New Jersey Innovation in Action at Venture Conference

I had the privilege of covering the Venture Conference in Newark, NJ this past Thursday.

James Barrood, President of the NJ Tech Council opened the conference.

The conference was held at NJIT; a school that prides itself on preparing its student for STEM careers.

NJIT is helping to innovate New Jersey. NJIT President Joel Bloom discussed this in his keynote address.

The conference was run by the NJ Tech Council.

The council’s mission is to: collectively representing tech, life science and tech-related companies and organizations as well as the professional firms that support them, the Tech Council has the unique ability to:

  1. Offer opportunities to learn, network and grow
  2. Recognize and promote member companies and their leadership
  3. Nurture the tech and STEM talent pipeline critical to growth
  4. Provide access to financing sources and additional resources
  5. Advocate and support public policy which strengthens our ecosystem

Founded in 1996, the Council is a private, nonprofit membership organization, which supports the tech, innovation, and entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state and region. It is among the largest and most respected trade organizations of its kind nationwide.

The focus of the event was to help New Jersey startups grow and raise funds. Startups pitched their businesses and asked for funding.

There were two rounds of pitches along with networking opportunities. The startups that pitched represent industries such as but not limited to: EdTech, E-Learning, Healthcare, Sports Betting and esports.

Round 1 included

Scriptertainment
Wapanda
LifeCuff Technologies Inc.
QwikScript
Boxcar
Upside Health
teliapp
SiLAS
eCare21, Inc
VibeGather, LLC
TrueConnect Systems, Inc
Krow Network
WearWorks
MARCo Technologies LLC
Lambent Data
Life Skill Software
OculoMotor Technologies
Sporttrade
TLCengine
SRL Group
Ribbit.io
Nutrivide
MedifVu, LLC
Totally Pregnant

Round 2 Included

PeerChecked, Inc.
Datafy
Medality Medical
Smirta Innovations Inc.
Vikar Technologies
Malbek
Verstill
Commerce Blitz, LLC.
PlayDate
XPEED Turbine Technology
Pochette, LLC
Genomic Prediction
Pullup Technologies
ROAR for Good
Indie Art World
Elemeno Health
Bloqcube
Caregiver Smart Solutions
MYXR Events Corp.
Paratrees
Speak2 Software
Gamefuly
Entractiv
Quintrix

More information can be found here.

You could feel the energy and excitement in the air as I was able to speak with 48 innovate startups.

I really enjoyed the keynote speech by the FanDuel EVP & Head of Strategy David Van Egmond.

In the speech, he discussed how he helped FanDuel grow and succeed. He also discussed the industry of online sports betting and esports; both are growth industries. These industries are legal in New Jersey and serve as a great source of revenue for the state.

It was a great event. I want to thank the NJ Tech Council for allowing me to cover the conference.

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Standing Tall in the Face of Rejection

Dealing with rejection in Sales, Marketing, Business, Job Search and Life is rough. I have experienced rejection in various aspects of life. It is important to not take rejection personally. When you are rejected in job search and career; remember that it applies to the specific situation, position, promotion, transfer but not you as a person. This also applies in Marketing when your ideas, products and services are not accepted by the market. When facing rejection, it important to learn from the experience, pivot and not quit. The only way you are defeated is if you quit and stop trying.

Here is a poem entitled Don’t Quit that I have turned to for inspiration.

How to Conquer Rejection in Sales

To achieve Sales, success, the seller needs to be willing to persevere, through rejection. I remember my time in outside sales in New York City. I would make a lot of cold calls or try to up-sell or cross-sell products to existing customers. I remember days in the field when the answer I received was some form of no. Sometimes no matter how perfectly we execute the sales process, the answer is going to be no.

Many people would think to themselves I can’t take this rejection I should just quit. Well their right at least in the short-term. After you have made five or six sales calls with no results, take a short break. Take a walk and do some deep breathing. Try to remember that it is your offering that is being turned down and not you! Unless the prospect says “I hate this guy”. This happened to me on one occasion.

You should take a short break after being rejected for the following reasons:

1. At this point in your call plan you are probably frustrated and are not thinking clearly. This will ruin any chances of making sales for the rest of the day.

2. Taking a break allows you to vent and refocus.

3. Reflect on past successes you’ve had. Remember, you have made sales before and you can do it again!

After you have cooled off, try to think over the last calls that you have made. Reflect on what went well and what did not. Take this information and go on to your next calls with a positive attitude as if nothing has happened. Remember, your prospect does not care about how your day is going.

During my time in Outside Sales, I would have to call on certain prospects as many as 10 or 12 times before I could make a sale. In terms of cross-selling and up-selling, you have to build relationships with your customers. It is not going to happen over-night. This is true when you are selling items that require a large investment from your customers or prospects.

Some of my biggest sales successes have come during my last few calls of the day. When you feel spent, take a short break and then keep going. You never know when you are going to get a yes. If you quit; the answer is always no. Remember, always ask for the order. I was cursed at and thrown out of buildings; if I could keep going so can you!

How have you have you persevered when you were rejected in Sales, Marketing, Business, Job Search and life?

Share your story below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn and 21,000+ on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time role in Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

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Seth Godin’s This is Marketing: What it Means for Brands

Seth Godin’s new book This is Marketing sums up the lessons of his previous books.

In the past Marketing was Advertising. Many Brands and businesses used to buy ads to interrupt prospects in the hope that people would buy. However, with so many media channels, the advertising of yesterday has lost its effect.

What this means for Marketers is that they need to build trust, engagement, community and earn permission to contact prospects and customers. With the ever-increasing privacy legislation such as GDPR, Marketers will pay a high price for SPAM.

Also, today there are many micro-markets of products and services as opposed to one mass-market. Frequency has surpassed reach in terms of effectiveness. Marketers need to tell a compelling story that resonates with the people they seek to serve.

Marketers need to improve their knowledge of customers to enhance the customer experience and engagement. Brands need to have conversations with customers as opposed to talking at them.

image

Ideas that jumped out at me while reading and listening to the book

Seth dissects Marketing, showing the reader that today’s successful marketer is generous and gives value to the customer as opposed to stealing their attention.

Chapter 19, the chapter on funnels is very interesting because it shows how to look at the funnel in a new way.

Seth explains how to shorten the sales cycle by making it easier for prospects to engage and purchase a product.

He demonstrates how to do funnel math to see if and when marketers should advertise using paid ads along with how to know if ads will pay for themselves.

In this chapter, Seth shows how marketers should focus on serving micro-markets as opposed to the mass market.

This idea is illustrated in Jeff Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm. Seth takes this concept, and explains how to move a product from micro-markets to the mass market but surprises the reader by demonstrating that marketers can be successful by catering to a micro-market.

Seth illustrates this in the long tail concept where he shows that hits are exceptions to the rule. Instead he shows that selling a lot of different products to different people is the way that most marketers will find success today and in the future.

What is next in Marketing? Comment and share.

Bonus Content

I have had the pleasure of meeting Seth on two occasions. Here are videos and pictures of the talks.

Key Insights from the World Business Forum

8 Takeaways from Advertising Week 2018

Takeaways from Salesforce World Tour

Marketing is at the center of the organization; supporting Sales, Customer Success and the overall customer experience.

Kelly Miller Eliyahu of Salesforce outlines the Fifth Edition of The State of Marketing.

Customer Experience Marketing Data

  • 65 % of Consumers say their loyalty is influenced by companies sending personalized messages.
  • 52% of Customers are likely to switch from a brand if they do not make an effort to personalize communications to them.
  • Customers need a consistent experience with Brands across all touch points.

Retail Shoppers that click recommendations spend 5 times more per visit.

Sales, Bizdev:
79 % of Salespeople who use Social Media to sell outperform those that don’t.

Here is a Keynote from Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff.

Salesforce does a great job of providing information on industry trends. Everyone who attends Salesforce World Tour and/or Dreamforce is a Trailblaizer. The company brings people together and builds a community.

What insights do you use to make Sales and Marketing decisions?

Key Insights from the World Business Forum

I recently has the privilege to cover the World Business Forum in NYC last week. There were so many great panels and top business minds at the event. I want to highlight some of my favorites.

1. Seth Godin’s talk on Marketing where he discusses How today’s Marketer needs to be both remarkable and generous.

In his talk Seth discusses his new book This is Marketing and he discusses what it takes to succeed in today’s connection economy.

A key idea was that Marketers make change happen.

 

The new economy is made up of the following components

It was truly an amazing talk.

2. A talk by Juan Enriquez on the topic of trends in technology.

Two trends that caught my attention were:

3. Whitney Johnson’s talk on How to build an A Team where she discusses how to design jobs to maximize both employee engagement and performance.

Companies should strive for 70% employee engagement.

Companies should take chances hiring people who are inexperienced to keep a steady pipeline of employees.

4. Daniel Kahneman’s talk on the psychology of how we make Intuitive Judgments and choices based and why people are more risk averse than others. He also discusses how stress impacts decision making.

The World Business Forum is an amazing event packed with insights and for everyone in Business. If you missed out this year; attend the next one.

All images are Courtesy of WOBI.

4 Key Insights from DMWF

Last week I covered the Digital & Social Marketing Conference in New York.

There were many amazing panel discussions on Digital and Social Marketing. My key takeaways were:

1. Influencer Marketing is growing and it is up to brands to get it right.

2.Brands need to use Social Listening to understand their Customers if they expect to grow.

3. Brands need to have two-way conversations with customers across social channels instead of just broadcasting one way advertising messages.

4. Creating and using infographics are great ways to engage an audience.

Additional Panels

How Content and Social Media will Evolve

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How Gerber improved the Customer Experience to transform its Brand

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdgalantenyc%2Fvideos%2F10156785648807418%2F&show_text=1&width=267

How do you think Marketing will change?

Comment and share below.

 

How to Innovate Marketing

Sales reps can only be as good as the product and message they represent. Before companies can hire Sales reps, they need a great product with messaging that conveys the benefits to customers. Sales reps need support from marketing in the cross functional organization of tomorrow. The messaging should be able to prevent customer objections. Unfortunately, this is where many Marketing departments fall short.

image via Salesforce.com

Many people who get hired in marketing, lack a sales background and have no idea on how to handle customer objections.

In addition, many people in Marketing lack the background and understanding of how people learn. Teachers and psychologists have this training. Understanding how people learn can make product messaging more effective because it can be presented in multiple formats. Many people in marketing lack practitioner experience and as a result marketing is not as effective as it could be. Practitioners are especially under represented in the Marketing function of many EdTech companies and this needs to change. Now I will make a case for hiring Sales Reps, Teachers and Industry practitioners in marketing.

Case for hiring ex Sales Reps

  • Knows how to handle objections which can be applied to message
  • Experience dealing with customers, knows customer pain points
  • Sees how end-user uses the product
  • Can increase sales using Sales expertise to make messaging customer centric
  • Can assist with Sales and Marketing Alignment as companies need to work cross functionally
  • Understands the issues Sales Reps face and has the credibility of being a Rep when collaborating with Sales Teams

Experienced obtaining , qualifying and converting leads to Sales ie Lead gen/demand gen

Hiring Industry practice experts

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research should be in leadership roles
  • Healthcare does this with Doctors, Dentists
  • Tech does this with programmers and engineers.

Why not EdTech!

  • Can increase Sales because they are the customer and understand the pain points because they have experienced them in the job

This is the best market research/ buyer persona there is!

Case For hiring ex Teachers

  • understands how people learned
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customer and earning the right to market to them as they can educate customers

Why it is not Good enough to just place them in Sales

People in Sales are not involved in the creative process and cannot change their cards and company messaging.

They cannot address weaknesses in messaging and product.

The Marketer of Tomorrow

Has all of the above in their background or at least a Sales background at a minimum.

My Unique Value Proposition to Companies

I would be an excellent fit for a Marketing role due to the following:

  • Former Outside Sales Rep which allows me to create messaging to preemptively stop most sales objections
  • Can help with Sales Enablement/coaching/go on selected sales calls to improve the sales process
  • Experienced Marketer
  • Can build a better talent brand by building out your career site with employee stories
  • Create and establish new markets along with helping to create new product offerings that complement existing ones
  • Experienced online audience builder
  • I have built up a large audience with 19, 000+ followers on WordPress
  • 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn along with a following of 6000+ on my Twitter handle @DanGalante

Are you ready to increase Sales by improving Marketing? Your sales teams deserve better!

Change today!

How have you increased Sales by improving messaging? Comment and share below.

Here are the slides.

Additional Resources

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Strategies for Organic Growth

Organic Strategies for Growth (Podcast/Video Style)

How Businesses will Increase Sales by Improving How they Hire Marketing Staff

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn and 19,000+ on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.