Your best hire is an entrepreneur—how this unique candidate creates value

Illustration: 2 bright light bulbs swinging on the left. 3 regular bulbs hanging straight down

Illustration: 2 bright light bulbs swinging on the left. 3 regular bulbs hanging straight down

Can entrepreneurs make great employees? Randy Skattum, Global Marketing Communications Director for Celanese – a Dallas-based, Fortune 500 diversified materials company – thinks so.

I sought Randy’s advice about integrating my entrepreneurial skills into a big company. Here’s what Randy had to say about my career pivot.

Eisaiah: Great to meet you, Randy. What has been your experience with entrepreneurship?

I started my career in strategic consulting. In that business, you have to be an entrepreneur. You are selling yourself as a solution to colleagues and clients.

Your intellectual capital is your product – your skills, your network, and your experience. You put that capital to work – and if successful – you continue to grow in your capabilities across projects and leverage your investments in yourself with new opportunities.

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Demo B2B chatbot connects micro-moments, converts leads

Two tape reels over molten lava with the gap going in between both – almost breaking. To illustrate "lead decay."

If you are a business to business (B2B) marketer, the chances are you have read Google’s research on micro-moments. You optimized your content for I-want-to-know moments. But are your salespeople arriving quickly enough when prospects want to talk to a human? This article is about closing time gaps between I-want-to-know­ and ­I-wanna-talk-to-a-human moments so you can convert more leads from your website.

Two tape reels over molten lava with the gap going in between both – almost breaking. To illustrate

Imagine 10 prospects are on your website right now. Each is typing her name, email, phone number and clicking ‘Contact me.’

Then what? iPhones will ding! Colleagues will knock on doors. By the end of the first hour, your sales people will people dial­. And 9 out of the 10 prospects will hit ‘reject call’ according to this study from InsideSales.com.

I have a term for this; I call it lead decay.

Lead decay operates in the time gaps between I-want-to-know and I-wanna-talk-to-a-human moments. If you could close these time gaps, you could have a major opportunity to stop lead decay and grow sales. That is what a chatbot can do; this article shows you how.

How a B2B chatbot helps a real human

Step with me into a parallel universe –

You work in marketing for SureCourse Business Solutions, and I am a project manager in the marketing department for a bank in Dallas. Here is how your chatbot helps my bank become a customer:

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What does Business Systemization mean to you?

Diagram showing business process maps to charts, people and documents

Somebody asked me this question yesterday. Here is my answer.

In the fall of 2015, I told the CEO of my company, Eric Januszko, that it was time for me to move from San Diego to Dallas.

“Not so fast,” he said.

I started the business and designed its sales, customer service and operations processes. I couldn’t just walk out the door without leaving behind a manual.

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What is lead decay?

Lead decay is not tooth decay
Lead decay can be prevented by closing the time gap at the beginning of the sales journey.

It was early May 2014 in San Diego. I stepped outside for some fresh air. The 77 degree Santa Ana winds carried a whiff of the wild fires from the east. I was having a moment with the earth. Then my iPhone went “blop blep.” I looked down. It was a message from LinkedIn.

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You’re not a consumer?

24-year-old me:
“This gold pixie dust face cleanser is great, but there’s just one problem.”

Skincare promoter at a mall outside of Vegas:
“What is that?”

24-year-old me:
“I am not a consumer. So, naturally I would not buy this.”

Skincare promoter at a mall outside of Vegas:
Animated GIF of a woman saying, "What the fuck?"

Dear Skincare Promoter, if you are reading this, I have had better quotes since then! Besides the emotional intelligence faux pas, the statement “I am not a consumer” is factually wrong. I am a consumer every time I make the simplest purchase like gas or a 1970s bamboo bracelet.

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How to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation? (R.A.D. technique)

Color Me Rad race - people in Pink
Color Me Rad has nothing to do with this but if it gets you to remember then great! Credit: “Color me Rad_111” by ludo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flikr.

LinkedIn recommendations are key to building your personal brand. Below is my R.A.D. technique to get LinkedIn recommendations. It uses the human universals of reciprocity and one.

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“The most important competitive differentiator in b-to-b is the customer experience,” –Megan Heuer, Vice President, Research of SiriusDecisions.

Filipino rock icon, Rico Blanco, during his album launch last November 9 at Teatrino, Greenhills.
Galactik Fiestamatik” by Miguel Santiago is licensed under CC BY 2.0

{Drop the mic. Exit stage left.} Megan Heuer’s quote says it all.

Yesterday, on May 26, 2016, SiriusDecisions presented a research report, “2016 B-to-B Customer Experience Study,” during its 2016 B2B Marketing Conference / Summit shared some areas for improvement for B2B Marketers. The finding I especially relate to is:

Aleksander Nowak and I experienced the need to provide post-sale support on the front lines of our reputation management company that we started in 2012. Alek and I had daily involvement in the sales, marketing, operations and support roles of the company. I personally responded to 200 to 400 support tickets per day for two years; the customers must be satisfied!

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An efficient writing process for Facebook Pages

Odyz Cards was an experiment run between August and November 2015 to answer the question: What is the most efficient way to author original content for Facebook? 

The concept was to divide the task of writing into three parts:

odyz post example
An example dividing the labor in the writing process.

STEP 1. Odyz Cards asks customers a daily question. The question can be delivered via SMS, email or a sponsored Facebook post (pictured above).

STEP 2. Customers answers the question casually, in their own voices.

STEP 3. Odyz Cards turns customers’ answers into complete Facebook posts.

Customers would get their first experience with the concept via #TellOdyz #Freebies, which were sponsored Facebook posts questions (pictured above). Once they signed up for the $99/mo program, daily questions were sent via text message. The final posts were published on customers’ Facebook pages.
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1 trick to increase B2B email response rates

Here is one trick that will immediately increase your response rates: make your emails look like they’re coming from a detail-oriented person.

These three elements will help you pull it off:

  1. Make the email come from the same IP of the email domain (this will eliminate “sent on behalf of” disclosure that many email programs make)
  2. Suggest a specific call to action, like an appointment
  3. Embed your compliance statements in the signature and footer.

When you incorporate these three elements into your emails, people will be much more likely to respond. Here is an example of an email that got an 8% company level response rate off a list of over 1,200 people at pharmaceutical companies:

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How much do your products cost?

One of the questions that B2B customers are typing into Google on mobile is, “how much do [YOUR BRAND] products cost?”

What kind of results are they getting back? Chances are, the answer to their question is buried in a PDF document or some desktop formatted page–not easily accessible on mobile.

Imagine what that B2B viewer is doing when ask search for how much your products cost. They are probably at an airport, in a meeting in between meetings. And they want an answer quickly. My preference is to tell them right in Google AdWords. This is a real-life AdWords campaign for Review Report Card.

Review Report Card AdWords Ad
Tell users how much your products cost in your ads.

If your pricing isn’t as simple as Review Report Card, you can write the ad to explain generally how your pricing works. Is it priced per user? Consumption volume? For example, if you’re a Software company, your ad might read, “Price starts at $50 / user / month. Call for more details.”

Notice the Call button right on the ad. This is the Click to Call Ad Extension in Google AdWords. It’s an absolute necessity for B2B marketers, especially if your products are best explained by a salesperson.

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