Rooted In Revenue

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Get out of your way and create a successful business.

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My guest today is Corinne McCormack for part two of the interview we did a couple of weeks ago about how to build a multimillion-dollar business. Yes, you can, and she has some final tips, advice, and strategies for you in this episode you don't want to miss. Here we go.

I'm here with Corinne McCormack, and we have had some great interviews recently and there were a couple of topics though that I wanted to cover with her. Corinne, are you open, let's tackle those last two topics that we didn't get to do in our earlier shows. In your book, From Living Room to Boardroom: How I Launched and Sold a Multimillion-Dollar Business, you tell your whole journey. What I noticed in it is you were very upfront and open to talking about how you were able to borrow against your home to finance the start of your business. You're in New York. You had some equity, you were good. But what do you recommend for people with less than that type of option? Is that a deal-breaker if they can't get that initial funding?

Corinne:

Let me just start by saying when I write about the apartment in my book, the reality is you're right. It is New York real estate. And after five or 10 years, our apartment value went up to the point that we were able to take out a second and third mortgage, which we used to finance the business. But what people need to understand is that I took a risk. So that when I lost my business, my husband and I were in the process of buying an apartment. And we knew we were on the line for a larger mortgage. I hadn't lost my job, but the president of our company, our parent company went Chapter 11. The president of the company lost his job.

I called my accountant because it was four more weeks until our apartment closed.  "Oh, my God, Larry. What do I do? We're going to be closing on this apartment in four weeks, the company is in Chapter 11. what am I going to do? Should we be taking on all of this mortgage?" Because it was a big mortgage, and my accountant said something to the effect, "Well, you have to live somewhere."

My husband and I just looked at each other and said, "We're taking the risk. We're going to go into this mortgage, we're going to figure it out. We'll figure out how to make it get paid." So for the first year of my business, we now had this very large mortgage to pay. I didn't have the benefit of substantial real estate when I first launched my business because we were still paying off a mortgage. And at that point, the apartment hadn't increased in value. We were just looking to make mortgage payments. So the first thing I have to say is people who want to make things happen in their life, sometimes you have to take a risk, but you have to take it or you live with regrets. I talk about risk in my book. You have to take a knowledgeable risk.

Back to earning money for people or creating money when they want to launch their own business and they don't come from a lot of money, there are a lot more ways to fund startup businesses today than there were back in 1993. There's the internet, there are Kickstart campaigns. So there are opportunities. If you have a great idea for a company and you know how to position yourself online and develop a website, and develop an Instagram account and get a following, and go on Kickstarter and start selling your idea to people, people will gravitate towards you.

I was just mentoring a couple of young women who started a business. And they did a Kickstart campaign and they launched enough money that they were able to finance their first round of inventory. A substantial amount of money, so there's a lot of opportunities. It's not what are the troubles or what are the problems to make what I want. It's like, "What do I want and how do I make it happen?" And I remember when I first financed my business, I became part of a women's organization. It was called American Economic Development Corporation. It doesn't exist anymore, but there are a lot of women's organizations out there that you can partner with. And this organization had an event where they invited a senior vice president from Chase Bank to talk to women about financing their business.

200 women attended, I was one of them. He went through this whole presentation about how they wanted to finance startup businesses. And at the end when he had the question and answer session and I said, "Oh, I have a question. I have a really important question. I want to launch this business. I've gone to three different banks looking for money, and all the banks say you need to be in business for two to three years before we'll loan you. But I won't be in business in two to three years unless I get a loan. So it's a catch 22. What am I supposed to do?" So this gentleman said, "Here's my phone number." Yeah, we didn't have emails. There was no internet. "Here's my phone number. Call me tomorrow." So I got on the phone at nine o'clock in the morning. I wanted to be the first one in line to get through because we used to get busy signals.

Millennials, yes, you used to use your phone and there was something known a busy signal. If more than one person was talking on the phone, you couldn't talk to the other person. So I wanted to be first in line. I got through, I spoke with him, and then I started on the process to get my loan. And a couple of weeks later I said, "By the way, how many other people reached out after that meeting?" The answer was none. So lots of times people tell themselves that they want something, but then they think of all the reasons why it won't work, and they stop themselves from moving forward to make it happen. So my motto is if you want something, figure out how to get it and go for it. And yes, you're going to need you to take a risk. Nothing comes easy.

Susan:

I like, too, that you covered through more traditional financing. Sometimes it's a credit union. Sometimes it's the small banks, it's a local bank. I know Chase had launched a new program right at the exact same time. You had perfect timing with them. That's what they were investing in, small businesses because that was the new wave.

Corinne:

That was the new wave. Right. The internet was up and coming. All of these things were starting to happen and people were starting to understand the value of small businesses. It was just perfect timing, and yet it wasn't perfect timing because there was also a bad recession going on at the same time. So again, had I told myself the story, you know that, oh, it's a recession. People aren't spending money. Things are bad. I better get another job. I never would have launched my own company.

You really need to believe in yourself. I had asked a lot of people prior to launching my own business because I knew someday I wanted to do it. "What do you need to have when you launch your own business?" And people said to me, among other things, you need enough money in the bank that you got two years worth of salary. So in case you don't make any money, you could draw on that. I didn't have any money in the bank. We had nothing. We had a new mortgage and no job, and my husband was working, but my salary wasn't coming in. So I had a severance package that would last for six months. That's what I had.

Susan:

I think the nos are all fear-driven, and they are also those that don't have enough drive. It is their excuse. It is their show stopper. When they hit that fork in the road, it's the path easily taken that's smooth and paved.

And you can see the end of the path. I think what people need to remember too is okay if it doesn't work, what's the worst that it can be? Can you survive that? And if you think that all the way through rather than just I can't do it because I'm afraid of that, how bad really is that? And how much does that stink? Can you dig yourself out of that? And I think once you have those, to me those are safety net thoughts. It takes the fear out of the risk, out of the leap, out of the trust.

Corinne:  You have to want it more than you fear it.

There's a lot of things out there that are scary and you know, what if. But if what you want is stronger and your drive to succeed is stronger, and your belief that you're going to figure out a way no matter what. And that's what I believed. I kept saying to myself, "I'm going to figure out how to find the money for this company no matter what." And that's what I did. And when the bank said to us, "You need to put your property up as collateral against your loan," meaning if the business goes under, you lose your home.

My husband and I said, "Well, go for it." Because what are our other options, not to go for our dream? We'd rather roll the dice and risk at all, than sit back and say, "No. That's too risky. I don't want to do it." No regrets.

No regrets. Right. And you're right, you do have to move forward and you have to have ... You know, what's the worst that can happen? And something bad happens, I'll figure out a way to get out of that too. So you really do need to believe in yourself. And the nice thing about the world today is that there is the internet, there are opportunities to reach out to like-minded people. I have an Instagram page called Corinne Consults. People can come on there and ask me questions. I'm happy to, to talk to people.

I have a website, corinnemccormackconsulting. Come on my website. I'm happy to talk to you. And there's different, and it's not just me. There's a world out there of people that if you Google something, you can get the answer very quickly. And you just need to to make it happen.

But check the credibility of whose advice you're following. You need to be smart enough to be able to judge the crap from the good. On the web, there can be a lot of hucksters, shall we say.

Susan: Any ding-dong can have a microphone and can type.

The last thing on the financing  I want to remind you, most of your communities have community grants. And especially if you are creating an opportunity that could hire another person in your community. Remember, grants don't have to be repaid.

Grants are a, "Hey. Make it happen, guys. Let me see what you can do with it." Look deeper. It isn't always just about the Kickstarters, as we know. It isn't always about the banks. Be creative. How bad do you want it? Go get it. Believe in yourself.

Corinne McCormack, this has been a wonderful wrap up to these conversations. And I want to send everybody to Amazon. Go on Kindle, go anywhere you get books to find From Living Room to Boardroom: How I Launched and Sold a Multimillion-Dollar Business by Corinne McCormack. And go find her. Go to corinnemccormackconsulting.Com. Find her as she said on Instagram, Corinne Consults. Go find her. Connect, learn from her. 

 

Corinne McCormack - How to launch a multi-million dollar business.

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This is the first part of an interview with author, entrepreneur, inventor, speaker - Corinne McCormack.

Susan Finch:
Hello, everyone. Susan Finch here, the host for Rooted In Revenue, and also a co-producer at funnelradio.com. My guest today is author, consultant, seasoned executive, and entrepreneur, Corinne McCormack. We are here today to talk about her new book, From Living Room to Boardroom: How I Launched and Sold a Multi-million Dollar Business. I have it and I love this book. Before I wanted to interview her I said, "Hey, I need your book so that I can read through, get a few chapters under my belt, so I don't sound stupid." I couldn't put it down Corinne, I loved it. Welcome.

Corinne McCormack:
Thank you. I'm so glad to be here. It's great.

Susan Finch:
So many of you who have listened to my show before, you heard the show with Susan Finch, Susan E. Finch in New York, the voice and dialect coach extraordinaire, and Corinne is one of her friends. Corinne accidentally emailed me instead of Susan, and here we are.

Corinne McCormack:
I was emailing her about my new book, and then you replied, and I said, "Well, maybe you'd be interested in my new book anyway." And then here we are.

Susan Finch:
Here we are because I was very interested. Your story is very near and dear to my heart, and the essence of the book, folks, is to take you on a step-by-step outline. Let's say, if you want to be a business owner, these are the steps. It includes some of my favorite pages are these black pages, the Seeds of Success pages, and they are dog-eared throughout this book. This whole book is highlighted and dog-eared, and I keep rereading the Seeds of Success. They're so succinct, so evergreen. This is relevant. It was relevant to you back in '93 when you started your business. The tips in there, of course, include new technology, but this is all about her journey.

Corinne McCormack:
I wanted to tell the story for other people to understand what it is to launch your business because I always find when people say, like, if you speak to a very well-known designer, like a Tory Burch, how did you start your business? "Oh, you know, oh, a few friends looked at my shoes and they loved them, and the next thing you know I have a multi-million dollar business."

They always make it sound very effortless and they don't really give you all the behind-the-scenes machinations of what goes into making something happen. And there's also a lot of people who have a lot of background funding that they don't share with you. I remember reading stories about one shoe designer who would talk about how they went from zero to $5 million. Well, you don't go to $5 million without having really five to $10 million in backing.

And so here I was somebody who had recently lost my job. I had less than six months for a severance package to run out, and that was my big opportunity to launch my business. I wanted to tell the story of what I did in that first year that made things happen really fast and really well so that other people could do it too.

Susan Finch:
Well, you did that. So quickly, folks, I want to give you a bit of background. Corinne started her company in 1993. That's actually about the same time I started to get into one of my companies, one of my iterations. She launched a brand of designer eyewear and developed this brand. I'm wearing them, aren't they gorgeous? These are not from her original line, but this is the result of this journey, and it developed into a leader in premium reading glasses. Some of you pups won't remember reading glasses used to be super ugly and you had no options.

Corinne McCormack:
When I started my business, it was so funny. I was 40-years-old, and I didn't need reading glasses, and so I was designing jewelry, and I was designing eyeglass chains, and cases. I hired a stylist, and I said, "Go out and find fabulous sunglasses and reading glasses, and great colors, and here's my colors," blah, blah, blah, blah.

She came back in a couple of days, and she had beautiful sunglasses and nothing in reading glasses. And I'm like, "You know, you brought me one pair of antique brass reading glasses. This is not what I want. I want color, I want fashion." She said they don't exist. And I said, "Oh my God." Because when I needed reading glasses, or I know all the other women that were right behind me turning 40 in referent numbers we're not going to want to wear those old lady grandma looking glasses. That's how I started my road to creating designer reading glasses.

And so that was just a necessity, a future necessity.

Susan Finch:
And you saw a hole. That's the biggest thing. And you leaped on it. But you know, just saying that "Oh, I want to design designer eyeglasses." Like you were saying, that is not the journey. It isn't, "Oh, one day I woke up and decided to do that and here I am."

You had a lot of experiences that led to that. So, I want to jump into that part of it because too often I feel, especially women more than men, typically we think differently. We apply our experiences differently. I think that women especially discount the learning journey including networking and all the relationships along the way. In your book From Living Room to Boardroom you talk about the acquisition of the skills from each position you held and how you pushed to gain more knowledge that was then was presented to you, and here's the job description. You constantly pushed yourself and all of that culminated into the first business that you launched.

Corinne McCormack:
When I launched my book I talk about the eight entrepreneurial essentials. Number one is a passion, and number two is drive. What I did after my journey, as I was writing this book, I said, "What is the essence? What made me an entrepreneur? What makes other people entrepreneurs?" And if you look at my story, I spent 15 years in Corporate America before I launched my own business, I knew I wanted to have my own business, but I didn't have the resources. I didn't have the money. I didn't have the time to do it until I did. But at each part of my career, I assumed a position that I owned the company I was working for, so I never was just an employee. I always treated it as if it was my own business and did things to the best of my ability in the way an owner would want me to.

I really believe that that's important because a lot of younger people today come out of college or business school and they think, "I need to launch your business tomorrow." They don't necessarily get under their belt all the skills and the life's learnings to make them successful, and then they're going to jump around from company to company to company and maybe not really get that knowledge that they need to understand what it is that makes a good business.

Susan Finch:
I agree, and I think I'm very grateful for knowing enough to pay attention to watching CEOs and CMOs that I've worked for forge relationships, solve problems, please clients, make nice with a client when it didn't go well, nurture vendor relationships.

Corinne McCormack:
What it all boils down to, relationships and relating to people. Whether it's your employees - because as I hired employees they were not just employees who were to be dismissed or treated differently than I would treat my family. Actually, I treat my family quite nicely. So I know in some families, it's not quite like that. But I treated my employees with respect, and also treated them as though they were partners in my company. When I worked with my buyers, and the department stores, and wanted them to carry my products, again, it was developing a one-on-one relationship that set us apart from every other company.

And then back to the networking idea, right from the beginning of my career and through my launching my own business, I was constantly building a network of people and individuals that could ultimately not just support me, but also I could give back to them so that I made it when somebody called and needed something answered or had a question whether they were a customer, or a friend, or an employee, I would stop, take the time, and be with them to find out what it was they needed and how I could support them, who I could introduce them to.

And then the same happened for me if I needed something, you know, when I started my eyewear collection I had developed such a great relationship with one of my buyers that I was able to go to her and say, "What are the best factories in the world that I need to talk to so that I can launch a new glass collection?" And she gave me three or four wonderful companies, one of which I continue to use for over 20 years. So it's those sort of special relationships that really make business wonderful.

Susan Finch:
I find that I had an interesting call yesterday, and I had a client start up with me recently too, that I had met 25 years ago when I worked for an ad agency. He was a photographer at that time and just starting with this 360 kind of photo thing, and it was so new then just like little desktop computers were too. But he came back to me because he enjoyed working with me at that agency all that time ago and said, "Hey, I've been following you and I think I need your help." And these are old relationships that I've followed him and stayed in touch with him throughout just to check-in on him and share out anything positive that he shared out. Don't burn your bridges, folks.

Corinne McCormack:
In the optical industry, I belong to the Optical Women's Association. And that was an organization that's very near and dear to my heart and I started attending their seminars. I didn't realize they had only started maybe two years before I joined them. But in that organization, I met so many other women from all different aspects of the optical industry and forged relationships that really helped me to become a better member of the industry, and also to become part of this really great network. And then there's also something called The Vision Council and I devoted a lot of my time, my volunteer time to be in The Vision Council. The Vision Council, again, this was not just women, this was women, and men, and large companies, and small companies altogether, banded together to support consumers, and eyewear, and getting the eyewear message, good eye care out to consumers. But it also was great for networking and meeting people and I just started [crosstalk 00:11:23].

Susan Finch:
Let me chime in for a second. You're hitting on something really important, and what I was talking about was just people that go to work and leave work. You're talking about, this is super important, you're diving into helping others in something related to your industry. This invites you to meet quality people with good hearts, integrity, and a bigger vision and less ego.

Corinne McCormack:
That's very true because the organizations that I was really volunteering my time for other people were volunteering their time for, so you do find other like-minded individuals who are working together for the greater good. For the optical women, it was to build leadership opportunities for women in the optical industry and to raise the visibility of women, and we supported one another. Vision Council is all about getting out there and talking to consumers because people don't really understand until something goes wrong. You're so used to having your eyesight and your vision, although we're both wearing glasses, so we know how important glasses are. But otherwise, people who have good vision they don't even think about their eyes. And then voila, God forbid, one day you wake up, and you've got a problem. So it's getting out there and conveying a message, but by doing that you start working with and learning about a lot of other people and companies, and it opens up your world.

So people really should network. People really should invest their time and find out what they're passionate about, and then go out there, and volunteer, and pursue relationships. I wouldn't say it's a two-way street, I think it's a one-way street. You need to pick up the phone, you need to contact people, you need to talk to them, you need to be open to meeting people. That was something that I developed along the way that I probably did not have before I started my own company. I was more of those, I had a two-year-old son, I went to work, I came home, I took care of my son. But then as I grew into my company and grew into owning a business I began to look for other opportunities and the importance of these relationships.

Susan Finch:
From the start, you were very sure of your own talents, at least everything I read in here you were not a self-doubter. You were passionate, driven, right from the beginning. So I'm wondering what kind of discernment process do you recommend to people wanting to identify their unique talent, or skill, or product they can bring to market? I hear too many stories of self-doubters that they nip it in the bud right then and there. It's like, "I want to have a business, but I can't." And they sabotage themselves.

Corinne McCormack:
Well, I think what I love about the world today is with computers and with the internet whatever your skill set is you can find an opportunity should you want to have your own business to create a business. So what I would say to someone, like for myself based on my background I was in retail, I was in wholesale, and I was product development. So I knew that I loved developing products, I loved finding needs and wants of consumers, and developing something that they didn't have. That was my passion. And I also loved making money. So loved figuring out how much something costs, trying to get it for as little as possible, creating value so that when I sold it to my customers they were satisfied. They felt that they got great value and a good product. That was me. So that's why I knew that I needed to develop something in that world.

But there are people out there that are terribly creative when it comes to art or graphic artists. So could you create your own graphic art company? Of course. But you could also become a freelancer, and there are ways to position yourself and go out there and network, and go online, and use Instagram, and so many other wonderful platforms to get your name out there.

I'm actually working with a couple of teachers right now. These are people who by day they teach math and one of my friends is also a sign language interpreter and works in a school, but they're both terribly creative and we're working now on developing the businesses for them because one of them makes handbags and sells them to friends, and the other one embroiders jeans and sells that to friends, and then she also is an artist. I'm working with them about developing "a business" because they didn't realize with these skills, it could become a business.

Now, and I distinguish the difference between a hobby and a business. A hobby is something you do because you enjoy it. Yes, you might sell it to your friends, but you're not really serious about making it into something bigger than it is. But there are other people who will really enjoy turning it into something that could become bigger and broader. So people just really need to know what their skills are. I mean if somebody is great at accounting they can go off on their own and become an accountant. Computer skills. So many people I know are great with computers. Now you could go in and become a great employee in a company, or you could become a freelancer and find out where the voids are because there are a lot of small companies that need people to come in and develop systems or support them in their computers if they can't afford to hire a full-time computer person. So there are lots of little niche businesses that can be created and developed that people can take advantage of.

Susan Finch: 
I agree. It gets back though to our earlier topic of gaining that experience, and I know a lot, I know enough younger entrepreneurs even in my own family, and they've never worked for anybody else. "Oh, I don't want to do that. I'm just going to do my own thing." But where I see them faltering or slowing down is because they didn't take the time or appreciate, or they weren't willing to pay a few dues to gain some valuable experience that somebody's paying you to gain. This is an education you're getting paid for folks when you work for somebody else for even a while.

Corinne McCormack:
That’s true because in your own career if you have the idea that you want to have your business, I recommend in your career you develop a career so that in each position you take you're taking on positions with more authority, more responsibility, but also creating a well-rounded experience for yourself. And as long as when you're doing that, you're also taking good care of the company you work for they're happy to continue to give you that experience and to have you grow, or you launch from one company in one industry into another company in another industry to learn something else. I think people don't realize the value of working for companies and how great that can be when it comes time should they want to go in and launch their own business. There's a lot that you can learn.

Susan Finch: 
You can take it to different industries and that comes back to that discerning process. It's not only finding out what you want to do, but what's your core? And for me, my core is teaching, inspiring, and advocating, so it doesn't matter whether I'm doing that with podcasting, doing it with graphic design, doing it with web, doing it with copywriting, it's the same core and if I take that with me everywhere and stay true to it, it usually works out pretty well.

Corinne McCormack:
That goes back to the eight entrepreneurial essentials. It's back to passion, and drive, and also inquisitiveness. I said that's one of the important elements of being an entrepreneur is you don't ... As an entrepreneur, I, to this day I'm still learning new things and want to continue to learn new things. It's not as if I created a business, and sold a business, and now I'm sitting back and saying, "Done it all. I'm finished." It's like, "No, there's so much more to learn and do, and the world is changing more rapidly than ever." So it's really imperative that people stay on top of what's going on, and see, and learn as much as they possibly can.

And then the other thing that I say to be a good entrepreneur is you need to have a vision, and vision is this, it's having a vision of if I want to own my own company someday and I'm working for other companies back to that, what are my core skills? What is it that I do that I love? Because there is that old saying, "Do what you love and the money will follow.”  It' really true. If you do what you love you will be successful. And so many times, I think this is where people get caught is when you have a natural talent you tend to think everybody has the same skill. Even just seeing and developing product or design I kind of believed that it wasn't that unusual like anybody could do that, but anybody can't do what we can do. So there are certain innate skills that we've got or ways of looking at the world that we have that other people don't. And if you really start to understand and appreciate what makes you that special person, then what really gets you going, and then find those positions, if you will, or ways to earn money to support that I think you're on the path to success.

You need to know what your skills are and what your talents are, and then find somebody who's got that, if you will, those other talents that round out your talents so that together you can be a great pair.

Susan Finch: 
I think that's a wonderful idea. That's the advice I think so many people when they're starting a business they think they have to do it all. Or they're afraid to let go of certain pieces.

Corinne McCormack: 
You hit on another one of my entrepreneurial essentials, which is self-sufficiency. So you do need to believe you can do it all because especially when my company was first starting, and we had like three employees if an order needed to go out the door and somebody called in sick, well guess what? It had to get out the door. So we had to figure out how to do it. So I really needed to believe, and I think any owner of a company needs to understand exactly what's going on so that everything happens smoothly regardless of what's going on out there.

But self-sufficiency doesn't mean you don't need people. So you need to be self-sufficient, but you also have to need, appreciate and understand the value of partnering with other people and networking with people, so that's really important.

I wanted to say something about my 25 Seeds of Success that are in my book because what I did was I wanted to create my story, and then I also understood that there are people out there who are going to maybe not want to read my entire story, maybe they'll read part of it. But they do need to know those 25 Seeds of Success, those lessons learned, if you will, that apply to any business and anyone. It applies whether you're an employee or an owner. And so as I went through my story I put down the Seeds of Success because there's not just one secret, there's a lot of different things that go into making a person a better executive and making a business a better business. So I'm really glad you enjoyed that.

One of my Seeds of Success is about wellness. That's more towards the end of the book. I think it's seed number 20. I mention wellness because particularly as you are an entrepreneur if you're not careful you can run yourself into the ground and run yourself ragged. That did happen to me at one point along the way where I was 10 years in and I had planned on certain things, and then the economy didn't go the way I planned and 9/11 happened, and then all my plans literally went up in smoke. My business started declining and I didn't know what to do.

Ironically that's when I reached out to take a seminar with a couple, their names are Ariel and Shya Kane.  So by taking their seminars, it's all about living in the moment, but it's not just living in the moment. It's also about learning to live a stress-free, more relaxed life, and to say yes to your life so that instead of fighting with what was going on and being annoyed with what was happening, or being worried about what's coming, or upset about what I had done, created in me the possibility to start just being where I was and appreciating everything that I had at that moment and doing what needed to be done.  

And that's what I love because it's not about sitting back and going, "Oh, the world is great. Let's just sit and relax." It's about relaxing into your possibilities and then moving forward in a way that you could get things done more effortlessly. And it was really cool because that was another opportunity for me to network. That's how I met Susan E. Finch, the voice coach that ultimately is how I connected with you.

So I do believe people need to take good care of themselves. It's not just exercise because yes, I do exercise regularly. But also you need to take good care of your mind and learn how to be patient with yourself. I recommend listening to their podcasts. They have a podcast called Being Here with Ariel and Shya Kane. So if you listen to the podcast that would give you an idea of learning how to live this sort of more effortless, less stressful life.

Susan Finch:
And supporting that point, it isn't just a one-time thing. You need tune-ups. I firmly believe in surrounding yourself, folks, with other people that want to have success. It doesn't have to be a big success, but they are interested in improving their position spiritually, business-wise, personally, and growing, and improving. That's who you want to hang with.

Corinne McCormack:
That's right. That's absolutely true. It's another reason I started a meetup in New York where I want to create a community of people who are looking to succeed and build their own, either build their own business, so take something that they didn't have and build it, or take what they've got and made it greater, but also to be successful. And it's like you said, when you get a group of like-minded people together it's very, very powerful. So definitely, and I love your point about it's not a one-time thing because it's just like if you go to the gym, and you work out really, really hard, you can't go, "Wow, that felt great. I'm done. I've worked out, I feel great." Or even if you want your body to look good, and you work really hard vigorously for three months, and you get your body in great shape, and you can't stop because if you stop, guess what? It's not going to look as good three weeks later. So it really is finding what works for you, and being consistent, and continuing to take care of yourself and those around you.

Susan Finch: 
You'll get the second half of her story in the next installment of this interview, but before we wrap up our first half, I want everybody to know where to find your book. It is on Kindle. It's on Amazon. You can find it everywhere. You just search for, look for this cover. It'll come up in the results From Living Room to Boardroom: by Corinne McCormack.

Also, go to corinnemccormackconsulting.com, and on Instagram @corinneconsults.

Never miss an episode. Check out, rootedinrevenue.com and subscribe on the site to get weekly updates of when new episodes come out or find us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio. We want to be where you are, so go subscribe. We'll get you all the information you need to do your best with the marketing of events and your online presence.

 

Typos on your site can cost you money - tips to fix it.

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Karen and Susan cover where the typos are and how it can affect your credibility and make it more difficult for your sales team to build confidence with prospects. Listen to the full episode to get examples, details and an action list.

Susan's List of task reminders to keep it current.

Karen's secret tool to help you find the typos fast.

Check your own site for links to internal PDF files, videos on a YouTube channel, too - those change over time, especially since people are converting personal channels to business channels.

Remember to use your Google Analytics or Search Console to:

1. Find the top pages for a YEAR that you need to start with checking, and go through the entire list. 

2. In search console, check errors from crawls. Find out what's broken and what site or page is leading them there.

 

Need help? Contact Susan Finch. Sometimes you just need help getting started.

Online Reviews - why you need them, where to find them and how to respond.

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This lively visit with real estate agent, Kristina Smallhorn applies to all businesses who need and receive reviews. The video version linked in the bottom will have some how to tips, too. 

Business reviews are not just for B2C and brick and mortar. ALL businesses need reviews in the right places where their potential clients go when considering them as as solution. This, along with what their colleagues and friends recommend play the biggest role in decision making before they even contact you.

My guest is Your Real Estate Whisperer, none-other than Kristin Smallhorn, a successful real estate agent in Louisiana. Her engaging YouTube channel is how I knew she was a great guest for this topic. But videos are what you EDIT and produce. Reviews - we do not control what people post. We can hope, we can ask for them when we have a successful transaction, but ultimately, we cannot control what others say about us - this gives reviews more credibility.

Why do you think some businesses don't pursue reviews?
Well, you may be surprised.
Businesses don’t want to end up in one of these situations:

receiving zero business reviews
receiving zero recent online business reviews
receiving negative online business reviews
or, the business simply has a chaotic presence of online reviews across multiple business review websites

OK, listeners, put on your big kid pants. Reputation provides interaction.
AND business reviews provide valuable feedback for businesses.
Business reviews and social posts help shape a company's online reputation.
AND, if you don't like what's being said, well, it may be time to do it better. Your problems are bigger than what people are posting. That's just the result of the issue.

Ask yourselves these questions:
How your are reviews?
Are you are sure you know where they all are?
What about when you get a bad review?
How do you respond and how quickly?
Were you able to turn any around to either remove them or update them to something positive?
Have you converted any bad reviews into clients or advocates? PIE IN THE SKY hopes!

We cover a couple of stories in this episode you may be able to relate to or find entertaining.

 

What you do to get reviews and testimonials from clients?
How do those play into your conversion rate?
How do you share reviews with your target farm, audience without constantly blaring the "LOOK AT ME! I'm GREAT!" horn.

Time for your do to list, listeners.
Where to look for your existing reviews?
You can do a quick look on the three major venues in order of weight:
Yelp!
Look on your Facebook business page.
Your Google My Business page - the right hand box.
You can also do a search on Yext! without signing up - you'll get links to all of your current profiles and can see what others see.

Now, if you are niche - you need to also receive and review your listings on those sites:

For Real estate professionals: Zillow, Realtor.com
For attorneys: Avvo, Lawyers.com
For Medical professionals: Healthgrades, RealSelf, ZocDoc
For restaurants: Zomato, TripAdvisor
For service providers (contractors, roofers, cleaners, etc.): AngiesList, HomeAdvisor, NextDoor if it's popular in your area.

Of course you want to get reviews concentrated on the most important online review sites.

That's why we recommend you focus on no more than five review sites total.

Listen to this replay and catch the video on Susan Finch's site here >

Which comes first - the why or the how in the first presentation?

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Susan welcomes back author and impact training expert, Amy Franko, as a follow up to the book launch episode for The Modern Seller. Update on her book, wildly successful launch propelled her into the number one position for Kindle downloads in the category of Sales Techniques. We've continued to follow her tips, posts, appearances and the topic of The Why and the How came up. Her blog post titled, "What Distinguishes a Standout Seller?" led to this interview. There is not one answer, but Amy helps you determine the questions to have ready in order to guide the meeting, the presentation and ultimately - THE SALE.

Be sure to sign up for her newsletters, guides and more. Definitely worth adding to your weekly research list for those AHA moments.

AmyFranko.com - you will find her book, The Modern Seller there as well.

When your voice drives the sale away before it started.

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Take a breath. Really, take a deep breath before you pick up the phone. While you're at it raise your arms, lower your shoulders, sit up straight, smile then make that call, walk into the meeting, take the stage. Speech patterns and bad habits can tune your audience out, even an audience of one, before you get further than your introduction. This will cost you revenue and waste everyone's time.

Take tips from voice and dialect coach, Susan E. Finch. This show should have been a video - it was so much fun and packed with applicable tips to keep you from being annoying. The biggest culprits?  Women! Women 17 - 35 and this voice fry issue where they sound like they are swallowing their words. Next, the gutteral hiccup - that punch that only belongs in the Cockney community in London.

How about the fillers: Like, ya know, sooooo, and.... um, uhhhhh? Time to break yourself of those habits. They scream insecurity and require your listener/audience to strain to get to the point you are attempting to make.

When we need to hire someone, we go through the interview process, background checks, checking to see if their past is linked to a bunch of workman's comp cases with former employers.... but once we decide to hire them, do we assume they are articulate? Do they know how to present ideas to their new team? Clients? Speak on behalf of the company? Why don't we teach our staff how to think on their feet and respond articulately? Surely there are Toastmaster's chapters near you. Give them bonus points for going through it or pay for it for them. You'll be glad you did. You'll give them confidence. AND if they really have bad habits, consider a speech coach, like Susan E. Finch. These professionals can quickly identify and help them work through bad habits. May not hurt you, either. 

Susan suggested the movie, "In a world" from 2013. GREAT examples you can remember. It's about the voiceover industry.

Challenge:

RECORD yourself to see how you sound. Use video if possible. Introduce yourself to you. Would you buy from you? Would you want to slug you? Would you TRUST you?

Really listen and ask an HONEST colleague to do the same and give feedback. Do it for your department. You'll all benefit from this improvement.

susan-e-finch-250.jpgAbout our guest, Susan E. Finch.

Susan Finch is a voice and speech coach who is passionate about supporting people in becoming clear and connected communicators. As her background is in theater she is able to bring vitality and fun to her clients.

Specialties include:
- accent reduction
- vocal production (finding power, ease, volume and range)
- clarity of articulation
- ease in communication (eliminating fear of public speaking)

She coaches people how to communicate with confidence and excellence.

When to outsource sales training to jump start growth.

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Hey CMOs, CEOs how do you have your SDRs embrace an external group of SDRs to train your existing team on how to secure that first meeting and take it to conversion? 

Our guest is Whitney Marshall, Co-Founder of Qualified Meetings. Their goal is to operate as an extension of your sales team – our only goal is to convert highly qualified opportunities that meet both of our standards. 

Why wouldn't you invest in a proven process and full-service program that will predictably grow your pipeline, while simultaneously providing data intelligence, resulting in an improved go-to-market strategy based on real data and conversations? Or do you think hand your reps a call list, sitting them in the corner telling them to dial their little hearts out and close deals is enough training?

About our guest, Whitney Marshall – Sr. Director, Client Engagement & Co-founder

As a skilled professional, Whitney has extensive, in-depth experience specializing in Sales Development from a Client Engagement perspective. As the “foundation builder” for some of the most successful Sales Development programs in the IT industry, Whitney has developed and refined processes that ultimately lead the Sales Development program to be repeatable, scalable and continually functional through any employee changes with the utmost visibility and accountability.

“Working with companies who struggle to put intelligent process and standardization around outbound prospecting has provided me with a wealth of knowledge of this ever-growing commonality in organizations today. As industry sales approaches evolve with new methods and best practices, a program that can maintain integrity, revenue contribution and expansion through these changes has proven to be a critical component lacking in a growing number of businesses. With qualifiedMEETINGS, we are able to customize, implement and manage a process that is repeatable and scalable, all while providing intelligent analytics and the highest qualifiedMEETINGS for our customers’ pipelines”.

Whitney began her Client Engagement career with ForeScout Technologies where she co-developed, implemented and managed a program that streamlined onboarding, lead transfer, opportunity creation and analytics which was the foundation for exponential growth in new logo acquisition. Recently coming from CollabNet where she introduced and implemented the program management process for Sales Development, Whitney is bringing this highly sought after expertise to qualifiedMEETINGS. Her knowledge expands to companies that want to grow their pipelines year over year with a program that has proven results.

Decision Makers Have Disabilities.

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Teresa Huber and Susan Finch talk about the importance of an ADA compliant website. When most marketing departments think of disabilities and ADA compliance, they think about blind people, those in wheelchairs and more obvious issues. Don't forget about those with dyslexia, those who are color blind, hearing disabled. You may not realize how much of your buyer personas include people with a variety of disabilities. Why would you want to exclude them from viewing your site, doing research on your site and ultimately paying for your product or service? Join us for some interesting facts and example, as well as tools to do a quick assessment of your existing sites.

Visit her website - you will learn VERY interesting facts immediately on the home page. 

Tools for quick assessments so you can initially know, "... just how bad is it?"

webaim.org
achecker.ca

About Our Guest, Teresa Huber, CEO Get ADA Accessible

WHY WE DO IT
Website accessibility gives equal access to everyone, no matter their physical or other limitations. Website accessibility also ensures businesses, schools, federally funded organizations, and government agency websites are complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

WHAT I DO
We work with website owners to get their website accessibility at the AA level following the standards as outlined in the worldwide standards set by WCAG 2.0 and used by both the ADA and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act to protect website owners them from costly fines, possible legal litigation, or loss of federal funding by not having an accessible website. 

WEBSITE | LINKEDIN

5 Tips to Whale Hunting for Global Accounts

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Author, Barbara Weaver Smith joins Susan Dec. 6 for this episode (listen live on this site at the right). Her first book, Whale Hunting, exposed us to how to succeed in landing larger accounts. Whale Hunting provides your B2B company with a clear, step-based model for successfully finding, landing, and harvesting whale-size accounts–the kinds of accounts that transform your business. It can mean the difference between merely surviving and thriving spectacularly. But you have to be smart and you have to be prepared!

In this episode we go to the next level: Whale Hunting for Global Accounts.

Some of the tips covered help you get in the mindset and secure your partners and team to handle this global accounts.

  1. A big tip is that perhaps you've heard of the US Department of Commerce, but you may not know what they do or can do for you and your business. This is a VERY helpful partnership. The episode gives you specifics of how they help businesses small and large secure global accounts. You can go to their (somewhat dry) site here >
  2. Changing your thinking of your business and your clients is the most critical piece. They are ready to be global or already are. You need to make sure you fit into that picture to enjoy a bigger version of your current status with them as a supplier. Be the solutions for ALL locations, all divisions. 
  3. Expanding your team will most likely be necessary. BUT your clients may have more in place to assist you than you realize. 
  4. Time to make some new partners, as well. EVERYONE can grow and be more successful with your new mindset, including your clients. AND you will build strong loyalty from them.

Listen in and take notes.

Selling to Healthcare & Hospitals - you need to be able to understand all the terms.

41CruH61J0L__SX331_BO1_204_203_200_.jpgMy guest is Heather Williams, the Vice President of Business Development at Strategic Dynamics, Inc. Heather helps organizations sell more effectively to their customers . She works with several healthcare companies but also works with other industries as well including finance. Heather works with senior level executives and HR to ensure organizations are hiring the right talent for all positions. Today we are discussing her book, “Selling to Hospitals & Healthcare Organizations.

To sell effectively in this new ecosystem today’s sellers must understand the role and function of hospital and alternate site personnel and their language. We call this Business Acumen. Sellers that understand the language and business of hospitals receive immediate credibility, which is a foundation for building communication and trust.

As hospitals migrate from a fee-for-service reimbursement methodology to payment for value, based upon patient outcomes; they are creating new business models and new relationships with insurers, physician practices, single and multi-specialty community clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic imaging centers, specialized treatment service centers, specialty hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare entities.

Available on Amazon

Buying the book will keep you in the loop for updates and book 2 coming out in 2019.

In this episode we cover:

  1. Who would find this book useful?

    1. Anyone who is calling on Hospitals or Healthcare Organizations. This includes, sales personnel, marketing, operations (for equipment implementations) or product service personnel.
    2. Sellers must understand the role and function of the hospital and their personnel (the jobs they perform) and then be able to speak their language.
    3. Private citizens will also find this book useful if they want to increase their knowledge base about healthcare organizations and personnel. After all we all need healthcare and it helps to be more knowledgeable about our options, the different institutions and the people who deliver the care.
  1. What is included in the book?

    1. The book is broken up in 2 parts and then 4 Appendices

      1. Hospital Business Acumen & Clinical Terms
      2. Hospital Physician & Key Healthcare Personnel
  • The Appendices includes Acronyms & Medical Industry Abbreviations, Anatomical Orientation Terms, several Healthcare Agencies & Organizations, and lastly some common Prescription Terms
  1. How do you use this with your clients?

    1. We let them know this is available and a great resource for on-boarding new company personnel who do not have any healthcare experience or who may be required to call on personnel in a new department or entity that was not previously served.
    2. For those that have experience, this is a great resource to keep on-hand as reference There may be a Healthcare acronym that you may not be aware that is in the book.