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Camarès Makes CIO Review’s Most Promising Workflow Providers 2021

Camarès as been acknowledged as one of just one of CIO Review’s twenty top workflow providers for 2021. The Camarès team has been working hard helping small and mid-sized businesses run more efficiently “from click to cash,” by leveraging the Zoho One platform to design custom workflows that increase revenue and optimize efficiency.

Through its work, Camarès realized that SMBs demand a different approach to workflows than those found at large enterprises, one that balances the need for data and discipline with the need for flexibility and innovation – that is at the heart of every small business. That’s why Camarès’ practice directors Deb Di Gregorio and Denise Maia spent hundreds of hours perfecting their SMB implementation framework. They call it Human Centric Automation. The framework has been proven over in dozens of successful implementations.

“For our clients, our Human Centric Automation framework results in workflows that deliver a rich, frictionless customer experience for their customers; facilitated employee experience that moves employees easily through workflows eliminating repetitive tasks and freeing employees to provide customers with higher value services; facilitates vendor interactions, and accurately captures just enough data to deliver ongoing actionable business insights to management,” says Di Gregorio, Camarès’ president.

Read the CIO Review Article and download Camarès Human Centric Automation white paper.

A Terrific Way to Explain What Your Company Sells

 Why saying “we can do it all” is not effective and one technique you can use to explain what you sell in an engaging and easy to understand. Use it and your services will sell themselves.

 A terrific engaging way to explain to people what your company does. When I ask business owners what their business do I often the same answer and that is, “we do everything, we do it all. We are accountants, we do all the accounting things you need A to Z”, “We are engineers, we can build anything”, and you know, engineers can because that´s how they’re trained. But, that’s like giving somebody a box and saying “here´s a beautiful box, figure out what’s inside” Rather than saying, “here’s a box, if you have bread and you put it inside the box and press the bottom, when it comes out it will be toast” Or “Here’s a box, and when you put your dirty laundry in the box and press the button, it comes out clean”. In this way you’re explaining to people what it is precisely that you do, and the truth is you don’t know what they’re thinking in their head, they could think this wonderful box makes toast or cleans laundry.

So, how do you solve the problem? Well, I ask the clients specifically what they do, and the next thing that happens is I get a really long list, it’s either spoken, conversation, or written. “Here’s the list” and it’s on the back of a spec sheet, and after the sixth or seventh item you just zone out, and that’s not good, you don’t want your prospective customers zoning out, you want them knowing what you do. So, how do you fix that problem? I’ve got this super-duper solution and I’ve been suing it for years, it’s called a matrix, and I love using matrixes. Let me explain; open up your spreadsheet, and in the header column you can list all of the services that you provide, you could even group them if you want, but the list of services and products. Okay, and across the top of the matrix, in the header row list the problems they solve. Now, don’t say “I want toast” and then tick off the toast of the toaster, and the bread, and whatever else you offer in the toast making process, don’t just say “I need toast” or “I want clean laundry” No, that’s assuming that the customer knows that they need toast or clean laundry.

Rather, pose the need in this way; “I’m bored with bread” or “I smell” because that’s the symptom, right? That’s the thing that the person is experiencing. “Gosh, I am somewhat malodorous today, how do I solve that problem? Oh look, I can get my laundry cleaned and there’s a bonus, they do softener and they’ll dry it for me, cool. I like this, I get it” or “I’m bored with bread, hmm… They offer toast. Oh, bonus, they got butter and jam. I’m not so crazy about Jam, I wonder if they offer peanut butter.” And they might email “Do you have peanut butter?” and you think “I never thought about offering peanut butter, but it’s certainly something we can offer” and you put in on your matrix.

Now, matrixes and this kind of approach to explaining and using a matrix with problems across the top, solutions down the side, and checks when they intersect, is a super interactive way of communicating what you do to a prospect. What’s really cool about matrices is that they can be used for lots of complicated communication, so you can use them internally. Say you have a process, or several processes, and you want to explain which tools to use to solve which issues, it’s perfect to use a matrix for that. Or you’re in HR and you want to talk about the benefits that you offer your employees, you can use a matrix for that too, so it’s a really great tool.

The one thing it does in marketing that I think it’s really important is that it really tells the customer that you care, that you really want them to understand what you do, and you do it in an engaging way. It’s a very sophisticated too, simple but sophisticated, and really super useful and just telegraphing that you care about your customers or your employee’s needs, and that you want to be sure that they understand what you’re selling or what you’re providing for them.

Okay, there are tons of tricks like this in my bag of tricks, and I’m going to do lots more videos on this sort of thing. So, if you liked this video please subscribe and please click on the bell so you’ll be notified of the next video posting, and then, in the meantime have a great business day. Thank a lot.

New Videos Every Monday

How to Make Networking Easy

 If you’re like me you find the whole idea of networking stressful. Walking into a room of people, making small talk…but over the years I went from terrified to networking champ. Here’s one strategy and one tactic that will make all the difference.

 Let’s take the awkward out of networking. In this video, one strategy and one tactic that will make all the difference. Networking, if you’re like me, the whole idea of networking it’s just awful. Maybe you don’t like small talk, maybe you find yourself under a lot of pressure, “oh, I have to get the leads, I have to close a business, I have to meet new people” Maybe you just don’t like meeting people, maybe you don’t like people, I don’t know, whatever it is you don’t like the idea of networking, and I think the problem is we put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we think about the concept of networking. But, the truth is, if you’re a professional today, and if you run your own business, or you’re a senior or executive manager, you just got to get out there and meet people, it’s what it’s all about. And even more important today than five years ago, because we’re so insulated from others, technology has done that, so the moment you actually meet someone is an important moment. So, how can you make it a more comfortable experience for yourself so that it’s more fruitful?

The first thing I think we need to do is eliminate the word networking from our vocabulary because it’s loaded, let’s think about it as something else, let’s think about it as cross-pollination. So, being these wonderful little creature, and they alight upon a flower, and they pick up a little pollen and then they fly to another flower and drop some pollen off, picking up some more pollen and going to another flower and repeat the process. They make honey, we get fruits and vegetables, it’s a great deal, it works for everybody, and that’s really what the concept of cross-pollination is, works for everyone, work for you and everyone you interact with in a room.

I’ll give you a really good example; I was recently seated next to an attorney who was clearly at the end of his career, and I thought to myself, “oh my goodness, this is rather awkward. The chances that he might refer business to me or vice versa are slim to none” What to do? So, in this situations the first thing that I do is I ask a question, because asking question takes pressure off of you, and I actually was genuinely interested about his area of the law, the environment, New Jersey is a toxic waste dump, and sometimes I drive down the road and go “Wow, that’d be a really cool building to have my office, I’d love to buy it” and they I think “It might have toxic waste beneath it, how would I know? How could I be really assured that there wasn’t a former dry-cleaning plant beneath it?” So, I began by prefacing my question to this fellow with my genuine curiosity, and he just opened up, and he was so pleased to be asked a question about something that he had spent his career working at, something that was of interest to him. You know, the question betrayed a desire for a little bit of scuttlebutt on my part, I wanted to learn something I couldn’t ordinarily find on google. He heard that in my question and he answered that with something you wouldn’t have been able to “easily” google, some scuttlebutt, some insider knowledge about his domain, and that was very cool. We had a wonderful conversation, and a great interaction, and a “Hey, I learned something”.

But, here’s the thing, I can take what I learned from that interaction and take it to my next conversation. If go into a meeting with a client or prospect in an ancillary or similar, or parallel, or maybe the same domain, I could be more informed when I ask them questions, or if I’m in a room with people who all have similar backgrounds, I can move from that question and answer interaction to the next one informed and say “hey look, I heard over here from that fellow that thus and such happen, what do you think about that? Did you experienced the same thing in your work?” and thus, you become the queen bee, or the hostess with the mostess, or whatever. You can move from one conversation to the next asking questions and getting great information, and really engaging in a meaningful way, and that’s how I got myself comfortable in networking. Whoops, did I use that work? Networking? No, cross-pollination.

 New Videos Every Monday

Shortening Sales Cycles B2B

 If you’ve been experiencing longer sales cycles when selling B2B you are not alone. A recent Harvard Business Review article tells us why and provides a solution. Read the Harvard Business Review Article: The New Sales Imperative:

Business to business sales cycles have gotten longer, now we know why and we have a solution. Business to business selling and marketing has always been a challenge, always. You had to find a guy in pain and you had to convince the guy in pain that you were the right solution for them, and then you had to convince the guy who signed the checks that you were worth the value, and they were all the busybodies came into the sale and you had to position with them so they wouldn’t put the Kibosh on the sale. Well, the internet changed a lot of that, and very famously people started pre-shopping, and there was a famous statistic that people were 70% of the way through the sales cycle before they even called you, and a lot of folks in the business to business environment are starting to beefing up their web presence, this was the right thing to do to start getting your website to sell for you 24/7 365 and position with everyone in the buying committee, so that they could pre-shop and make a decision about whether to speak with you further, they could also make a decision not to speak with you further. So, your website and your market positioning really had to work very hard for you.

But then something else happened, and it’s been written about in a recent article in a Harvard Business Review, that article is linked below, I strongly recommend that you read it. Here’s what happened; the buying committees were from about five and a half people to nearly seven people, they got larger, and all that fabulous information on the internet just bogged them down because there were more people now wringing their hands risk-averse trying to get to the right decision. Meanwhile the guy in pain is suffering and you there have the solution, but you can’t get the committee to by.

So, how do you solve it? Here’s what you need to do; your salesperson needs to have a different set of skills, they need to sell prescriptively, really amp up the consult of selling. You need to act in many ways like Maitre D’ at a very fancy restaurant calling over the wine steward, your subject matter expert to explain the wines, and then perhaps bringing up a sous chef to explain the hor d’oeuvres. So, your salesperson really has to be orchestrating, getting the right people in front of that selling committee, and having conversations with all of the members of that committee throughout the entire process. Every action you take now has to move the committee to action, it has to make it easier for them to act. Your marketing messaging and your marketing materials have to speak to everyone, this has been the case for a long time, but now it’s super important that you really explain and broaden out what you do, make it understandable to a broader group of people.

Just think about it, especially if you’re selling in a tech space complex technical product, finance guy is just not going to understand what it is that you’re selling and why it’s a value to the organization. If you provide that information on your website, and in sales materials, and in PowerPoint presentations, that person will be grateful to you and more likely to trust you than other folks.

[03:56] Okay. So, larger sales committee in the weeds, get them moving forward with better marketing communications and prescriptive selling, and you will begin to shorten sales cycles. I hope you like this video, please subscribe, please ring the bell so you’re notified of the next video, and please download that Harvard Business Review article, it’s so worth the read, and please put your comments below, I’ll respond to them with videos in the upcoming weeks. Okay, until next time, have a great business day.

Stop Talking To Yourself!

 The single biggest problem every business selling b-to-b has and the one thing you as the owner can do to make sure you get out from under it and put your company on track to succeed.

The key to success is handed to you the minute you stop talking to yourself. When you’ve been inside of as many businesses as I have over the last three decades plus, you begin to see commonalities and there is one thing that 100% of the businesses I’ve been inside of have in common, and it’s really dangerous, and that is that they’re talking to themselves. Here’s what I e by that; you’re stuck in an office in an office complex, surrounded by a parking lot with a lot of cars, and you go into your office and you see your colleagues every day, you see your boss, or maybe you are the boss and you see your employees every day. Maybe you’ve just come back from a conference, you think you’ve done great, and that’s great, and then you talk about how great everything was, and how great you are, and how terrific you’re doing, but your sales are still not great. So, maybe you’re not doing so well. But, you have these ideas about who you are, “we’re just the best at service, we’re the market leader, we do it this particularly peculiarly different way that everybody loves” but your sales are still bad or could be so much better, or maybe they’re flat, but you’re just not performing.

Here’s the deal; talking to yourself happens when all you talk to are your colleagues and your offices mates about your business, and you don’t speak with your customers. Now, going to one trade show or conference is not going to do it, because there you can have all the excuses in the world and feel really good about yourself, and “gosh, this brochure was really popular” and “this backdrop looked really terrific” That’s great, you can feel really great in your branded shirt, you can feel terrific, but that’s not speaking with your customers. Here’s what we do to kind of break out of that talking to yourself that businesses get into.

We make a list of all of your customers, we find maybe 10 that we want to talk to, then we make another list of all of those prospects that didn’t close and we take maybe 10 of those, and then we make a list of the customers that got away, the ones that fired you, and hopefully there’s not 10 of those, but if there are we take 10 of those. Then, we make a list of questions, and the questions are things we would like to hear from the customers, and then we interview them, this is very important, and very special about how we do this. Our client introduces us to the customer via email, and then we make the appointment directly with the client or prospect, or the one that got away, and we assure them that the interview is completely confidential. They can tell us anything they want, they should think about us as their criminal attorney, they should leave nothing on the table. When it’s anonymous— It’s confidential, right? so when we present the data to our client about this conversation it is anonymous. So, when the client or the prospect, or the one that got away is assured that what they say will not be identified with them, they become very honest.

Now, these interviews can be extraordinarily insightful. We have found new revenue channels, we have found real difficult problem areas for our clients that we can then help them solve, and they can work on solving themselves. We’ve also discovered new competitor that our clients hadn’t even considered, and sometimes there are new technologies. The other thing that we’ve discovered is inflection points, what was the need that they had, and sometimes that’s a big surprise for our clients. But, let’s get back to those new revenue channels. If you have a good person interviewing they’re going to probe, and they’re going to ask questions to the prospects like “That sounds like a pretty big problem, would you be willing to pay to have someone help you solve it?” You know, I can’t tell you how many times the answer is yes, then we can go back to our client and say “add this service and people will buy it, they’ll love you for it, they’ll be so relieved”

So, that’s how you stop talking to yourself, you break the cycle. Try to find somebody to do the interviews for you, preferably someone how is a good professional interviewer. Who might that be? I’ll tell you who that is; business reporters, journalist. One of the things for me is that I was trained as a journalist and hey, that really helps the ability to probe and ask questions that get those really golden nugget answers for our clients. So, stop talking to yourself, find someone to help do your interviews, do them confidentially, and reap the rewards.

Okay, if you liked this video, if you liked this channel, please subscribe. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, your preferred social platform of choice. Please leave comments below, because I want to hear from you, and I’ll do videos responding to your questions and comments. Until next time, have a great business day.

Inbound Marketing Does NOT Work

If you sell B-to-B do not count on Inbound Marketing to fill your pipeline with qualified leads. It simply does NOT work. Here’s what does.

Whatever you do, don’t lead your marketing strategy with Inbound Marketing. Let’s cut to the chase, inbound marketing is BS, it’s completely wrong headed, and it’s been pervaded by the likes of HubSpot and marketers for the last five years, and the bottom line it just doesn’t work. If you’re looking at your strategy as Inbound Marketing “to deliver leads, then you contact the leads, then you close the business” you’re going to be working for a really long hard time spending a lot of money and heartache, it’s true. Actually, if you start with inbound, you’re starting at the back end, you’re starting at the wrong end of the process. Here’s why, if you’re selling business-to-business the most important thing about selling is getting that facetime, there’s no inbound marketing tool. If you start with that first, that’s going to get you to that meeting. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there.

Here’s where you start, you start with the Face time. “ah, what a concept”. So, when I look at a budget, when I look at a company selling BtoB, when my team starts putting together a marketing plan for our clients that sell BtoB, you know where we start? We start at FaceTime, we start a conference, and we love the smaller conferences where there may be 300 or 400 people, and you can sponsor and be the big guy on campus, maybe sponsor the breakfast or the breakout, and have a nice little table there, remember to stand in front of the table. But there, while you’re at that conference standing in front of the table, you can connect with people, you can talk to people, you can begin to build their relationships, oh my god, you got face time, that’s what you want!

And then you use all of the social media tools, you use email -because email is social media- you use Instagram or LinkedIn, whatever your chosen social media is for your market, to tether your relationship with that individual that you’ve had Face time with at the conference, and then you’ll get the deal, you’ll get the meeting that will help you close the deal, okay? Don’t rely on inbound marketing because folks, it just doesn’t work. Start with face time. So, when your considering your marketing budget, look at all the possible conferences, all the potential, where can you get in front of an individual for real live conversation? Start there, and you will be incredibly successful in bringing a new business to your company.

Okay, I hoped you enjoyed this video, I hope you enjoyed all the videos, we’re going to have tons of them here on the channel. Please subscribe, please hit the little bell, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, I’m everywhere. And until next time, have a great business day.