Archives For marketing strategy

Are You Getting the Conversion Rates You Need At Lunch & Learn Marketing Events?

I just returned from the Gold Coast – Florida. Not only was our conversion rate strong, something bigger happened, with the potential to double our success!

(Thanks Eric Kiehn and the entire C&W Computers Team for hosting a wonderful event for small business leaders!)

Lunch & learn conversion is somewhat of a mystery. Some have it, some don’t. In a recent post I named three key factors – Asset Owner Audience, Speaker with Authority, and something meaningful to convert to (Like an Assessment).

NOTE: If you still don’t have my High Conversion Security Assessment Template, down load it right here!

But there’s something else – something you can easily add to your next event with the potential to 2X or 5X your results! Listen in on the video as I explain what we did…

© 2018, David  Stelzl

It’s not often that I get to Chicago and the weather is just right – low 70’s, low humidity, clear skys, and best of all, no traffic to or from the airport!  It’s been a productive week.  Some lessons from this week’s strategy meeting are in order…

1. It’s never about the product.  We spent two full days on strategy, only naming product in passing, or by accident.  Marketing strategy that builds on features and functions is destined to fail.

2. Synergy among the leadership is so important.  We had this, and it showed…Jim Collins is right (of course), when he says, “Get the right people on the bus, others off, and make sure everyone is in the right seat before getting started with strategy.

3. Most of the resellers are competing on the same items – this makes everyone look the same, reduces margin across the business, and pushes up the cost of doing business.  There is a better way – in fact we discovered several.

4. Many of the things vendors are pushing VARs to do with MDF are useless…again, there are better ways to spend marketing dollars, and I believe we found some that will change the course of business over the coming months.

5. A clear vision of where the company needs to go is essential – it is the filter that everything else gets measured by.  We started here, taking the time to come up with a clear, concrete, unified vision, and it paid off through the two days.

PS. Note the photo taken from my window seat…down town Chicago.


© 2012, David Stelzl

It’s my last day in Chicago, at least for this week (I’ll be back next week).  Last night when I returned to my room I looked at the front page of the Wall Street Journal – Headline, Meet the Meeting  Killers.  Keep in mind, I’ve just spent 8 hours meeting with a group of business leaders, discussing business and marketing strategy; everything from “who we are” to “what we need to become” as the tech market continues to evolve.  Unlike this article, which is the norm, our meeting was highly productive.  In fact, we didn’t have any of the problems highlighted in the picture to the left…why?  Here are some things we did to avoid problems:

  • The premeeting, meeting; First, I did take the time to talk with all of the participants before coming up here. I wanted to understand each person’s needs and goals for this meeting before having the meeting – this makes for an effective, highly focused meeting.
  • Our agenda is highly structured.  Not that we don’t have brainstorming and flexibility in our meeting – just the opposite.  But we have planned times to create and think outside the box in an organized way; we have a way to organize and consider ideas – and ways to stretch the imagination of each participant.
  • We have a facilitation process that works.  Rather than just talking, I use a process called The 6 Thinking Hats, developed by Dr. Debono.  Of all of the facilitation programs I have seen, this one really works.  I learned this method from a certified 6 Hats Trainer; I’ve also studied more than one book on the subject. If you want to run effective meetings, you need something to move people from spectator to involvement, but with order.  But you also need a way to draw out ideas from those who might not see themselves as creative.  You need positive perspective from the naysayer, and you need the optimist to consider the cautions.  You need a way of getting everyone in the group to consider things from many angles.  Debono refers to this as, “Lateral Thinking”.

By planning, structuring, and using a great facilitation tool, I believe the group would agree, we’ve accomplished in one day, what many groups take weeks to sort through.  And by the end of today, we’ll have a plan to execute on.

© 2012, David Stelzl

When I drive by a restaurant with a line coming out into the parking lot, I may not stop and wait, but it occurs to me at that moment that I should try it – perhaps on a less popular day.  The restaurant with no cars on Friday night at 7, is obviously not doing well – my assumption is the food must not be good.

I’ve been writing about marketing concepts over the past few days, as I prepare for today’s webinar on effective marketing and demand generation.  It’s on my mind because it’s important – selling is hard work, and where marketing is lacking, the selling is much harder.  They are clearly not the same thing.  Marketing is much bigger; it sets the stage for the seller – it considers the market, the timing, and the needs your company and its offerings will serve.  It’s the overall strategy that determines what you will go to market with, what people group you will serve, and how you will get their attention.  The line in the parking lot is one small indicator for me – the seats are full and I wish I had one of them.

Yesterday I commented on urgency.  Limited seating is one way to seem urgent.  It’s urgent that I get there early to get a seat.  But you can do more with limited seating to create a buzz.  I once heard a speaker talk about a doctor, years ago in London, establishing a practice. He had very few patients, but rather than opening up his schedule to the world, he limited his appointment times at first so that when people called in for an appointment, it was harder to get an appointment.  With only a few times available, patients had to wait for a time he would be free.  Word soon spread that he must be very busy since it is so difficult to get an appointment.  His limited seating capacity increased the value of each seat.  Before long, his schedule was overbooked – he had created demand for his services through limited seating.

Consider scheduling your week like this.  Plan days for office work at the start of the week, and block out certain times for meetings and client interaction.  Rather than telling clients, any time this week, offer two options with specific times.  When I have a choice of 40 hours to see you, suddenly I don’t know where I can fit you in.  But if my choice is Wednesday at 4 or Thursday morning at 9, I can see right away if one of those times works best.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Photo Taken on My Blackberry

Well, we completed the first phase of our marketing strategy yesterday, but more importantly, I was delighted to find that Winter Haven, FL, has some great pizza!  Who would have guessed…Not sure of the name of this place, but it’s right next to Arabella’s, another great place to eat if you enjoy Italian food (we did have dinner there).  This Pizza is slightly thicker than a traditional Brooklyn style pizza – more like you would find in Manhattan…cooked in a brick oven, a full size pizza (meaning their large pie is 18 inches unlike the 14 inch large at fast food pizza chains like Papa Johns and Domino’s), and the sauce and cheese are excellent.  I believe they make their own sauce, meatballs, and use fresh mozzarella.   The pizza folds like a real slice should, so that you can eat it without everything falling off.  I had pepperoni, sausage, ham, and meatballs on mine…Definitely give this a try if you are traveling through the area.

© 2011, David Stelzl

I have an idea!  There are seven things IT is doing to enable hackers… You know how?  Bold, unexpected statements cause the brain to ask, “How?” or “Why?”  The stronger the need to know the better.  A great presentation creates these “Knowledge Gaps” to draw the audience in.  One speaker I listen to calls this “Salting the Oats.” In his week long seminar he often says things like, “There are 3 purposes for money…which I will share with you tomorrow.”  Another favorite line, “While in school I went from D’s to A’s.  I found the secret to success…which I will be sharing with you on Friday.”  This keeps people’s interest for days!

All you need is 30 minutes or perhaps and hour, of which much of your time should be spent in discussion.  But take a look at your opening presentation.  Is it boring or does it create knowledge gaps?  One speaker I respect says, “We need something every ten minutes to keep the audience tuned in.”  I don’t know where his research comes from, but I can say I’ve sat through many predictable presentations.  Like another episode of Scooby-Dooby Doo…the outcome is known long before the presentation is over; it’s obvious.  There is no curiosity, no ah-ha moments, and nothing to keep me from reverting back to my Blackberry – the ultimate time filler.  Spend some time today reviewing what you present and see if you have knowledge gaps or where some might be injected into the program.

For more ideas on Mastering Board Room Presentations CLICK HERE!

© 2010, David Stelzl

I thought New Taxi’s were scary – I started day 4 with an over zealous cabby, working hard to get to his next fare.  Crossing the Sydney harbor bridge in rush hour traffic, he repeatedly tested his car’s 0 – 60 capability, only to be stopped every few meters in stand still traffic. (locals will have to translate this to km/hr – sorry).   That combined with my brains desire to enter traffic circles in a clockwise manner and hug the curb during a right hand turn are enough to give anyone a heart attack.

We spent the day working on value proposition messaging; everything from positioning and introductions to corporate presentation and the effective use of social networking tools.  A few debates on the value of complementary assessments, the timing on proposal delivery and strategies for moving past gate keepers, livened up our day.  (Not to mention debates on whether it’s better to live in Perth or the remote regions of Canberra).

In the evening I was hosted by the founder and managers of Earthwave, “The real-time threat management company” and leading MSSP in the Australian region.  Dining at one of Sydney’s more upscale after-work meeting places (The Establishment on George Street pictured above), we sampled sushi and talked business strategy.   I was extremely impressed with the level of sophistication they’ve brought to the MSSP business and excited to see their implementation of the “Making Money with Security” business practices  and how they’ve adopted the House & the Cloud sales strategies.

© 2010, David Stelzl