Masterful Marketing Aided By Pageview Journalists

As I read many of the Apple live blogs from the iPhone 5 announcement earlier this week I was suddenly aware that there’s something odd that goes on at these events.

These are supposed to be press events – where journalists report and objectively analyze news.

Yet the people attending (journalists) are hooting, hollering and clapping at the product announcements.


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Why I Love Consultants Who Turn Mobile Email Off When They Leave For The Day

I win business all the time just because I am the one who responded the quickest – and at almost any hour – to a prospect’s inquiry.

Note that SELDOM am I the smartest or with the largest company that the customer/prospect is speaking to.

I am dumbfounded how much “respond quickly and at all hours “ counts for in the world of email as a business development tool.

About 75% – 85% of my communication with customers and prospects is via email and I believe they prefer that because of my “respond quick and at all hours” theory of email.

Prospects that I’m describing are those willing to enroll in an ongoing access agreement with my firm – I am not blowing smoke by bragging about cheapskate fee sensitive prospects who email for free quick questions or want to pay you for 1/4 hour of your time.

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Can You Sell One Net New Name ERP Per Quarter?

Of the 22 consultants in my 90 Minds Consulting Group who replied to this survey – only one was confident that they could  sell one net new name of on premises ERP software every quarter.

We’re in the process of finding out who that one sale per quarter person is so we can vote them off the island congratulate them.

Accounting Today

Why 2012 Should Be Your Year of Being Local

Now is the time to call your support agreements something other than support  and make services other than help desk/ break-fix be the focus of those recurring plans. You are offering recurring agreements to customers, right?

For MAS90 we are largely over the complex upgrade hump so creating an “access agreement” where you:

– provide x on-site planning and strategy meetings – up to y product update installs – up to z version upgrades

This is our “special sauce” that will keep out most competitors who don’t have a local presence.

Continue reading “Why 2012 Should Be Your Year of Being Local”

Rob Johnson to Depart Sage for Avalara

I’ve been hearing for three weeks about possible changes at Sage however nobody was giving up any hints of who may have been leaving or what may have been changing.

Today I heard from two sources about one reported change.  Sage Senior Director, Channel Programs & Readiness Rob Johnson will supposedly depart the first week in September. According to those in the know Rob has accepted a position with sales tax automation and services provider Avalara as National Sales Manager.

Rob’s position as Sage was to work at the direction of  VP of  Channel Management  Tom Miller and prepare channel readiness programs – primarily in the form of sales training.

In addition to his speaking skills Rob is also the author of the book Kick Your Own Ass: The Will, Skill, and Drill of Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible. His Amazon bio describes him as:

 Robert Early Johnson is the head of all sales training for Sage North America, the leading supplier of business software for small and medium-sized businesses to over six million customers worldwide. He is Sage’s “front man” for transforming businesses and working to improve sales performance for Sage employees, partners, and customers worldwide. Previously, Johnson developed the Sage Sales Academy, an award-winning training program that has helped thousands of salespeople change the trajectory of their careers.

Rob’s departure follows additional recent departures this year – including the July 2011 departure of Laurie Schultz, SVP and GM, Mid-Market ERP Solutions, the May 2011  departure of Scott Zandbergen , VP Product Management, the April 2011 “retirement” of Sally Craig, VP Sales and the departure of CTO Motasim Najeeb.

It’s Just Common Courtesy

Dear Internet Visitor:

Yes, I got your email regarding your MAS90 accounting system.

I also received your voicemail. The submission you sent via my web site came in too.

Then when you sent an email to verify I got your web submission. That arrived as well.

I called you back within the hour. You immediately conferenced me into a room full of people – all full of bad things to say about your current “expensive” consultant.

I’m sorry to hear you selected an implementation partner who you feel doesn’t know anything. I’m sorry that you feel they were expensive and that they over-charged you – though quite honestly the $2,500 you were quoted to train 10 people on a full ERP system doesn’t sound that unrealistic – and it even seems downright cheap.

But I suspect you know that and you’ve already figured out you got what you paid for. Continue reading “It’s Just Common Courtesy”

My Heating Company Is Smarter Than Me

My heating guy is here. He’s looking at my furnace today.

The checkup is part of the annual maintenance plan. It doesn’t cost me anything.

The issues he found (which require repair) are probably going to run me $2,500. My zone heating has been putting out heat — but only to the first floor. And he spotted that the reason is that the control panel is fried.

Honestly, it’s bugged the crap out of me all winter long. Only one zone in my house would get heat. But since heat rises — it really wasn’t a problem – though I knew it would have to be fixed “someday”… Continue reading “My Heating Company Is Smarter Than Me”

Trifecta: EVP of Sales Paul Johnson Latest To Depart Sage North America

Sage has just announced their third Executive level departure in almost as many months.

UPDATED 12-20-2010 to include information on where Paul’s headed

As you may recall in October Jodi Uecker-Rust the President of Sage Business solutions departed to pursue other interests. Then in early December Sage North America CEO Sue Swenson announced her retirement at some unspecified time in 2011 to attend some college courses she’d always wanted to take and spend more time with her spouse. Continue reading “Trifecta: EVP of Sales Paul Johnson Latest To Depart Sage North America”

How’s Business For You?

Periodically I like to check with my 90Minds group to see how their business activity is going. I find that if I ask people who I don’t know well that I’m usually met with dull platitudes like “it’s great”.

Then the next year I can’t find the people at the Sage conference. Shortly after I usually hear that they’ve either sold their business or merged.

So I pretty much have stopped asking “hows business” to  people who I don’t know well. But I’m still pretty open to providing my feedback on the market. Below is my observation from the past six to nine months.

We are seeing great results from fixed pricing. Clients and orphans seem to have put off upgrades — some as long as 10 – 12 years — and are now looking to upgrade in conjunction with new Window 7 workstations, etc. If you haven’t picked up on fixed pricing – and you’re a Sage partner – sit in on Ed Kless’s group sessions.

Attend the classes like I did. Make fun of the concepts (like I did). Then implement them. You’ll be glad you did.


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5 Second Lesson: Secret To Consulting Success, Crushing Competitors, Lifelong Customers

There’s no shortage of consultants wanting a quick fix to to get their practice back on a growth path.

The common perception is that their software publisher is to blame. If only the publisher would restore margins to the same level/provide more leads/improve the product at the same rate / do more brand marketing / cut their meat for them, etc.

In a word there’s a whole crew of consultants  waiting in lawn chairs for the year 1988 to return — and their belief is that then the world would again rotate in a perfect spin.

The trouble is that it’s not 1988 – and it’s never going to be 1988 again. The old rules don’t apply. Even the new rules aren’t so perfect. Consultants who don’t grow and adapt die (actually they merge then die).

Turn the corner and there’s another social media expert, SEO (search engine optimization) king or a sales trainer who promises that if you attend their 5 day $ 3,500 course (with optional 7 year coaching plan) that they can return you to 1988.

Here’s some tough love.

The reason your business sucks is you.

You’re doing something wrong. It’s so simple that you’re going to ignore me when I tell you what it is.  And you’ll totally disbelieve me when I tell you it’s that one single flaw that’s leading to a stream of problems (clients leaving, prospects choosing other consultants).

What are you’re doing wrong?

Continue reading “5 Second Lesson: Secret To Consulting Success, Crushing Competitors, Lifelong Customers”