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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio

Getting More First Appointments


IMG_7331        liz


Getting More First Appointments With Ideal Clients

This week we brought back CEO/Co-Founder of Frontline Selling, Mike Scher.  He came by to share some insights on how his team is able to dramatically increase the number of appointments with prospective new customers for their clients.  Mike shares the company’s story and how it got its genesis on their great-looking website this way,

Every business has a story to tell. Our stories are powerful and we want to be able to tell them to people who are interested in buying our products and services. The key to successful selling is being able to tell our stories to more people more often.

The fun part is – that’s the business we’re in. We help our clients get more first appointments with people who are genuinely interested in talking to them – so they can sell more. It’s what we do every day. And we are very, very good at it.

Mike gave some examples of their approach for speaking with administrative assistants for key decision makers, tips for email contacts, recommendations for follow-ups, and how to leave a voicemail that is much more likely to result in a call back.  We talked about some case studies where his clients have achieved significant growth in new customer acquisition that allowed them to (in fact, necessitated them to) add to their staff to handle the new growth.  In fact, Mike shared the fact that the LOWEST level of growth his clients have achieved is 50% over previous new customer sales levels compared to prior to engaging their insourced/training or outsourced inside sales solutions.

Midtown Business Spotlight:  Liz Covin/Vivid Salon

In our new Midtown Business Spotlight, I caught up with Liz Covin, founder of Vivid Salon.  We’re partnering with Vivid so going forward, listeners of Midtown Business Radio who mention they heard about Vivid from the show get a 50% discount on their first appointment with the salon.

We talked about Vivid’s innovative compensation/career track model that allows hair stylists to not only hone their craft, learning from world-renowned hair experts, but also build a business that offers a significant income within a few years’ time.

Liz said this about the salon: “Vivid is a full service hair salon in Morningside/VA Highlands. We will celebrate our 6 year anniversary on April 1, 2015. We currently have 11 stylists and 3 front desk/support staff. Our stylists start with us as an Associate accompanying an upper level stylist for 6 months then start behind the chair full time and working their way through our performance based level system. Everything we do is performance based, when a stylist reaches their customer service goals 3 months in a row, they earn a promotion/pay raise and move up to the next level. We have 5 levels in our system offering stylists about a 10 to 12 year career path to earn beyond a six figure income. Our ongoing referral program is built in to help stylists grow their clientele offering a reward to existing guests when they refer friends and family and rewarding those friends as well on their first visit.

We are a Redken Elite salon meaning we only use Redken hair color in our salon and we offer Redken and Pureology brand hair care to our guests for their at home needs as well. Being brand loyal to Redken and Pureology, awards us top level continuing education for our stylists and support staff as well. I’m very thankful for my relationship with Redken and Pureology and my business consulting group, The Summit Salon Business Consulting, my business coach with The Summit, Marti Nelson, my local Redken/Pureology rep, Ms. Dale Potts with SalonCentric and all the other business partners endorsed by Redken and Pureology and Loreal Professional. Without the village of support offered from these companies, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be in business. And our current team of stylists, support staff and salon manager, Brian Holman, are by far the most amazing group of people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Special Guest:

Mike Scher, CEO/Co-Founder of Frontline Selling  Facebook  Twitter 16x16  Linkedin  

Frontline Selling

Liz Covin, Hair Stylist, Founder, Vivid Salon  facebook_logo_small3  YELP  Citysearch



Motif Investing

Midtown Business Radio

Motif Investing

This week I caught up with Peter Andes, VP of Research for Motif Investing.  They’re an online investment platform that gives its clients the ability to invest in “motifs” built around particular themes or company types.  Each motif consists of up to 30 unique company stocks and the investor has the ability to tailor the breakdown of percentage of funds that gets put into a given stock in the motif.  In this way, Motif Investments clients get to achieve investment diversity as well as having a high level of control over the stocks in a given motif.

Here’s a link to an overview of Motif Investing.

Motif Investing’s experts have created numerous motifs, based upon market research and trends, that have potential for positive return when investors select that particular group.  Should the investor wish to swap out companies or create a motif from scratch based on their own knowledge of market trends/data they have that ability.  And trades are inexpensive, with investing in a given motif costing only $9.95 with a minimum starting investment of $250.  For users to swap out companies in existing motifs it’s only $4.95 per company to do so.

Another benefit of this investment platform is that investors are actually holders of the respective stocks in these companies, not just investors in a fund that holds the stocks.  That means that the investor can transfer their shares to a traditional investment agency should they choose to do so.  Motif Investing doesn’t provide investment advice–it’s up to the investor to educate themselves on the stocks/market sectors they want to invest in.  But their innovative approach to online investing makes participating in the stock market attainable for pretty much everyone who wants to do so.  Check it out!

Special Guest:

Peter Andes, Director of Investment Products & Analytics, Motif Investing  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  google-plus-logo-red-265px  linkedin_small1  youtube logo  feed logo 

Motif Investing

  • BSc Computer Science, University of British Columbia
  • Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA Institute
  • Former Software Engineer, Google
  • Previous Associate, Equity Fundamental Strategies, Goldman Sachs

Creative Circus, BBDO, Escalate, and Coca-Cola

creative circus

Creative Circus, BBDO, Escalate, and Coca-Cola

This week my guests included experts from Creative Circus, BBDO, Escalate, and Coca-Cola.  The focus of our discussion was centered around marketing/brand awareness through creative campaigns and experiential/word-of-mouth marketing.  And we started by sharing the story about Creative Circus, an Atlanta-based creative school that recruits top creative arts students from around the country to continue their education and professional development in their 2 year program.  A key feature of Creative Circus is not simply teaching creative arts/ad creation skills.  Rather, Creative Circus also teaches the students fortunate to attend how to market themselves in the interview/application process and how to build a professional, well-constructed portfolio of work.  With the combined quality of instruction in the creative process and portfolio development, the Creative Circus’s graduates have a high rate of placement with creative agencies upon graduation.

The Creative Circus collaborates frequently with such well-known firms as BBDO, the globally-known creative agency responsible for innumerable high-profile ad campaigns as seen during the Super Bowl, on our TV’s daily, and across the spectrum of media forms.  Debbie Lindner, SVP and Chief People Officer stopped by to talk about how the agency will sometimes refer candidates who are seeking to work with BBDO to the Creative Circus for additional experience and development of their book of work.  She talked about the fact that Creative Circus graduates clearly come out of the program prepared and ready to contribute to creative campaigns with a high level of ability.

Stu Sheldon of Escalate joined the conversation to talk about how Word of Mouth earned media adds an additional layer of engagement on top of well-planned, quality creative campaigns to boost effectiveness of brand campaigns.  He introduced us to a frequent client, Zakia Holland, a Director of Brand with Coca-Cola (a personal favorite brand of mine).  We talked about a number of experiential marketing campaigns Coca-Cola has employed to reach new customer bases such as those in the younger generations and when they launch new brands into the market place.

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 brands. The Company and its bottling partners are dedicated to “2020 Vision,” a roadmap for doubling system revenues this decade, focused on five key areas—profit, people, portfolio, partners and planet.  The Company has the strongest portfolio of brands in the nonalcoholic beverage industry – now featuring 20 brands that generate more than $1 billion USD in annual retail sales.
Special Guests:

Katie Harmon, Marketing Manager of the Creative Circus  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1  youtube logo  google-plus-logo-red-265px  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)  Pinterest-logo

Creative Circus

  • BA, Art History, Criticism, and Conservation, Georgia College and State University
  • Previous Representative and Event Coordinator, Coverdell Institute
  • Former Self-Expression Coordinator, Carrera Model Program
  • Hope Scholarship recipient, Weir Wells Study Abroad recipient

Debbie Lindner, SVP, Chief People Officer of BBDO Atlanta  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  youtube logo

BBDO Atlanta

  • BA, Psychology and Finance, Missouri State University
  • 25 years of leadership roles with BBDO Atlanta
  • Board Member, BBDO Atlanta
  • Member, National Association of Professional Women

Stuart Sheldon, Chief Advocacy Officer at Escalate  Linkedin  Facebook  Twitter  vimeo logo  youtube logo  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)


  • BA, English and Journalism, Washington and Lee University
  • Former Senior Brand Manager, Coca Cola Company
  • Founder and Former Evangelist Prime, ConnectUs Marketing
  • 2006 Coca-Cola North America Big, Bold & Inspiring Marketing award; Coca-Cola Worldwide Marketing Excellence award finalist

Zakia Holland, Senior Brand Activation Manager at Coca Cola  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  youtube logo  flickr  linkedin_small1


  • MBA, Georgia Southern University
  • 9 years in leadership role, Coca Cola
  • Former Senior Account Manager, Ritz Carlton Hotel
  • Avid Runner




Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click Advertising

This week I caught up with Eric Jones from Jellyfish, the digital strategy experts.  We talked about Pay Per Click Advertising, mistakes that can be made, things to think about when planning your campaign, and why it makes sense to work with experts such as those at Jellyfish to engage in a digital marketing campaign that employs pay per click advertising.

Having tried our hand at DIY Google AdWords campaigns that quickly cost us $$$ while getting us no conversions, our business can surely say there is value to working with experts who can guide you and help you spend wisely.  Eric talked about the value of analytics to track the effects of a given campaign, as well as why it’s important to consider the page on your website the ads direct your prospective customers to.

Eric shed some light on how the bidding process works in determining where your ads will rank, ultimately controlling where your ads will be displayed (1st page?, top of 1st page? etc).  We talked about how when there is much competition for a given set of keywords the cost per click can rise significantly, so advertisers must be prepared for that.

I also discussed some guests who have been on the show before that our listeners could benefit from getting to know.  I’m planning to incorporate some occasional shout-outs to be sure the companies who need their solutions can link up with them.  We hope you enjoy our show and subscribe to the podcast.  Let us hear from you with feedback, guest recommendations, and where you’re listening from.  If you tweet us questions or put them up on Facebook we’ll try to get them on the air and/or follow up with the guests after the fact to get you answers.  Thank you for listening to us!  Looking forward to 5000 downloads!

Special Guest

Eric Jones VP, Client Strategy with Jellyfish  Twitter 16x16  Facebook  Linkedin  youtube logo  google-plus-logo-red-265px


  • CEO, Avenue J Development LLC
  • Previous Board of Directors member, Toolbank Baltimore
  • >10 years in leadership roles in digital strategy/marketing companies

Lara O’Connor-Hodgson, CEO of Nowaccount Network Corporation  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook



Nowaccount Network Corporation

  • MBA Harvard Business School
  • Former Adjunct Professor of Finance, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Board of Directors, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority
  • Owner, Insomnia Group
  • Chairman of the Board, Atlanta Heights Charter School
  • Second Language–Japanese

LeeAnn Maxwell, CEO/Co-Founder of Vixen Vodka  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Pinterest



Vixen Vodka

  • 28 years experience in finance sector
  • former Director, Client Services of AccousTech Music Productions
  • Crossfit fan
  • 50% Firecracker
  • 50% Do-It-Yourself Woman

Jesus Ricardo (Rick) Tapia, Founder of La Bodega International, LLC and Creator of J.R. Revelry  Facebook  Twitter 16x16

JR Revelry

  • 17 years of experience in alcohol beverage industry
  • Successful entrepreneur
  • Actively involved in the community, supporting Hispanic and Latin American Chambers of Commerce
  • BA, Boston University
  • Speaks Fluent Spanish

Ron Herman, CEO of SionicMobile  google-plus-logo-red-265px  Facebook  Twitter 16x16  Linkedin  



  • Founder and Former CEO, Urban Informatics Corporation
  • >19 years of Executive Leadership roles in Technology Start-up to Fortune 500 Companies
  • Former CEO, Intellione Technologies

Mario Montag, CEO, Co-founder of Predikto Analytics  Linkedin  Twitter 16x16



Predikto Analytics

  • > 15 years of experience developing transformational technology solutions for Fortune 500 companies
  • Former Director, North America Oracle Master Data Management practice
  • MBA, IT, and International Business, Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business
  • Fluent in Spanish
 Bill and Diedre Plunk of CimCo Commercial Collections  Linkedin 

CimCo Commercial Collection

  • BS in Education, Minor in Business, Northeastern State University
  • Former Teacher and Coach, Oklahoma Public Schools
  • Board Member, River of Praise Ministries