Tag Archives: marketing

Blogs Written at a 5th Grade Reading Level are Better?

9 Apr


Surprisingly, blogs (or any of your marketing materials) that are written at lower grade reading levels typically get the most attention. I’m failing. My last three blogs were written at 8th, 9th and 9th grade reading levels. This article is written at an 8th grade level. I’m striving for a 7th grade reading level.

The Wall Street Journal is written at an 8th grade level. My local paper, the Star Tribune (and probably most newspapers), is written at a 5th grade level. Hemingway wrote at a 4th grade reading level and Leo Tolstoy wrote at a 7th grade level. The Affordable Care Act is written at a college reading level! 

4 reasons why I think blogs written at lower levels succeed:

1. Your entire audience can’t read at a 7th grade reading level. 

There’s a book called What Makes a Book Readable that cites:

  • 1/3 of adults read at a 2nd-6th grade reading level
  • 1/3 of adults read at a 7th-12th grade reading level
  • 1/3 of adults read at college levels

If you write at a lower level, everyone obviously has a better chance at being able to understand it.


2. Even the smart people need new material dumbed down a bit.

Learning Solutions magazine says that we forget 50% of what we learn within an hour. The more complicated, the more likely we are to forget. Humans require immediate comprehension of the material to increase our chances of retaining the information; when reading an article, we are often reading about topics that we don’t know a lot about.

3333. We want it quick and fast. 

In the internet age, things get skimmed, not read. The most popular blogs are one of two types: Lists and How-to’s. The most attention any of my 100+ blogs have ever received was a recent post I did on the Top 50 Largest LinkedIn Groups (Largest Groups on LinkedIn). Lists are simple – and how-to’s tend to be quick lessons that can immediately be applied. It has been found that on screens, we read faster and consequently, understand less.

44444. Reading has changed.

With the younger generation clamoring to YouTube and Facebook for “news” and information – and communicating through short texts and emojis, the demographics have shifted to suit our shorter attention spans. As a writer or blogger, you should embrace this change versus fighting it. If you want to write the next Moby Dick, go for it! But recognize that half of your audience CANNOT comprehend it (granted, it is probably much better material than your average blog).

What is the ideal grade level for your writing? 

The answer is dependent upon your audience, but my overall point of this blog is that it is probably a few grades lower than what you think. A few suggestions for “improving” your score include keeping your paragraphs and sentences short, avoiding complicated and unnecessary words and breaking up your content. And a few pictures and bulleted lists go a long way in keeping the reader’s attention.

There is a measurement called the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Reading Formula to determine the level of any piece of writing. It was first published in 1948 and it relies on the structure of the English language taking sentence and word length into consideration in order to determine readability.

How to figure out the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level:

  • If you are a user of Microsoft Word, go to the Review option at the top of the screen and Check Document.
  • This will give corrections (like spelling, as you probably know) and other refinements; after running through those, the Readability Statistics window will pop up.
  • Listed are the word counts and averages as well as the readability score which shows the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of your document. This will pop up after you run through the suggested corrections and refinements.
  • If you aren’t a Word user, you can also go to this site to measure the documents readability: https://readable.com/
  • Here is another site for editing lengthy and complex sentences: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/
  • Lastly, there are a few other formulas if you’d like to try them out: the Gunning-Fog Score, the Coleman-Liau Index and the Dale-Chall Formula.


Now, my title is a bit deceiving… I don’t think 5th grade level blogs are “better”. But if our end goal is to garner attention and educate, we need to be thinking of our audience and cater to them. I personally need to do a better job of making it easier to read my material. It’s not about dumbing it down but rather making your point clearer and more concise.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew Schmitz




The 50* Largest Groups on LinkedIn

26 Feb


Over the past month, I’ve been trying to find a way to cull a list of the largest groups by searching on LinkedIn and the web… apparently, it’s not that easy. There hasn’t been an updated list (that I can find) since 2017, so I’ve assembled the 50 LinkedIn groups below and would like to share them with you. There is an asterisk next to my title as it required a lot of inefficient hunting and pecking, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve missed a group or two or three that tops 300,000. If you know of one, please make a comment (or email me) and I’ll get this updated!

Please see my blog series on the LinkedIn topic at: blueoctopusllc.wordpress.com. I go into further details about selling, recruiting, job seeking, groups and recommendations.

There are many groups that have 200,000-300,000 members but the list below contains all that currently surpass 300,000 (note you can click name to link to any of the groups listed):

  1. SocialMediopolis.com (1.9 Million members)
  2. Software & Technology Professionals (1.8 Million)
  3. Digital Marketing (1.2 Million)
  4. Harvard Business Review (1.1 Million)
  5. Linked: HR (969K)
  6. Finance Club (900K)
  7. Forum VAGAS.com  (894K)
  8. The Project Manager Network (865K)
  9. The Recruiter.com Network (833K)
  10. Marketing CMO Social Media Business Digital (743K)
  11. Dubai Recruitment (715K)
  12. Marketing Communications (700K)
  13. On Startups (638K)
  14. Telecoms Professionals (599K)
  15. Media & Marketing Professionals Worldwide (582K)
  16. Lean Six Sigma (572K)
  17. Pete Asmus’ Real Estate Networking (565K)
  18. The Recruitment Network (543K)
  19. Sales, Marketing, Social Media, Advertising and Technology (542K)
  20. Future Trends (534K)
  21. Retail Industry Professionals Group (525K)
  22. Engineering Jobs Worldwide (515K)
  23. Banking Careers (504K)
  24. Finance Plus: Private Equity Venture Capital and M&A News (481K)
  25. Consultants Network (468K)
  26. Digital Marketing: Social Media, Search, Mobile & more (464K)
  27. Cloud Computing, SaaS & Virtualization (460K)
  28. Oil & Energy Recruitment (453K)
  29. Oil & Gas People (445K)
  30. Hub.Careers (423K)
  31. Cloud Computing (410K)
  32. Information Security Community (399K)
  33. Event Planning & Event Management (379K)
  34. Project Manager Community (379K)
  35. Procurement Professionals (374K)
  36. MarTech Advisor BD Guild (368K)
  37. Vagas & Jobs (368K)
  38. Pharmaceutical Jobs (351K)
  39. SAP Community (351K)
  40. Big Data and Analytics (348K)
  41. Executive Suite (333K)
  42. Java Developers (326K)
  43. Information Technology, FinTech, Blockchain and Bitcoin (326K)
  44. Oil & Gas Industry Professionals (316K)
  45. Marketing Pros – Largest Marketers Group (312K)
  46. Sales Best Practices (310K)
  47. Sales Management Executives (310K)
  48. Business Development – the Missing Link (309K)
  49. International Export Group (307K)
  50. .NET Developers (302K)

thumbsblogWho did I miss? Let me know!

If you enjoyed the post and are a LinkedIn user, please do me a HUGE favor – click on this link to the Pulse article and reshare or give it the thumbs up icon: LinkedIn Pulse article Thank you!

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew





#linkedingroups #largestlinkedingroups #linkedinrecruiting #linkedinsales #sales

The Dog Days of August

31 Jul


How was your summer? Nope, it’s not over, but it is getting closer to Labor Day…

When it comes to my business cycle, August is always similar to the January turn at the beginning of the year. It’s still a bit slow – but we all know a busy season is approaching us. Given the Blue Octopus’ pipeline, it may be the busiest fall/winter yet! So… I can stall a few more weeks – or get “back on the horse” and prepare as if I’ll have no time September through December.

An August To-Do List:

  1. Email, Paperwork, etc. Are your files in order? If you don’t clean out that inbox this month, you are going to find July emails at the bottom of your inbox in January! Delete ’em, refer them onto someone else, file them away or take action.
  2. Finances. Personally and professionally, where is the cash flow going to fall for the rest of 2018? Match this up with the planning that I suggest below in #8.
  3. Networking. I vacationed twice in June and July and my networking plummeted. I have a lunch, three meetings and a networking event set for the first half of August. I’m shooting for at least 12 of these in August before I start getting comfortable.
  4. Marketing. I have a nearly finished second sales management book that I’ve been sitting on since April. It’s time to finish proofing and editing so I have a prayer of getting it out this fall. Partnering with Elite Holding Co., I also released a YouTube video last month (https://youtu.be/jkMq-HS-iZM)… and we need to get two more done this month.
  5. Sales. Not everyone is working hard this month, but those that are in the office aren’t getting as many emails and phone calls. This is a great month to keep the sales push going. Catch them now and you probably double your chance at a meeting with them in September.
  6. Old Connections. A different bent on sales & marketing is simply dropping an email to those that you haven’t talked to in the last few months. My best clients and referrers are practically friends. Don’t forget to proactively reach out to them regularly (and ask in return if there is anything you can do for them).
  7. Management. My personal responsibilities are to my recruiting team. I’m the salesman and they do the bulk of the recruiting and screening work. It’s time for a simple 2-way review. I certainly evaluate their performance but a one-on-one with each of them is important to make sure (a) Are we on the same page? (b) How is your boss doing? (c) What do you need in order to hit our numbers the rest of the year? This one hour interaction goes a long way towards better retention of your employees.
  8. Planning (and Thinking). It might sound stupid, but this could be your last chance to really think before the boss, clients, spouse and kids start dictating most of your schedule. Lay out your year and 4Q goals. Are they still achievable? What actions need to take place?

People are generally happier in the summertime (particularly here in Minnesota), so it’s a better time to catch them on a good day and bend their ear.

Don’t let your August blow away without some serious planning as well as taking action on that plan. What are you going to accomplish before Labor Day??

It’s time to grow faster.

Drew Schmitz



How to NOT Sound Like a Salesperson

16 May


Before you meet a prospect, or even speak to them, you are probably trying to catch them via email or LinkedIn (or in some type of written format). You may get lucky reaching the decision maker through a call or knock on their door – but usually it’s not that easy if you have any type of complex solution.

Here are two examples of how I was approached by salespeople this week:

#1) Hey Drew! I’m curious – how long have you been a coach and who is your target audience? I ask because I see Business Coaches being incredibly successful here on LinkedIn in terms of finding new clients and winning new business. The key is replicating the real life, 1-on-1 relationship building you do with prospective clients here on LinkedIn. (I have a whole system I teach on how this works and the Business Coaches I’ve shown it to have had great success.) Happy to share some free tips and strategies if you’re interested. I can send over some free resources. And if you’re not interested, no worries at all. Joe.


  • He started with a question.


  • He starts out with “Hey” (too casual) and an exclamation point. Salespeople shouldn’t use !’s in an opener. It’s salesy.
  • The question is followed by a bunch of “blah, blah and blah” (too long).
  • Joe tells me in detail, his opinion of why he’s awesome.
  • There’s no call to action at the close.

#2) Drew! I am doing a giving experiment… What’s a challenge or question you’re facing right now related to Facebook Ads or acquiring more users for your SaaS company? My agency helps numerous SaaS companies to dramatically increase user acquisition with Facebook Ads. How can someone like me help you? I would love to help solve your challenges. Be in touch, Aaron

  • It’s short enough that I read it all the way through upon receiving it.
  • There is a promise that Aaron may reach out again… but it’s still not necessarily a call to action.
  • EEEEEEK – exclamation point.
  • “Doing a giving” is a weird start and I had to take the time re-read it to understand his message.
  • I’m not a SaaS company.
Email Tips:
  1. Keep them short and sweet. Greeting, 2-3 sentences, a call to action and signature.
  2. Make sure your messages are clear so an 8th grader can understand it (the Star Tribune is written at a 5th grade reading level and the Wall Street Journal at an 8th grade level).
  3. Make sure you understand your prospect’s company and role.
  4. Don’t use exclamation points when prospecting.
  5. Ideally, get an introduction – or approach them with some commonality through LinkedIn. Now it’s a WARM lead which tremendously increases your odds of a response.

Note that I generally love exclamation points! I literally remove a couple of them every time I re-read a message before sending – as I typically have 3-4 of them. It makes us sound dumber and too familiar to a stranger. I use them with my internal employees and long-term clients, but not my prospects.

Whatever you say, keep it short and sweet – or they may not even read it. If you’ve established them as a strong prospect, follow-up 5-6 times afterwards (emails or phone calls). Persistence often pays off.

Good Luck! ~Drew



11 Ideas for Generating Leads

6 Feb

Leads Week 2

I’m following up on my last blog “Generating Leads” (http://bit.ly/2nOpCSt) where I lamented the constant struggle of small businesses in finding enough balance to be able to focus on the top of the sales pipeline.

I asked the question – Who inside your business will be selling on Monday morning and is focused on lead generation?” Lead gen is MUCH more effective if your customer service/operations and sales & marketing functions are divided. With that in place, we can tackle some of the following actions…

11 Ideas for Developing More Sales Opportunities:

  • Referrals. The best lead is one referred by a client. Offer an incentive discount program for these. You should be asking every happy client for referrals on somewhat of a regular basis.
  • Affiliate Programs. Are there others in your industry that can introduce leads in return for a small percentage of the sale?
  • Testimonials & Reviews. These are crucial and can be shared on your website as well as various places on-line; they will generate exponentially more leads than any brochure about your company.
  • Understand SEO. Whether it’s organic or through a Google Adword campaign, this is no longer an option but a necessity. The success behind search engine optimization lies in understanding the keywords pertinent to your company (and your customers). They are the words that you should be repeating over and over and over again online. This should be the #1 focus on your existing website (as well as most of your online content). Check out this great video specific to Google Adwords: http://bit.ly/2E6ky2S.
  • Write a Blog! Who is the best writer on your staff? Using topics relevant to your customers, what stories do you have to share? Consider guest blogging on other sites – or pay an industry expert to promote your company through their blog.
  • Offer Free Education. What do your potential customers want to learn in 2018? Create a video, a presentation or offer a free consultation. Videos are cost effective and can be shared online through your website, YouTube and countless other platforms. Use Slideshare to broadcast a presentation. Consider sharing the information through a series of emails.
  • Be Effective on Mobile Devices. More than half of your visitors are probably viewing your online content from their smart phone, so be certain it is compatible with mobile browsing.
  • Collect Info. Be sure you are gathering information on prospects who are visiting your site. Offer a quiz or white paper for signing up. Add pop-ups to capture their attention and increase the probability of them sharing their name and email address.
  • Social Media Mining. Uncover and interact with prospects on various social media platforms. Twitter, Facebook and many other sites offer a wealth of information in regards to topics and trends being discussed surrounding your business solution. These also provide an ability to interact with others discussing that content. Go back to your keywords under SEO and you’ll quickly be on the right track to drumming up leads through mining.
  • Public Relations. Share a feel-good story for potentially free PR. It takes a special story if it gets picked up by others – but give it an hour of brainstorming and you might have a great experience to share that is right underneath your nose. Start a pro bono program – or community service project and you have the start of a PR story.
  • Industry Conferences. Attend one either as a displayed vendor or attendee as these are great opportunities for helping you zero in on your best prospects. You’ll likely return to the office with a stack of warm leads.

You can’t do all of the above immediately… but you need to do more if the top of your sales funnel is light. The beginning is focusing on some new methods and brainstorming the best way to implement. It requires some time, but probably not as much as you think. Then you’ll have to answer the next question – WHO is going to follow up on all of these leads? That will be a more exciting challenge!

I’d love to hear from you on some of your successful lead generation programs. Each of my bullets could probably be a blog unto itself… so drop me an email if there is one that you’d like to learn about in more detail.

It’s time to grow faster.

If interested in a complimentary copy of my eBook, Sales Neutrinos, please let me know.

8 Ways to Warm up Cold Calls

3 Dec


Baby it’s cold outside… First off, I will suggest that seasoned salespeople probably shouldn’t be making cold calls. I’m hoping you have developed an extensive list of past clients or prospects and you already know which 200 people to contact this month. Option two is that your marketing department and/or junior salesperson is generating leads for you. With that said – SOMEONE still probably has to make cold calls and I have some ideas for you.

8 Suggestions to WARM it Up!

1. Targeting. I rant about this on an ongoing basis. If you don’t have a focus, you are losing – so practice the art of targeting businesses that you can help most. Wouldn’t it be great to have a conversation starter as you are calling on 100 banks (or insert industry here) this week? After reading up on banking on a Monday, you’ll already have a lot of intel and understanding of their present needs.

2. Find their email address. Today, you will usually get a hold of prospects on the phone after an email conversation. You know the name of the person and their website (i.e. Drew Schmitz and blueoctopusllc.com). You can always guess “dschmitz@blueoctopusllc.com”, but in this instance, you’d be wrong. I usually Google the following:

  • “*@blueoctopusllc.com” to figure out the typical prefix for emails within a company.
  • You can also try Googling “Drew Schmitz” and “*@blueoctopusllc.com” to possibly find the specific person’s email address.

I’ve found over half of my prospects’ emails just using a search engine this way. The internet is loaded with surprising information and you will even bump into a few direct dial numbers online as well…

3. Get their direct phone number. If you call the front desk and ask for Joe Blow, you will get Joe’s voice mail about 95% of the time. If he/she is important, they already have multiple salespeople calling them every week and they don’t answer phone calls from people and phone numbers that they don’t already know. Get a referral (LinkedIn is a great tool for this), start with the email (you may get an auto-response with their phone number attached) or just ask the receptionist. If you get their direct line, the odds of them answering skyrocket.

4. Lie. There’s one place in my life where I blatantly lie and that’s when I’m trying to reach a prospect. Some of my favorite lines are “I’m calling him back”… “I lost her phone number”… or “I met him at a function last week”. When they ask for your name, tell them “Drew”. Drew who? “Schmitz”. Drew from where? “Blue LLC”. They’ll get tired and stop asking. If you are stern/direct with the receptionist, I’ve found them more likely to put you through because you sound important. These are the stupid games we need to play in sales in order to get decision makers on the line.

5. Control your voice. Keep in mind, they are hearing half of your words (at best), so vocal pitch, volume and rate (not too fast) are keys to piquing their interest. It’s something that can be practiced and perfected.

6. Memorize your script. Your call sounds natural. You are shooting for 5 things: (a) a clear/direct opener (b) it’s somehow personalized (c) they are targeted/chosen (d) the pitch or voice mail message is less than 30 seconds in length and (e) it ends with a question.

7. Use their name. Dale Carnegie once said “A person’s name is the sweetest sound“.

8. Get them to talk. How do you make this happen? If your call continues past the first minute, you are prepared with five good questions to ask. They automatically like you more when they are talking and you are attentively listening.

Here is what a good script sounds like:

“Hello Name, my name is Drew (no last name or company in order to save the precious opening seconds of the call) and I’m a sales recruiter with my own firm here in Minneapolis. We focus on filling sales positions for small and mid-size organizations throughout the country. Our recruitment and pricing approach is unique and we only focus on star talent. Have you worked with a recruiter in the past?”

If they respond positively, I’d roll into your questions. If he/she starts asking you questions, you probably have yourself a bona fide prospect.

On voice mails use a similar opener (but keep the entire message at 30 seconds) – then follow with “Please contact me at 612.234.2175; I’ll try you back again on Thursday afternoon if I don’t hear from you – again, it’s Drew at 612.234.2175. Have a great day!(“threaten” a call back, repeat your phone number, end it positive).

Try some variations on these scripts until you find what works best for you. Good luck!

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz

"M@il" button (blue)









Twitter: @drew_schmitz



A Free Social Media Dashboard

22 Jul


I wanted to share one format that can tremendously help your social media attack and overall lead generation ability in less time.

Blue Octopus’ secret to volume of social media activity and organically getting to the top of Google after four years of work is a composite dashboard. This is the covert ingredient to what many social media companies are doing for their customers besides outsourcing offshore to cheaper labor (which I’m not opposed to FYI). If you decide to hire a social media partner, be sure they know their stuff and can teach you tips on Google Analytics (many of them do!).

What is a social media dashboard?

  • It allows you to write one post or tweet and have it go out to several social media sites (I key in on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as they “own” 90% of the market).
  • Dashboards let you to schedule future posts (for the rest of the week… rest of the month)
  • And much more…

Here’s a list of 9 of your options: http://socialmediafuze.com/9-social-media-dashboards-to-manage-multiple-social-media-profiles/

I haven’t used all of them, but I have used several and I’ve returned to Hootsuite. I like it because the first five social media sites you link are free – and it’s as easy to navigate as any of them (don’t be fooled by the elaborate look). All I currently use it for is posting to multiple sites and writing future posts. It has a lot more features than that.

If not Hootsuite, just pick one and use it. In my opinion it’s like a sales CRM; any of them are better than not using one.

I apologize for the lack of blog entries this summer. It’s been crazy busy between work and play but I intend to get back to writing weekly sales blogs in August.

That’s your free tip for the day! If I can help in any way, please reach out.

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz





Twitter: @drew_schmitz

Sales Persistence

18 Mar
Now that we've eliminated all the possibilities... Let's get started!

Now that we’ve eliminated all the possibilities… Let’s get started!

I don’t want salespeople to be pests, but if prospects don’t remember or know who you are – they will not/can not buy from you. So give yourself a real shot and believe in the math. If someone is a target, then knock on their door many times until qualified. If things would happen by themselves, there would be no need for sales people.  The art of making thing happen and being persistent (in a non-intrusive manner) makes the difference.

If you “knock once” – you’ll succeed, on average, 1% of the time.

Knock thrice – you’ll close about 6% of those prospects.

Knock six times – you’ll dramatically increase your odds.


The National Sales Executive Association has conducted a survey on how many sales you can get depending on how many times you contact your prospects. Their statistics show that most sales are made from the 5th contact through the 12th contact.

Here is the data they compiled:

2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact

With these statistics in mind, structure the mix of your calls to maximize success. The first calls require 50 attempts to succeed while fourth contact calls require only 10 attempts to succeed. This is why you need to make your 10-20 sales calls every morning. This is why you need to follow-up your calls with emails. Your consistent follow-through will drive results.


How many times must a prospect see a marketing message to take them from a state of total apathy to purchase readiness? Following a year-long study, the researchers concluded that a marketing message must penetrate the mind of a prospect a total of 9 times before that prospect becomes a customer.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that for every three times you expose your prospect to your marketing message­ via ad, sign, monthly direct mail advertising, whatever  it gets missed or ignored two of those times. Hence, the marketing world came up with the “Rule of 27”. After all, people have more important things to do than pay attention to your marketing. So you’ve got to put out the good word about your company a total of 27 times in order to make at least nine impressions.

The first personality trait of the successful sales & marketing pro is patience. The second is persistence!

Make every day count!

~Drew Schmitz




Facebook: http://on.fb.me/131nqty

Twitter: @drew_schmitz

8 Tips for Getting Prospects to Listen to You

13 Mar


Do you want to be heard? Below are eight suggestions that will encourage your prospect to listen to you more attentively…

1. Be an active listener. The #1 way to get your prospect to listen to you is to first listen to them. See my post last week on listening tips. It’s not just hearing them, it’s about observing their non-verbals. If you are a great listener, they will return the favor.

2. Get them to like you. This may not be the “popular method”, but they buy from YOU first and your company and product second and third. Engage the prospect by making it personal. If they dive into business right away, then you can’t talk about the weather or upcoming football game; but the opening 2-4 minutes is usually ripe for you to make it personal. Somewhere in their life whether it’s work or play, they have a passion that makes them glow a bit. If you can figure that out, then you will also enjoy the sales process with that prospect a little more.

  • Find out about their hobbies
  • Look around their office
  • View their LinkedIn profile
  • Do some on-line research (See Sam Richter’s book Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling)
  • Simply ask the prospect what they did last weekend – or what they are doing over the upcoming weekend

3. Show them something. They don’t want to listen to you. They want to see something (men are twice as likely to be interested in seeing or getting their hands around “things”). If you have a product, bring it along so they can touch it. If you are selling a service, show them a few documents as you are pitching them.

4. Let them talk. Your job is to lead a path where they are allowed to talk. Be prepared for every meeting or phone call with 10+ questions. If you can, ask them all! Psychologists a lot smarter than me claim that they literally will like you more, if the person across the table is talking 2/3’s of the time.

5. Show them confidence. Prospects want to buy from someone with poise and self-assurance. If you appear confident (not cocky), you have something they might want. Hold your head high, walk with a purpose into the meeting room and maintain eye contact with your prospect (the rule of thumb is 2/3rds of the time). Your charisma causes them to like you which leads to liking your company and product or service that much more.

6. Be authentic. This theme comes through in my posts repeatedly. You don’t have to be “that” kind of salesperson – aggressive, funny and competetive. Be sincere. Be honest. Be yourself. The only push a salesperson has to make is asking the right questions so you don’t waste anyone’s time. I  let new prospects know this simply by saying the following at the beginning of a call or meeting: “Joan, I’m here to mainly ask a few questions for 30 minutes and understand your company and it’s challenges around business development. I don’t want to waste your time, so you can stop me at any point. If we uncover that my business is a fit for your needs, I’d obviously like to proceed with a follow-up meeting. If we cannot help you, I’ll be the first one to identify that and leave it at this single meeting today. Does that sound fair?” (now their head is nodding and I’m starting the YES Sales Process). Be a genuine, good person while the suit is on Monday through Friday and in the rest of your life. In turn, you will easily connect with certain individuals who will like you and buy millions of dollars worth of your products or services in the future.

7. Know your stuff. All of the above only works if you are actually selling a great product or service. If it’s average or even just “good”, the entire sales process gets more difficult. Assuming you are representing a great company and tangible or intangible product, you had better know it through and through. If you are a greenhorn in a new role, it’s time to take your work home with you for some extra study sessions – or it will take you longer to earn the big commissions. There is always someone smarter than you that can aid in your education process (young and old!). You should be asking someone at least one question every day. Study your competition, understand your target audience, read your industry’s web sites and periodicals, attend the trade shows – and thoroughly know your product or service and its strengths and weaknesses.

8. Be unique. I’m tired of the professional world within which we operate. It is a barrier for creative marketing and often a wall in really getting to know your customer. I double-dog dare you to be unique and take the risk of losing out on some prospects that just don’t resonate with you. Your authentic style along with a little panache will attract the right prospects. The others will likely be the difficult customers and/or the least profitable customers anyway. Be something that none of your competitors dare to be, do something wild and crazy to get their attention, or heck name your company the Purple Octopus! Whatever you do, be great at it and be one of a kind.

Make every day count~

Drew Schmitz




Facebook: http://on.fb.me/131nqty

Twitter: @drew_schmitz


7 Oct


A quick thought for a Monday…

Good to very good companies with big mouths are beating out great companies in America. It ties into who has the biggest sales & marketing budget and the size of their sales force; overall the most aggressive business development campaigns win.

  • Are Coca-Cola’s beverages the best on earth? No, they spend more than $4 billion annually on marketing.
  • Is Pfizer’s Viagra better than the other ED options? 🙂 Well maybe, but if you don’t believe it, they hammer you over the head with their $1.2 billion dollar budget.
  • Does McDonald’s make the best cheese burger? No, it’s a small and at best, very average little burger.  But McD’s spends an estimated $2.3 billion annually on marketing.
  • Is it that big buck the reason more of us to turn to Hartford Financial? Or is it the 175,000 salespeople they employ in America??

Yes, I’m mocking the big companies a bit, but I am envious. My point is you need to be LOUD to grow your sales today. This doesn’t mean you need an enormous budget, but you better figure out how to get the most out of your sales force and marketing dollars. How are they spending their time? Are you capitalizing on the cheaper avenues of social media, e-newsletters, and digital marketing strategy?

If your product or service is very good, I would encourage you to put less emphasis on being perfect – and more on sales and marketing.

You only need to be great to the niche you service.

Does everyone in that niche know that you exist? 

Grow – be a big mouth!

Make every day count!




Facebook: http://on.fb.me/131nqty

Twitter: @drew_schmitz