Aim High - But Don't Be Afraid to Fall
Scott Bidwell, President/COO
“ The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our goal" Michelangelo
This seemed to me to be a great quote to start off the year with, particularly during a time when economic conditions have created a climate of apprehension for both individuals and businesses. No doubt about it, when times are uncertain, it's natural to “hunker down” and apply a more conservative approach. Before we realize it, this sense of uncertainty starts to permeate everything we do, how we act – even how we think. Not only do we think twice about any money-related decisions, we start to second-guess whether we should tackle projects that, previously would've been no-brainers.
Are you finding this to be true for you, either personally or in business? On a professional level, I challenge you to raise the bar within your own organization. Set your sights high and establish benchmarks of success.
Here are some of the ASI's goals for 2010:
Release ASI Mobile 3.x for records centers.
Release Phase 1 of Veri-Shred for VCK-SQL within the first quarter.
Develop SQL version of Veri-Shred by year-end.
Host our most highly attended, successful Users Seminar to date.
Of course, these are in addition to continuing to tackle client requests for enhancements to our suite of software solutions, as well as provide responsive, expert support.
Will we achieve all the 2010 goals that we've put on the proverbial plate? I can tell you that we're giving it 110% everyday. We also know that what we learn along the way, individually and collectively, will be invaluable toward our future success.
For all of us, here's to setting the bar high, giving it our best efforts – and recognizing that we may NOT achieve every goal we set in 2010. Whether we hit the mark or fall short, we'll be all the better for it.
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VCK-SQL Upgrade Savings Extended
Many of our users have taken advantage of our VCK-SQL upgrade discount, giving them a credit of up to 100% of their investment in VCK to date. Because we realize the months leading up to the end of the year can be extremely busy, we're extending the offer a little while longer. While we cannot promise you'll receive a 100% credit, we can promise you that you will save on your upgrade and will soon be enjoying the additional functionality and features of VCK-SQL.
For more information on how you can initiate your VCK-SQL upgrade, contact an ASI Sales Representative via email or call 1- 800-807-2093 (within North America) or 440-546-9771 (outside North America).
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Users Seminar to be Held Sept. 14-16
In last month's newsletter, we noted the dates for this year's ASI Users Seminar. Did you mark your calendar? If you missed it, the Users Seminar will be held September 14-16 in Cleveland, Ohio. Scott, Tana and the team will be busily identifying key topics and educatonal sessions during the next few months. If there's a topic of special interest to you and your company, please take a minute to email us with your input for the Users Seminar. It will go a long way toward ensuring the ASI 2010 Users Seminar is a high-value event for you and your staff.
The Mad Scientist of Cold Calling
Geoffrey James, BNET.com
Well, not “mad” so much as “incredibly brilliant.” Dr. James Oldroyd (from the Korean business school SKK GSB ) is probably the world's greatest expert on the measurement of cold calling. He examined and analyzed the electronic logs of more than a million cold calls, made by thousands of sales professionals inside approximately 50 companies. I recently interviewed him for a feature article; here's an excerpt from our conversation:
GJ: What's been the most surprising discovery that's come from your research?
JO: The days and times that are most effective for qualifying a sales lead into a real prospect. Turns out that Thursday is the best day and is, statistically speaking, 19.1% better than Friday, which is the worst day. Research also showed that 8am to 9am and 4pm to 5pm are the best times to call to qualify a lead. In fact, 8am to 9am is 164% better than calling at 1pm to 2pm. That runs counter to the long-held belief that the best time to call is right after lunch.
GJ: How long do sales reps have to respond when somebody indicates an interest in a firm and its products?
JO: Not very long. You are 4 times more likely to successfully qualify a lead if you call within 5 minutes than if you call between 5 and 10 minutes. You are 21 times more likely to qualify a lead if you call within 5 minutes than if you wait for 30 minutes.
GJ: Is this true in B2B and B2C?
JO: In B2C, response speed is absolutely vital. In B2B, you still have reasonably good odds of qualifying a lead if you call within 20 minutes after interest is shown. After 20 minutes, however, the value of that lead quickly declines and if you want to qualify it, you'll need to make a lot of repeated phone calls. After 4 months, the lead is completely dead, at which point you should drop the calling and put that lead into the cheapest possible nurturing program.
GJ: Is that true of every industry and product category?
JO: Sales leads in the financial and healthcare industries response times remain “live” for up to 24 hours. Sales leads in communications and IT industries require much faster response times, while professional services industries land roughly in the middle.
GJ: How can I apply this research to sell more?
JO: Always give priority to your newest leads. If you have a lead that is two hours old and one that just came in, focus on the on the one that just came in. If you do the opposite, you'll always be fighting an uphill battle trying to reactivate leads that are already dead.
GJ: How can we find out what response patterns and strategies work best in a particular industry?
JO: While understanding general patterns is useful, every organization has a specific type of customer that behaves in a slightly different manner. If you want to optimize you need to measure what's actually working, which means tracking your leads throughout the pipeline and then drawing conclusions based upon the patterns that emerge.
NOTE: Dr. Oldroyd's original research is located at the Lead Response Management site .
You can find this article and more useful information on Geoffrey James' blog click here.
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