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Was reminded yesterday in our monthly entrepreneur forum meeting that I find myself talking a lot about the book Starts With Why. Thanks Ming Chan for making me feel self-conscious! Because of the deep level of detail and context it provides with how our culture works, it’s one of four required reading books when you get a job at mobileStorm. This book is one of the legs on a four legged chair that we sit on and work from every day.

I can’t help myself. I’m constantly scanning brands, campaigns, and products with the author’s premise in mind. His theory is “The Golden Circle,” which has 3 rings. The most successful companies and inspired leaders communicate from the inside out. They start with the middle — or the bullseye — and can articulate to the world why they are in business. The second ring is the how, and they can tell you how they do what they do. Finally, the third ring is communicating what you do. He goes on to say that everyone can tell you what they do, but few people can tell you why they do it. This is the part that struck a major chord with me. Every company sells people on what they do. By far, it’s the easiest thing to promote and talk about. When a company sells people on what they do, it’s almost always based upon three things:

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Tomorrow I am speaking at a Meet Up in Pasadena across from the Huntington Hospital, or in a building at the Hospital; I cannot tell. The topic is about how to succeed in marketing your startup to the healthcare industry, but I plan on talking about how to win in general.

I admit the start time is a little too early, but if you are creating a startup, or a startup focused on healthcare, you might want to join us. We can take espresso shots together. You can RSVP by going here.

Here are just a few things I plan on covering tomorrow:

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For the past decade I have been focused on a bunch of things, but besides selling, my top two priorities have been:

1. To develop a web-based software that companies can use to grow their business.
2. To create a very special company culture that makes mobileStorm a sought after place to work.

mobileStorm’s Core Team

My travel to India (still here actually), has allowed me to combine these two passions. I started mobileStorm, not because I thought mobile was going to be the next big thing (even though I knew it would be), but ultimately I didn’t want to work for anyone. I wanted freedom of choice. I cover “why” mobileStorm is in business, on our company page. At the end of the day, I wanted to hire I liked (not because I needed them), I wanted to focus my efforts on features I was passionate about (and thought companies would want to buy), and at the same time, I wanted to travel the world and learn about other cultures. Money is only the third reason people to go work somewhere. There is something much more important than money. I waited tables and delivered pizza for years to be able to enjoy the type of autonomy that comes with being your own boss. I knew if I just hung in there, eventually it would happen.

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I wanted to personally invite my readers to an awesome event we are hosting with Kony Solutions during the mHealth Summit in D.C. on Tuesday December 4th.

We are taking over the Cherry Blossom, a replica of a 19th century Victorian riverboat. We will have a complete open bar, dinner, and great music that will have you dancing for the entire trip. We will dock for the first hour and then start our journey around D.C. taking in the sights and enjoying each other’s company. The boat will dock directly behind the Gaylord for easy access to the event.

Spots are very limited so if you are going to come, please email getontheboat[at]mobilestorm.com as soon as possible.

Also I will be speaking on a great panel on Security, Communications and Location along with people from Locaid, qualcommn, and Cell Trust. I would love it if you could attend.

Looking forward to seeing you at mHealth Summit!

 

How to Protect Yourself From B Player EmployeesEverything is going great with your prospect. You think you have a potentially huge deal, and are way down the road on closing it — then bam; your prospect stops engaging and you get an email that they went in another direction. Or how about this; you have been working with your client on a huge upgrade, and the next thing you know they are going in a totally different direction and their reasons make no sense. You are blindsided because you thought everything was going to happen, but after a bit more thought you realize its because the decision makers had the wrong information.

Do any of these stories sound familiar? If you sell a product like software, you are probably nodding your head up and down right now; a few of you have whiplash. What you just experienced is the culmination of two things:

  1. Your failure to get to the decision maker.
  2. Your contact is a B or C player employee who held all of the cards.

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Here are the 5 common mistakes I see:5 Common Sales Mistakes

  1. Being unprepared: Too many times I have seen someone slap together a presentation the night before a meeting. They don’t do their homework with who they are meeting or how their prospect makes money. Going to linkedin and looking up the people you are meeting with goes a long way, especially when you realize that Sally has the same alma mater as you. I can’t imagine not going to the company’s website and learning about what kind of products they have, how they make money, and how my solution will fix their problems, but many people just show up and hope their charisma will get the deal done.
  2. Ignoring personality styles: There are 4 types of personalities. In the upper left hand quadrant you have analytics, in the bottom left you have amiables. In the upper right hand quadrant you have drives and in the bottom right you have expressives. You need to be able to know which personality type you prospect is in. For instance if they are an amiable, you don’t jump into your sales pitch, you might ask them if that is a picture of their kids on the desk and have a conversation about what their hobbies are. If you are talking to an  analytic, you need to state only the facts and don’t get to excited about your vision. You may consider jumping to a slide in your presentation that shows the facts and figures about what your solution will solve. When talking to a driver they don’t want to chit chat, they want you to get right down to what you are there for, what you are looking for and how you can help them. Keep it quick and to the point. However if you are with an expressive (that’s me) it’s more of an emotional sale. Talk about your vision for the company and the industry, excite me with other things about your organization that makes you different or unique, it doesn’t have to be all about the product. People who fail to match personality styles will never click as quickly as they need to.
  3. Ugly presentations: Analyticals aside, most people will care about the quality of your presentation. I might tell you the meeting is over if I see clip art from Microsoft word. The companies who spend time on all aspects of their companies brand are the ones who put more effort into their products. If you have recently read Steve Job’s autobiography you will know that Mark Markkula, the third co-founder of Apple told Steve early on that one of the most important principle’s to marketing was Impute. He goes on to say “People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.. ; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities”. You only have a chance to make a first impression once, so your presentation should blow people’s mind.
  4. Not inquisitive enough: Nothing is more annoying than when someone is pitching you, and it’s all about them, their products, and how they can help you. I always try to ask as many questions as possible. The customer will give you the key to how you can win the deal, you just need to ask enough questions and then shut up.
  5. Stand the *%$# out: Everyone is going to walk thru that door and compete on three things, pricing, features and service. The prospect will hear the same pitch just said three different ways. You have this knowledge so why don’t you do something about it? Why don’t you spend time talking about what truly sets you apart from everyone? At mobileStorm we celebrate freedom. I founded the company because I wanted to be free to do what I wanted to do. I have spent a long time trying to figure out what that means internally to my employees as well as externally to our customers. Internally I let employees manage their own schedules, wear what they want to wear to work, and make major decisions usually reserved for executives. For customers we make products that are dead simple to use; and we hope the time they save using our products, is more time that they get to spend with their friends and family. We also don’t require long term contracts; we let them decide how good our service is. So imagine if you are up against a company like mobileStorm who is selling something more than just an inexpensive, product with a lot of features, you have your work cut out for you if you want to win the deal. 

I’m honored to be delivering a presentation tomorrow on “Making Money with Mobile Coupons” during a Power Breakfast for EO Los Angeles.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching countless clients earn incredible revenue using SMS and mobile coupons over the past decade and I always love the opportunity to share our secrets for success (some of them at least).  It certainly helps having case studies like this one and this one to prove just how powerful mobile coupons can be.

My About.me Page

Digg!

I just launched my About.me page yesterday: http://about.me/jaredreitzin (Check it out and let me know what you think).

I think this is a pretty cool concept. I spent some time with Tony Conrad the founder at Summit Series, and he gave me some great advice on building a Board of Advisors. I need to get a cool picture like him where it takes over his whole page. Looks a lot nice than my sideways picture of me starring at dolphins (it was a nice day at the beach in the middle of winter though).

What I like about this site is just how simple it is to create a site that you can send someone to you that is a business card on steroids. You can link all all of your blogs, favorite links and social media presence for easy acces. Also the design is very pretty. They have this font I fell in love with (I know that sounds wrong, but a good font is hard to come by) called  ”Proxima Nova”. Its a bit like Helvetica.

Have I inspired you to create your own, or do you already have one? Please comment below.

 

Picture of Jared Reitzin's About.me Page

Wikipedia Logo

I woke up today pleasantly surprised that mobileStorm was on Wikipedia. It feels good to be recognized for all our hard work; and what a long road its been. Here’s to many more successful years storm troopers!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MobileStorm

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