Speedometer90 days ago I purchased a new vehicle. This was the first car I acquired since I transitioned to a virtual business model, which made me wonder how this vehicle’s first few months as a member of my household compared to my last new car purchase, when I still followed the traditional sales model. Lets take a look at the numbers.

In the first 90 days that I owned my last vehicle, the mileage increased from 33 to 12,430. That is 4,100+ miles per month on the road a traveling salesman. My new vehicle has aged from 6 to 1,624 during the first 90 days of ownership. That represents a nearly 90% drop in miles driven per month.

Now let us explore how that translates to fuel costs. The traditional sales miles were covered in an economical sedan which averaged 27 MPG. 12,430 / 27 X $3.50 per gallon = $1,611 in fuel costs. Meanwhile, my virtual miles are driven in an SUV which averages 18 MPG. 1,624 / 18 X $3.50 per gallon = $316. This equates to $1,300 in my pocket, while making no mention of maintenance costs, even while driving a much less efficient vehicle.

This simple example illustrates just one of the many challenges created by a traditional sales model that puts people on the road. By leveraging a virtual model, people have more time to work and their businesses are significantly more profitable.

Originally Posted on October 10, 2011 by John Scranton

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Posted in: Business, Sales, Virtual Business
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Kings, Peasants & Innovation

  • Posted on March 13, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Long, long ago in a place far, far away, a king ruled a country of peasants.  They hunted, gathered, and farmed.  They built buildings and a castle for the king.  They fought for the king when the neighbors attacked.  All of the peasants did as they were told.  Nothing less, and nothing more.  The king was very pleased with this, as his loyal subjects faithfully executed his orders.  He was a happy king.

Until one day, the neighboring kingdom attacked and sacked the village, destroying the castle.  The king and his peasants were forced into servitude for the new king.  All of the peasants did as they were told.  Nothing less, and nothing more.  However, they noticed the peasants in this kingdom were different.  They carried out their orders, but were not told exactly how their duties should be carried out – only their end goals.  They were also rewarded when they exceeded their goals.

Therefore, the peasants in the new kingdom had an incentive to create and advance their methods.  They fertilized crops with different materials to increase the farming yield.  They built sound structures that were more difficult to penetrate.  And they created advanced weaponry that allowed them to penetrate the walls of their neighboring kingdom and overthrow the formerly happy king.

These peasants had become innovators.  They constantly sought better, faster, and more efficient methods for reaching their goals.  And they were rewarded by their king consistently for their efforts.  In fact, he was so impressed with the production of his people that he distributed the indentured peasants to work as their assistants.  Thus making the peasants not peasants at all really.  Now, they were managers.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on September 29, 2011

 

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Posted in: Business
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10 Business Quotes Worth Reading

  • Posted on March 9, 2017
  • by John Scranton
  1. Nothing happens until someone sells something. – Tom Watson
  2. Business, that’s easily defined – it’s other people’s money. – Peter Drucker
  3. If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. – J. Paul Getty
  4. It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. – Tom Brokaw
  5. You know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in. – John D. Rockefeller
  6. I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. – Milton Friedman
  7. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. – Henry David Thoreau
  8. Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. – Ben Franklin
  9. Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing… layout, processes, and procedures. – Tom Peters
  10. The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government. – Mitt Romney

Originally Posted by John Scranton on September 26, 2011

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The Perils of Jargon & The Power of Clear Communication

  • Posted on March 7, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency MarketingYesterday I had some repairs made to my ankle. I won’t share all the details, but to summarize, the procedure repaired old sports injuries and was invasive enough to require general anesthesia.

I spoke with two nurses, a physician’s assistant, anesthesiologist and surgeon prior to the operation.  Each of these people attempted to explain important information to me, however they spoke a foreign language: medicine.

Luckily they were each highly experienced professionals who had honed their communication skills. For example, the anesthesiologist reviewed his recommended strategy called “a block.” He elucidated the details of this jargon by analogizing the process to receiving novacane at the dentist. Jargon before, now clearly understood, and readily accepted (bought) by me as the best course of action.

During your sales process, consistently confirm that your prospect understands your communication and concepts  clearly.  Alliteration aside, ask yourself these questions. If you aren’t sure, ask your prospect.

  • Did you define industry jargon and technical terms in clear and simple language?
  • Did you use examples and stories that a common business person would understand?
  • Did you clearly elucidate how your solution would improve your prospects business?
  • Would your mother understand your value proposition and pitch?

A prospect will not buy a product, service or solution they do not understand.  The clarity of your communication can determine the success or failure of your deal.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on September 13, 2011

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Virtual, Retired or Professional Gambler?

  • Posted on March 3, 2017
  • by John Scranton

There is an older gentleman in my neighborhood who leaves his house at exactly 11am each day during late July and August.  These happen to be the 40 days that Saratoga Race Course is running.  At first I wondered if it was coincidence, but I have seen him at the track every time I have attended.  Always in the same spot, with the same guys and the same beverage.  He must really enjoy that routine.

This prompted a question – is he a horse racing fan who is making the most of his retirement or a professional gambler who is actually leaving for the office each day at 11?  I don’t know the answer and I don’t know him well enough to ask, but I assume the latter since it is more exciting.  Either way he appears to be paying his bills and having a blast – so kudos to him.

Although this thought process prompted an additional question – what do my neighbors think I do?  Some we know personally, but many are only acquaintances.  How many of them realize that I manage sales and marketing for StartUpSelling from my virtual home office?  How many think I am unemployed and playing computer games all day?  How many think I am retired or a professional gambler?  Maybe I should take an informal poll at the next block party.

The results of the poll would be interesting but not relevant.  The point of these observations and questions, as the author Thomas L. Friedman might say, is this: The democratization of technology, information and finance has created the opportunity for many Americans to build a successful career from their virtual offices – including two on my street – whether they choose to work from a spare bedroom, or next to the margarita bar at the track.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on August 31, 2011

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Posted in: Business, Virtual Business
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