Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Clients, Prospects, Friends, Readers, and Everyone Else,

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you success, joy, and prosperity in this December holiday season!

Cheers from the Connect 5000 team,

Ray, Danita, Patti, Anne, Hanna, Eric John, and Linda

So Long November, Hello December!

Hello everyone!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000.

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday was wonderful!

Busy holiday week last week.

I was in Boston, MA to see a potential client on Monday and Tuesday. Then back to Kansas City to finish working and spend the holiday with my family.

A while back, I reached out to a CEO of a software company in Windham, MA. He happened to be a 2nd degree LinkedIn connection of a current client of mine.

I made 4 attempts over 4 weeks to connect before we finally spoke live.

We had a few conversations by phone and they have a need and business pain that my company can help fix.

I offered to come to visit with the CEO and his executive team and he obliged.

We met in person for a few hours to talk strategy, tactics and grabbed lunch. Productive meeting and they requested a formal proposal.

(I don’t hop on planes without having at least 1 quality conversation.)

The Sales VP contacted me this morning and are moving forward.

Long story short: The marketing department is generating plenty of inbound leads. No one is following up on them in a consistent manner. My team will assist in this area to determine what marketing campaigns are working and which ones aren’t.

I’m not advocating that you hop on a plane to see every prospect who is interested.

But as I said in previous posts, there is no substitute for face to face meetings if it makes sense.

No matter how much technology is out there, it boils down to personal relationships.

And that’s the latest news with Connect 5000.








A Blog Post About Blogs and Blogging

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I came across this article yesterday.

Apparently, there are more than 440 million blogs in the world!

For comparison’s sake, there were 325.7 million people living in the USA as of 2017.

That’s more than 1 blog per man, woman, and child in the United States! Yikes!

Is blogging important? Depends on what kind of business you’re in.

I, myself, subscribe to numerous blogs. I consume them but have never bought from several thought leaders who have quality content. Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt and others come to mind. Top notch thought leaders who provide lots of content marketing, but I’ve yet to invest in their products or services.

I’m not saying that blogs aren’t important and that you shouldn’t have one.

With attention spans at a premium and executives are dealing with severe information overload, how do you stand out?

Unless you have gobs of money to spend like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants, how do you compete?

Can you trace a new client or sale directly to a blog post(s) you created?

If not, should you keep blogging? It’s a rhetorical question of course but I hope it makes you think before blogging.

What’s the end game? To get more clients? Look more credible? Be a thought leader?

None of these are bad but with the sheer volume of blogs out there, does it make sense to continue doing so just because everyone else is doing it?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for reading my blog.

Happy October!

Happy October everyone!

Fall and football are here! College basketball starts later this month.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

I wish I had something profound to say on this blog post, but I don’t.

One quick update from last month’s post seen here.

One company moved forward.

Another company who was looking for a fractional Sales VP emailed me they were going in a different direction.

The company across from my existing client is still engaged and they have a ton of initiatives going on. They haven’t said yes or no.

The company who moved forward? They graciously sent me over a referral who started October 1 as well. For that, I’m thankful and grateful.

On a completely separate note, I sent a Cutco knife to an old client of mine. I didn’t need anything from him but hadn’t talked to the CEO in several months.

The note simply said: “Thank you for “carving” out time to add me to your team last year”.

That was it and I had his name embroidered on the knife.

Ironically, I ran into him at a restaurant Saturday night while out and about.

Cheers and success to you all as you enter the 4th quarter of the year!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Go Denver Broncos!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000!

Hope you all are having a relaxing Monday!

This past Thursday, I hopped on a plane at 12 pm and landed in Oakland around 2:00 pm.

I checked into my hotel, changed and then took a Lyft to downtown San Jose.

I met with a prospect that I had been chatting with since June. They heard about us through our client across the street. We had talked by phone but hadn’t met.  So I met with the VP of Marketing and Director of Demand Generation in person and it was great talking face to face on their initiatives.

I then walked across the street and said hello to my current client who’s been with us since November 2017. My initial contact, the Chief Marketing Officer, left the company and I had 2 new contacts that I hadn’t met yet. We chatted a bit, they brought up a couple things, we all shook hands and left.

I then met with a new client that just signed up for September 1. We grabbed sushi, chatted and walked around downtown San Jose a bit. Gorgeous 75-degree weather! Can’t beat that in Kansas City in August.

I then took a Lyft from downtown San Jose to Dublin where I was staying. 40-minute ride at 7 pm at night.  KC doesn’t have a traffic problem, comparatively speaking. I went to my hotel, exhausted from meeting and traveling, and went to bed.

Friday morning, I woke up, got ready and met with a company who I happened to connect with back in August who happened to be in the Bay area.  We chatted by phone previously and I told him I was going to be in his area and to see if it made sense to meet up.

So I met with the CEO, CFO, and Director of Sales. We had a good chat and he requested a proposal.

Then I returned to my hotel, checked out and went to my 11 am final meeting. I had connected with another technology company in May and they were looking for a fractional VP of Sales for their 4 sales reps. We had a great discussion as well.

I left the office, changed, grabbed In-N-Out Burger and headed to the airport back to KC.

5 meetings in 1.5 days. $799.50 in expenses. It was worth it.

I love technology but there’s no substitute like seeing prospects in person or sharing a meal with a client.

All 5 of these meetings started with an introductory email. They didn’t know me from Adam.

As you gear up for the fall, now that most everyone is back from vacation and kids are back in school, please keep this mind. Get out of your routine and comfort zone. Go see other parts of the country. Plan a whirlwind 1 or 2-day trip. It will be worth it.


Article I Read Recently On Content Marketing

Happy August everyone!

I came across this article recently:

Quick summary:

Some expert somewhere said that you should blog. So everyone and their brother started blogging.

Then content marketing became the next hottest trend. So everyone and their sister started developing marketing content.

Key takeaway verbatim from the article:

“Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months. Unimaginable, really.

However, our ability to consume that content (the demand) is finite. There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.”

As the article goes on to say, companies with the deepest pockets (Apple, Facebook, etc.) will win in the long run.

I admit it: I don’t blog regularly because attention spans keep getting shorter and time is a valuable currency.

Just because you blog or publish content doesn’t mean it will get read.

Continue to be proactive, make one on one connections and personalize your reaching out. With the sheer amount of marketing content out there, don’t assume that if you publish it, that prospects will read it.



Another Reason To Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full

Happy mid-summer everyone!

4 more weeks to go until school starts. (But who’s counting?)

This summer has flown by quickly. Usually June, July, and August are slow until after Labor Day.

The economy has picked up and I’m thankful to have added 2 new reps this summer.

Quick story: A fractional CFO reached out to me a few months ago. He was a consultant for a 16-month client of mine. He listened in on calls, knew our track record and results, etc.

He was consulting for another healthcare startup company. We had multiple conversations with him and the CEO and if I was in Vegas, betting it would be a client, I would have bet highly with the odds in my favor.

He was a referral, he worked closely with the Sales VP at my client, etc. Referrals tend to move forward at a higher rate.

He requested a proposal and brought it to the board. One of the board members put the brakes on the process because he had a local resource who specialized in calling on healthcare organizations.

The prospect ended up going with them and let me know by phone.

A “yes” is better than “no”. “No” is better than silence and prospects avoiding you.

Keep your foot on the pedal and don’t let up. Verbal deals are never a sure thing until they are signed!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.





Lead Generation / Client Referral Gift Idea

Hey everyone!

I’m an avid reader and about a year ago, I read John Ruhlin’s book, “Giftology”.

It was a fine read with practical advice on corporate gift giving that’s not too self-serving.

A few months ago, I happened to get one of his emails since I had subscribed to his newsletter. Apparently, he hadn’t written in a while and he was out of sight, out of mind to me.

I decided to re-read his book since it’s a short read and gave me some fresh reminders.

Meanwhile, one of my client’s recently referred me to another client and I’m very grateful.

I’ve never met the woman in person and was trying to probe and get some ideas on what she liked to send her a thank you gift.

She wasn’t too revealing on her restaurant and shopping preferences which were fine.

I ended ordering a Cutco knife she can use on a daily basis with her name engraved on it.

I had it gift wrapped and sent to her home.

She loved it! Here’s part of her email response:

Hello Ray,

I received your surprise gift today. Thank you very much. It was a very kind and thoughtful personalized gesture. Your gift will be much used.

I don’t think what I did was anything that warranted more than a simple Thank You. Patti’s good work bore fruits. Nothing more.


2 takeaways:

  1. When you send a corporate or client thank you gift and you have it engraved, don’t put your company name on it. Put the person’s name instead. They’ll remember who gave it to you for the rest of their life.
  2.  If you’re trying to break into an account and are having difficulties, send your prospect a knife with their name on it with a note saying something to the effect of: “Can we carve out some time to chat?”

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

Long time, no blog! Happy Spring!

Hey everyone!

Happy Spring and early Easter!

Ray Ruecker here with Connect 5000.

I realized I hadn’t posted since our Christmas staff luncheon in December 2017.

It’s almost April! Where does time go? 3 months went by quickly.

I’d like to say that I was busy but that sounds like a humble-brag or too pretentious in today’s culture.

Business is as usual and I met with some prospects in New York City in February and did a sales prospecting training session in Seattle a few weeks later.

The beauty of being an entrepreneur and owning your own company is that you get to set the pace.

I’ve been married for almost 13 years in May and have an 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. I work to live and not the other way around. Finding the right work balance is always tricky.

I don’t have anything earth-shattering to share but one thing constantly sticks out:

In a noisy, crowded, technological world, how do we stand out and get our message across?

Yes, it’s rhetorical but lots of factors at play:

Decision fatigue.

Information overload.

Ad bombardment.

Short attention spans.

The experts tell you to have a blog, produce lots of content, have a Facebook page. Instagram too! Don’t forget Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc.

I could go on and on but you get the point.

The answer might be one human, high quality, personal connection at a time.

Yes, it’s not sexy but what’s the alternative, unless you have a marketing budget like Apple, GE, or Amazon?