CRM Pumps Up Your Power of Persuasion

Jim stood there shaking his head back and forth saying, “I
know I had all the facts right. My proposal was completely logical. How could
they say no?”

I saw Teresa grit her teeth. She sat forward cupping Jim’s
face in her hands and told him, “They said no because there was no emotion in
your pitch.”

“I don’t get it,” he replied.

I wanted to blurt out, “That’s obvious,” but I held my

Teresa, consults on sales. She is outcome driven, pragmatic
and extremely knowledgeable about how to go from contact to contract.

She began again, “There was no emotion in your pitch. You made
the mistake of thinking that people buy things logically. Yes, you need to be
sure they have a problem you can solve, can pay you to do it and are willing to
see you. You got through that hurdle okay but overlooked the way decisions get
made. All decisions are made by a part of the brain called the amygdala.
Sometimes people call this older part of our shoulder top computer the lizard
brain. Even in the most analytical people this portion of the brain is relied
on to make decisions.”

Jim pulled away from her steady gaze and asked, “So what
could I have done to do this better?”

I couldn’t keep my self quiet any longer and leaped in with,
“You could have started using an integrated CRM system like I advised you to.
It would have allowed you to build a greater level of Trust more quickly and the
prospect would have been dealing with a friend he saw as an expert.”

Teresa harrumphed and rode over my comments, “I agree. A systematic
approach to gathering information about a prospect or client that includes an
easy way to maintain that contact via e-mail, phone and video conferencing is a
good idea. I recommend that Sales Contact Systems include a way to tap into and
capture and demonstrate these areas in addition to all the logical stuff:

  • Common interests These
    lead to ways to build a friendship. Friends, people we trust are always more
    persuasive than strangers. Who you know matters. What you know is important.
    But the single most important key to building a business is who trusts you. And
    trust begins trough shared experiences. Note them.

  • Expertise We
    grant authority and credibility to people that demonstrate a skill or knowledge
    we don’t have. We come to believe in them and their viewpoint. Our brains are
    wired that way. Record your demonstrations and observations about the prospect.

  • Consistency is
    the one thing you must deliver over everything else. It is a cornerstone of
    Trust and one of the most compelling reasons people have in making decisions.
    Look for consistency in your prospect and reactions to your consistent
    behavior. Record them.

Those are the three most powerful persuaders in getting the
If you don’t find common interests, demonstrate your expertise and show
yourself as consistent you will not get the contract.”

I noted, “A CRM system helps you keep track of all that data
especially when you are dealing with a lot of prospects. If it has good e-mail with
auto responders and video conferencing integrated it can be a real boost to showing
your expertise and consistency.”

Teresa capped that off by saying, “Look, if you play your
cards right you might get another shot at this. Try calling them up and saying
that you would like to have a candid discussion about why you didn’t get the
nod. You may still be in the running but not know it. Their budget may be on
hold or the project has been delayed for other reasons. Even if it was awarded
to someone else, you will be one of the few people that ever ask why and that
sometimes gets a referral you would never expect!”

Jerry Fletcher is a professional international speaker and marketing consultant to management.

CRM, The Great Pretender and a 600% Sales Increase

My wife got a call a while

She wasn’t home so it was

Later, after she picked up
her messages, she suggested that I listen to it as well.

 It’s obvious that the caller
was using contact management software. She recalled our visit to the home
development she represents and our interest in a particular model.

She asked how my wife’s new book is coming along (Susan is published by Simon & Schuster, New York)
and if I’ve been speaking in or out of town recently.

 Up until then it was a great
act. Then her chatty, friendly approach was revealed for what it actually is… a
charade, all form and no substance.

What turned a potential
partner into a pariah? How did she go from making points to being thrown out of
the league? How did she become the Great Pretender? Where did she go wrong?

Her mistake was talking
about my daughter Kelly as if she knew her and citing her upcoming Doctorate.
Unfortunately for her, Kelly became a PhD over two years ago.

One mistake can ruin all your hard work. That one simple error destroyed all the trust that
had been built up over a handwritten thank you and three letters. She had taken
good notes on our preferences and intimations, put them in the software and
then dutifully executed the planned actions. Someone had helped with
well-conceived letters that took advantage of both the information in the
system and the news at the project. But you’re only as good as the information
you use.

You can’t pretend and get away with it. You can and should record information about your
clients and prospects in a contact management database. You should use the
database to help you remember people and all the various and sundry things you
learn about them. Recording only what you really know is the best way to assure
long term precision.

Record data accurately…  for now and when you need it. She recorded a June Doctorate but not
the year. Instead of not commenting, she elected to fit an assumption into her
telephone script. Any comment about not being sure she had the timing right and
we might have given her the benefit of the doubt. But feigning knowledge from
inaccurate facts cost her us as prospects as well as the three other couples we
might have sent her way.

If you intend to keep track
of age and birthdays, record the month, day and year.  If you just want to send a greeting the
month/day is sufficient. The same goes for anniversaries and company openings
or whatever annual event you want to remember to help you build this

The beauty of the computer
is that it can help you remember. But it will only remember what you tell it.
Before you act on data, be sure it is accurate. That way leads to satisfaction.

True satisfaction increases sales and referrals. I came
across satisfaction research conducted by Xerox that illustrates the polarity
of feeling within any customer base. Customers rating their satisfaction at the
“1” level are not simply “dissatisfied,” they actively tell others not to
buy.  At the other end of the scale (the
5’s) sell for you.

In the middle customers are
indifferent.  Those rating satisfaction
at the level of “2”, “3” or “4” are completely blasé. They do not yet trust

Not surprisingly, there is a
tremendous difference between a “4” and “5” rating. People rating the
product/service as a “5” are 600 times more likely to purchase again and
to refer others. These are loyal, trusting customers.

Loyal customers will overlook errors on your part. They believe that you will always act in their best
interest. They will give you latitude if they have been consistently satisfied
over time.The right CRM system used properly can maintain a positive relationship. (Here’s a link to an integratedCRM for small businesses. It’s the best I’ve found.)

Great Pretenders fool only themselves.

Loyal customers are nobody’s fools.

 Jerry Fletcher, CEO of
Z-axis Marketing, Inc boosts successful business to the next level by combining
digital technology and proven marketing techniques that start where the
software stops.  

Learn more– Speaking:



CRM and a Grain of Sand

Little things mean a lot.

Take a single grain of sand.
It’s the most common element on earth. You can find it on every continent. And
not just along the shores. It is at the heart of each computer and just about
every permanent structure that serves mankind.

A single grain is virtually
invisible…unless it happens to be the mote in your eye.

In that case, that single
well-placed speck is the most important thing in your life. That tiny
messenger, by being in the right place, can demand all your attention. Nothing
else can get your undivided focus until you have removed it.

One small particle can
capture if not captivate you.

A handful can demonstrate
human nature.
Think back to the last time you scooped a handful of sand up and
poured it from hand to hand. Wander down memory lane to the beach and cupping
your hand to hold as many grains as possible. Remember what happened when you
squeezed it. Do you recall how it first squirted and then dribbled out between
your fingers and how much less there was when you again cupped your hand?

Customers and prospects,
family and friends, staff and employees are all like that handful of sand. The
harder you squeeze the less you have
. The more you put pressure on them the
more they stream away from you.

An open caring relationship
keeps more of them with you.

Can there ever be enough?
Each of you must make that decision. But the more there are, the greater the
risk of losing some through inattention and the vagaries of the winds of time.

Think about that picnic on
the beach when the breeze picked up. How about the first time you saw a sand
dune. Stop now and consider the number of grains that there were in that dune
you climbed. Imagine stacking them up to get someone’s attention. What do you
see in your mind’s eye? Do you see the dune or the grains? Your business, your
career and your life are like that. Each action, every statement as well as any
and all your behaviors add to the stack, grain on grain, until people see the
combined aspect.

That shifting, wind-sculpted
mass is your persona. It’s the face you present to the world, at once ever
changing and yet the same. It is your achievements taken together, which are

You, your career and your
company are the sum total of your deeds and those of the folks you draw around

You can choose to be a mild
irritation blown helter skelter by each passing breeze or you can add a little
water, some lime and cement and have mortar.

Mortar. With it you can lay
brick on brick and build strong and straight and tall. Suddenly the world sees
you differently. You’re no longer a drifter. You’ve settled. You’re going to
make something of this choice you’ve made.

But be wary. You must mix
well to make sure the edifice stands. Too little sand or too much and the hold
on the bricks crumbles. Better perhaps to add some chunks of rock to the mix
and fill a form with the amazing material the Romans discovered and named. We
call it concrete.

It is a reasonable symbol of
how a business or a career or a life can be built that will last. One of the
Roman’s aqueducts still carries water to Rome
centuries after it was built. It was conceived by engineers and constructed by
men proud of their craft. It was a joint effort. No single individual could
claim all the credit. Yes, some took more risks than others but all
acknowledged it was a group effort.

They, like we, were and are
interdependent. Today that interdependence is becoming global. The World Wide
Web is allowing more of us to be swept along together than ever before. The
grains are accreting.

Some are trying to squeeze
profits from them. Others see only the encroaching dunes. This Age of Access is
still in flux. Nothing, as yet, is cast in concrete.

Only the sands of time will

Contacts, like grains of
sand, add up.
Talk to an expert in contact management about building your
business or learn more from his CRM blog posts for small businesses. Here’s a link to the best integrated small business CRM I’ve found.

Jerry Fletcher, the Portland based master of connecting businesses
to the next level can be reached at Z-axis Marketing, Inc. at 800-533-2893 or
via e-mail at

Learn more about him at:

CRM and the People Out There

Jim asked me, “How do you
decide who to put in your CRM system and who to leave out?”

I responded, “Good question.
There are a lot of people out there and not all of them are going to be
customers or clients or patients.

The first thing you have to
decide is how you are going to use the system. The options are:

  • Personal Only
  • Personal and Business
  • Business Only

BUT given the way you can
sort and tag things on current systems if you are a solopreneur you may want to
opt for both Personal and Business. Make sure you can move folks from one category to another.

Here are the identifiers I

we don’t know at all. If you drew a circle about 24,000 miles in circumference
it would be filled with all the people of the earth. Most would be in this

that you think are potentially clients or customers because they meet a
demographic or psychographic description. If you were buying a mail or email
list you would select them from this group

people that we have actually met and had a chance to evaluate. You have at
least some of their contact data. It could be their name and e-mail from a blog
sign up or information from their card. You have information from them. If
they agree (opt in) you can contact them for business purposes

people that we have met with and have formed a relationship (or the beginnings
of one) with. Not all of these people will be customers. Some will be referral
sources. Some will be trusted advisors you send folks to. Some will simply be
people you enjoy knowing and exchanging views with. Make sure they want to hear from you.

people that have a problem we can solve, the money to pay us to solve it and
are willing to talk to us. Read that
People that have a
problem we can solve, the money to pay us to solve it and are willing to talk
to us. 

CRM systems have all kinds
of terms for this group. Those that are sales oriented call them leads and try
to classify them by size or time to sale. Regardless of how they are classified,
you still have to talk to them and get the business. Be sure they want to talk to you before initiating multiple contacts.

the folks that have asked us to help them and are paying us to do so. In my
view, they are clients for life whether they are paying me currently or not. By
treating them that way, I continue to garner their referrals.

You need to base your
business development plans on direct relationships. Part of that is using your
CRM system to identify your best referral sources. Another is identifying the Centers
of Influence to help you find approachable individuals.

Stay tuned for those helpful
hints and pass this blog on to those you believe might profit from my
experience.” Here’s a connection to the best integrated small business CRM I’ve found.

Contacts to be
identified and approached properly. Talk to an expert in contact management
about building your business.

Jerry Fletcher, the Portland
based master of connecting businesses to the next level can be reached at Z-axis
Marketing, Inc. at 800-533-2893 or via e-mail at His websites– Speaking:  Consulting:




Seven ways using contact management can help solve the puzzle of building your business.

Tim scowled and said, “I
concede that a CRM system has better recall than I do and it can make up for my
inefficiency in that department but what can it really do to help me build my

Tim, like a lot of folks has
the “Yeah buts”—an affliction that can only be remedied by seeing a bigger
picture of what Contact Relationship Management can do.

I told him there are at
least 7 things he probably had not considered:

  1. 1.      You can more easily network yourself with other
    companies in your industry. That way you can find partners to handle a portion
    of the business you can’t either locally, regionally or nationally. You can use
    your contact manager to keep you top of mind with them and to sort out which
    partners are the best to work with.

2.      It will help you stay top of mind with the customers
you want to keep. Make sure they’re contacted every four weeks at a minimum.

3.      Use the data you generate to find a more profitable
niche. Take a long look at your client base and the industries in the area to
focus on a specific market that will allow you to dodge some of the intense
competition by finding a profitable niche you can command with your expertise
or selection or even your location.

4.      You will have more time to be creative. Good contact management
software saves bundles of time. Put it to good use by being creative in how you
pursue additional business.

5.      With it you can get every member of the organization
involved in maintaining and building business. Network your contact management
system. Encourage employees to add to it.

6.      You can double your new business “hit rate.”  When you finish any action with a client or
prospect record what happened and then:

  • Decide what your
    next action will be.
  • Determine when
    you should take it.
  • Note it in your
  • And when it
    comes up, do it.

7.      You will be able to build and track a network of
other product and service providers that you can trust. Pick individuals and
companies that provide what your prospects and clients want and need that you
can’t provide. The more trusted you are by your customers the more often they
will turn to you for this kind of advice.

Tim grinned in that sheepish
way he has and said, “Okay, you win, I’ll sign up for a CRM system…but only if
you agree to help me learn how to put it to good use.”

“Read the articles on my blog like Checklist for Networking to New Business,” I said. “And let me know what questions you

Here’s a link to the best Solopreneur and small business CRM I’ve found. Learn more about Jerry Fletcher:




What You Can Do About Business Administrivia.

I turned to Laura and blurted, “It’s Administrivia.”

 “You can say that again,” she sneered, “It’s admin and it’s
trivia and I agree we should not even deal with it!”

  That’s when I threw my hands up and told her, “Hold on. Just
because it doesn’t produce revenue directly you can’t just walk away from it.
You’re always complaining about not having enough time to get things done. Part
of the reason is that you don’t manage the administrivia and more importantly
you have no idea of how you’re spending your time.

“What?” She questioned.

“You’re a consultant,” I continued. “Basically you bill
people for the time you spend working on their problems. No. Don’t tell me you’re
on retainer. I know that. The question is, are you earning it and more
importantly, are you spending your time profitably?

If you don’t monitor your time you don’t have a clue about
how much you’re wasting. And when you have employees it gets worse.

Are you willing to try something?

Download a form from my consulting website and fill it in as
you go through your day. All you have to do is enter the activity or client
name, the hours you were doing it (in quarter-hour increments) and note the
totals by type at the end of the day.

I combine this data gathering with my paper calendar which I
print out each Sunday for the following week and have for over 20 years.

This form was put together because so many of my clients and
prospects have asked me for a recommendation for time keeping software. This
simple paper form used for a month will establish the habit for you and the
habit of keeping track of your time is more important than any software.”

“Yeah, but what about the administrivia?” Laura asked.

I told her, “It will never go away but now you will know
when you have too much of it. Try the time keeper worksheet for a month. It can change your life.

Consider, too, using Contact Management Software linked to email marketing to simplify the process of going from contacts to contracts.

Learn more about Jerry Fletcher:



The 3 R’s of Contact Management

Peter called a week before I
was to speak at a technology conference.

He apologized saying, “I won’t
be able to attend but I really wished I could hear what you have to say because
my company is about to upgrade our computers. I made some software decisions and
I’m dreading the people problems.”

  I was the only non-technical
speaker at the event. They asked me to talk about the human aspects of Contact
Management. I don’t claim to be an expert on the hardware or software. My
expertise is the wetware…the gold standard of computing that each of us carries
around on our shoulders.

Here’s what I told him:

Using Contact Management Software:

  • Enhances your
  • Assures that
    you’ll be REMEMBERED
  • Makes your
    business RAMP UP

Recall. The
wetware, your brain, is unique. It learns continually, has “common sense” and
can figure out novel solutions to problems. It is, in a word, creative. But it
has its limitations, not the least of which is memory problems. Retrieval is
difficult and sometimes even impossible.

A study conducted by Dr.
Ebbinghaus and reported by McGraw Hill showed that we forget 40% of what we
hear overnight. Within a month we recall less than 5%. Even if we care about
the information we forget at an alarming rate.

That’s why a firm with six
names on the door gets shortened to one or two. And why that detail that might
clinch the deal eludes you.

Contact Management
software can help you recall a wealth of details you automatically forget.
Today my Rolodex TM is covered with dust. My
computer can give me the information I want sorted the way I want it with
complete notes on each client and prospect from the first time we met right up to
today. And do it in less time than it takes to type this sentence.

To be remembered in a world that rains down thousands of messages a day you need to
manage your contacts so they don’t forget about you. It is absolutely critical
that you reach out and touch clients, prospects and even suspects regularly.

The effect of repeating a
message is a residual memory. If your message is repeated at the right time the
impact is additive. The residual memory of message 1 is added to by message 2
and so on slowly building to the point where the residual memory is

The question is how often do
you have to do it?

Hubert Zielske, an
advertising agency executive, conducted research that showed that the absolute
minimum is once every four weeks. You can make contact more often but I’d
recommend that only for short-term promotions.

The required activity is
difficult for an individual to accomplish with any paper system I know of (even
with just few hundred contacts) in the limited time it takes to do it with
Contact Management Software.

Ramping up your business is a natural outgrowth of good contact management.

Every business depends on
relationships. Small businesses need good ongoing relationships even more than

Who you know is important.
What you know matters. But the single most important thing for building a
business is who trusts you.

To get to trust you must
maintain contact
. And the wet ware
is not designed to assure that you stay top of mind with prospects. Contact
management software linked to a proactive email program can do it more
efficiently than any other process available.

Contact Management Software…it
can enhance your recall, get you remembered and ramp up our business.

Sign up for the blog and learn more
about the human aspects of CRM, Contact Relationship Management for small companies.

Learn more about Jerry Fletcher:

Consulting— Posted in Uncategorized

Does Your E-mail Deliver an IOU?

Gail was on her high horse again saying, “It’s bad enough
that some people send an e-mail between cubicles just 15 feet apart…you would
think they could make them readable!”

“One way we’ve found to make e-mail work in marketing is to
make sure every one delivers an IOU,” Rick chimed in.

 IOU Coupon

“IOU? “ I asked.

Rick replied, “It’s an easy test, anybody can do it. IOU
stands for the basics that have to be included in any e-mail that needs to
convince or persuade or sell.

I stands for interest. If your email is going to be read,
you have to get people’s interest. What
you say and how long it takes you to say it can vary all over the lot. The key
thing is you have to connect with the target’s problem or concern in a way that
is engaging. You can use a story or a quote, perhaps a reminder but to be
really successful you need o relate to the individual being addressed. A note
that is triggered by a birthday or anniversary always pulls people into your
message. A topic of concern will bring them to you.

The most important thing is to look at it from the viewpoint
of the addressee. Use what tantalizes them and descriptions anchored in their

Gail muttered, “Okay, okay that should be obvious.”

I agreed and then asked, “So what is the O for?”

O” Rick said, pausing dramatically, “Is for the Offer. It
is the incentive that makes people want to take action. It is what moves them
toward making a buy or clicking to your web site or signing up. It is what gets
them to do what you want them to do.”

“That reminds me of Tom, I ventured. Remember how he used to
say …and Free is pretty good price.”

“I could go on all day about offers,” Rick gushed but I
suppose you want to know what the U is for. Am I right”

“Yes, Oh Master of Direct, please tell us,” Gail mocked.

The U is for Urgency” Rick went on. If your message lacks a
sense of urgency it will not be acted on. For marketing you need to have an
end date on the offer. That generates urgency. Or you may only have a few of an
item left. That can generate urgency. Or, only the first swift responders
will be able to get the deal. That creates urgency. Limits of just about any
kind provide urgency.  So what I do with
every e-mail we put out there for clients is check to see if it delivers an
IOU. I make sure that it has Interest, an Offer and Urgency.

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