block building business city

Photo by Pixabay on

The marketing fundamentals that act as the foundation and basis for generating leads from your website begins with the right tools and tactics. The following are the basics any business can establish as foundational pieces to your marketing program. If executed correctly, you will have the ability to convert new leads into clients. Are you utilizing the following?

Marketing Fundamentals Begins with Google Analytics Reporting

Google Analytics reports website visitor actions and acts as a historical baseline which you can utilize in order to measure present and future marketing and advertising campaigns. This is the marketing fundamentals foundation of your marketing program and it’s free. Key reports include:

  • Traffic volume and sources
  • Page view activity
  • Behavior flow through the website
  • Mobile vs desktop traffic
  • Organic search performance
  • Time on-site
  • Bounce rate

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

In the realm of importance, your CRM is 1a on the marketing fundamentals list. Your CRM acts as your historical database where you record your sales efforts from all the marketing channels. This provides an ongoing record of your effectiveness or lack there of when it comes to marketing your business. A multitude of reports can be pulled and analyzed. Data is the driving force behind your marketing decisions and without a CRM and proper use of this tool, your marketing efforts will be less than optimal.

SSL Certificate Encryption

Google has thrown down the gauntlet. Your business must convert from http to https or your site will be penalized in organic search indexing and a nasty warning icon will be placed on your SERPs listing warning visitors away from entering.

Website Speed Google’s Page Speed Insights

Speed is everything to consumers – is your site delivering fast load times? Find out by testing your site using the Google developer page speed insights tool.

Mobile Friendly aka Mobile Responsive:

Can users view your website from their mobile phones with easy or is your site showing up very tiny and unreadable? Find out by testing your website with this mobile friendly tool from Google.

Live Chat

Provide website visitors instant answers while remaining anonymous. It’s the #1 tool that provides instant access to website visitors who wish to remain anonymous.

PPC – Google Ads

Compete for prospects quickly without the large investment into SEO program costs. If you need to compete now this is the best most economical way to show up in Google search results.

Click Fraud Protection

Click fraud software fights fraud by blocking malicious bot attacks that steal ad campaign budget monies. By 2023 click fraud will account for $50 billion in losses for business around the world.

Content Development

Website page content and blog content converts leads. Google penalizes websites for thin content. Google suggests your website pages by 1,500+ words and our blog articles be a minimum of 1,000 words. This is not always an easy requirement to fulfill.

Voice Engine Optimization (VEO)

VEO is the future and it is happening now. By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice initiated. The days of typed queries dominating the search space are quickly coming to an end. Is your website ready to compete?

Each one of these tools and strategies is designed to make your marketing efforts pay off through a steady stream of leads that convert to new revenues. Are you utilizing this list?









The Aids Epidemic 1985 and The Job That Made Me Face Death

SF Aids Foundation It wasn’t the sweat labor, working as a janitor for a local newspaper, on my hands and knees peeling pieces of glued copy paper from a wretched Berber carpet, scrubbing toilets, or removing the stale, dank food in the fridge on Sundays only to serve that “cuisine” to the homeless couple living on the roach infested couch in the back alley behind the building. And it wasn’t the preposterous gig delivering balloons, in an embarrassing clown suit, to couples in restaurants during my high school years.

The Darkest of Ages Before the Internet Circa 1985

Those were memorable, and completely humbling, jobs but not the types of jobs that make a mark on your life. No those were the type of jobs that reminded you that education is a good thing! The most impactful job I ever experienced? Territory Sales Representative for Moore Business Forms. Moore was my first job out of college in 1985, paying the kingly sum of $19,200 per year, and it was most certainly a crash course in life.

The setting, a simpler caveman like time of dark ages sales tactics and pressure, was a simple crash course in survival of the fittest. My job was to cold call door-to-door (15 times per day) to businesses in the San Francisco produce district, including Hunters Point and 3rd Street, all the way to Candlestick Park. No cell phone, no laptop, little communication. The level of rejection was epic and the dangers, sometimes imminent when gunshots would ring out on a lazy Friday afternoon deep into the Point, kept you on your toes.

A. . . B. . . C. . . Always Be Closing, Always Be Closing!

Many a Monday morning we endured a Glengarry Glen Ross style sales meeting where pressure was exerted, jobs were sometimes threatened, and laughter was a scarce commodity. In the end, we would huddle up for a pep talk that would somehow take the edge off the ass-chewing we had just received. Gender was not a shield as male as well as female reps were “called on the carpet” in front of their peers to “explain themselves” aka what the hell happened out there last week?

None of this would impact me as greatly as an assignment I was handed 3 months into my job on a manic Friday in the middle of summer. My assignment was to go out to a new account, for which I was being given the chance to manage, meet the principal and make a good impression. The business: The San Francisco AIDS Foundation in the heart of the Castro district.

My Life Was About to Change But I Didn’t Know It Yet

I had vaguely heard of AIDS but I was completely unaware of the magnitude of the epidemic that was about to slam into our country ferociously killing friends, family, and neighbors alike. Instead I was nervous, having been unabashedly ripped and teased by my colleagues, about heading into the Castro the preeminent gay neighborhood in America. And me  a straight kid with little experience or knowledge of what it meant to be gay. All we knew, and I am talking about the collection of friends and colleagues, was the paranoid stereotypes.

The life altering impact of my visit began as I opened the door and was greeted with the gaunt frailty and far-away stares of catastrophically sick men appearing more like Auschwitz victims than citizen of a vibrant growing San Francisco. The sight of open puss oozing sores, both dark and large, were visible on many of the men who were seated in the waiting room. The receptionist, seeing my innocence and shocked reaction, quickly ushered me into a separate room to wait on the office manager who would be my contact.

My contact greeted me with a kind smile and handshake of reassurance. He told me he greatly appreciated me visiting and he related how difficult it had been to get other vendors to service the account let alone visit their clinic. Prior to entering the building, I had experienced the first catcall I had ever received – by a man. It both scared me and acted as a reminder – I never catcalled a woman in my life. I thanked my new customer and assured him I would be visiting once a month to check on their printing needs.

I visited the AIDS Foundation offices throughout 1986. And each visit was a reminder of how lucky I was, the devastation I was seeing first hand, and the maturation process I was undergoing.

Today, having lost two friends to the AIDS virus, one gay man and one straight man, I look back on that job with Moore and rejoice in the lessons I learned, cringe at the abuse I endured, and marveled at the relationships I made.

Strategic Marketing Lessons from “The Profit”

blank billboard for advertisement on sky background

Marcus Lemonis, multimillionaire entrepreneur and star of the hit NBC show “The Profit”, has a formula for success. For Marcus, business success is based upon the simple principles of people, process, and product. These three hallmarks have helped the charismatic Lemonis grow his ultra-successful company Camping World. People, process, and product can be successfully applied to your company’s marketing program.


When building your marketing program in-house or hiring an agency look for the following:

  • Ownership: does each marketer possess the ownership “gene”? Do they treat your business as if it is their own?
  • Leadership: will your marketing personnel show their leadership skills when executing, formulating, or analyzing strategies? Are they proactive, take charge types?

Strategic Marketing Processes

What processes are in place to ensure your marketing team will continue to successfully grow your marketing program?

  • Content Creation: does your marketing team include Internet savvy writers that understand how to optimize content for search engines while creating content your consumers wish to read?
  • Distribution and Scale: are your marketing personnel familiar with how you want to distribute your content, where you want it published, how often you expect updates, and how to find a large audience suited for your messages?
  • Data Analysis: does each marketer understand how to analyze data that is a result of your online campaigns or ongoing messaging? Do they know how to “read” your data with an eye for potential new strategies, new campaign opportunities, or when to consider revamping or removing an ineffective online communication strategy?

Products and Services

You can’t successfully market or successfully sell a product or service if either is of substandard quality. When Mr. Lemonis is evaluating a business he looks for products that are undervalued, under-served, yet they are products that should provide value to customers.

Likewise, when digital marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, or small marketing consultancies begin to look for services to sell they need to be cautious and discerning when making their choices. The process of selecting which marketing services to offer your clientele should include:

  • Skill Sets: List the skills and aptitude you and your team as a beginning guide post. Look for strengths (services you should offer) and weaknesses (niches you should seek training)
  • Expertise: What is your expertise and that of your team? More importantly what is your aptitude if you don’t have the expertise in a particular service you wish to offer?
  • “Hot” Services: Like the old baseball adage: Some of the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make- just because a social network launches and has created buzz doesn’t mean you must build a service around that network.
  • Profitability: Calculate which services or products represent the highest profit margin
  • Passion: If you or your workforce do not have a passion for your services or products that lack of enthusiasm will sabotage your sales efforts and brand perception
  • Do Great Work: When you perform your work do it to the best of your abilities. Don’t cut corners, don’t give half effort, go all-in or don’t go at all!

Strategic Marketing Lessons

The old saying if you fail to plan plan to fail is very true when it comes to successful strategic marketing. To achieve business success you must lay the foundation for your business with a business plan. Research and market analysis will provide the backbone and road map for where and how you will proceed. The rest us simply a matter of effort and passionate belief in your journey! Good luck to you all.


Can You Find the Marketing Lesson?

marketingMarketers are always willing to test their skills at storytelling. Many have even tried their hand at writing a movie script. If you are like me you love Hollywood storytelling at its best. The following is a list with some of my favorite movies. Each movie tells a story and often includes a lesson that every marketer can use as a take away. What are the lessons? Think about it and tell me what your favorite movies might mean to marketing your product or service.

Marketing Lessons from Classic Movies

The following list is not in my order of preference because I love each one for what it brings to me – life lessons and marketing ideas.

  • Goodfellas: Loyalty
  • The Maltese Falcon: Suspense
  • Dark Passage: Adaptability
  • The Shawshank Redemption: Perseverance
  • Do The Right Thing: Diversity
  • The Godfather II: Betrayal
  • Tootsie: Surprise
  • The King of New York: Good vs Evil
  • Pulp Fiction: Sphere of influence
  • Reservoir Dogs: Trust
  • The English Patient: Beauty
  • Star Wars: Endless possibilities
  • Varsity Blues: Coming of age
  • Casino: Playing the odds
  • The Game: Self actualization
  • State of Grace: Redemption
  • Mrs. Doubtfire: Love
  • Scarface: Cautionary tale
  • Dirty Harry: Authority
  • Gravity: Sacrifice

3 Tips Sales Representatives Use to Win New Customers

sales representativesInsightSquared describes their company as “#1 in Salesforce Analytics for Sales and Marketing” that “delivers powerfully simple business analytics for companies of any size.” Their recently released one page research paper, “Should Your Sales Reps Keep Calling That Prospect”, includes important tips you can begin to utilize for your sales force.

InsightSquared’s Data

In a  three month period from June through August of 2013, InsightSquared studied over 21,000 sales calls in compiling their report that suggests three solid points for sales teams to consider:

Sales Call First Dial Importance

It appears that a sales person’s first call attempt is the best opportunity to reach a prospect as “connect rates drop 33% after the first dial.” Here are a few tips to make your representatives more effective:

  • Reps must be prepared and have their sales script polished and ready for the first opportunity to sell
  • Document and schedule the optimal time to call prospects
  • Make sure reps continue to follow-up on accounts when they have a decision maker’s contact number
  • Stop attempts to connect on weaker accounts after 6+ “touches” and return when lead flow is slow

How Many Times Do You Dial? 

According to InsightSquared the real gold is often found in the fact that “there are a lot of conversations buried in seemingly unreachable prospects.”Although it may seem incorrect to continue to call on a prospect after four or five attempts, according to their research, “even after 10 attempts, our reps were able to connect with their prospects almost 5% of the time.” Even though there is a rapid decline in “connect rates” at the beginning, there is a leveling off after the sixth dial.

Sales Call Organization

How many sales calls should you have your sales reps make on each prospective client? According to InsightSquared’s data the number of sales calls a rep makes to a particular client is “dependent upon your lead flow.” If your reps are working with an abundance of new leads then first contact calls should be the focus. Conversely, if the lead flow slows or is absent for the time being then representatives should spend the majority of their time trying to connect with old leads they have yet to contact.