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ION Loyalty Rewards and Small Business Saturday

William Mills Agency     SionicMobile

ION Loyalty Rewards and Small Business Saturday

This week I got to sit down with another pair of movers and shakers in the technology and payment processing/ merchant services space in Atlanta.  William Mills of William Mills Agency introduced us to Ronald Herman, founder of Sionic Mobile.  We talked about the cool app the company has developed that gives merchants an elegant way to incentivize their customers to keep coming back to patronize their business.  The Loyalty app is designed in such a way that as customers spend money they earn “ions” they can then redeem at any participating merchant.  I also spoke with Terri Dennison, Georgia District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) about the upcoming Small Business Saturday and Small Business Saturday Night this coming November 29th.

The William Mills Agency has been in the Atlanta area for over 35 years, providing a suite of PR services, with a heavy focus on the financial services/payment processing technology sector.  The company provides public relations, crisis management, brand awareness/marketing strategy, and content marketing.  The William Mills Agency leadership team is heavily involved in the TAG FinTech Society.  FinTech is a group of professionals representing a broad range of financial technologies as well as a variety of roles within the industry, including executive management, solution specialists, sales and marketing, industry entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.  William has worked with 500-600+ innovative technology companies.  Even so, he was particularly intrigued by the model put forth by Ron Herman and his team at Sionic Mobile; so much so he became a member of the advisory board for the company.

Midtown Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile markets to smartphone consumers and rewards them for every mobile checkout. The mCommerce company utilizes mobile devices, Bluetooth® beacons and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION — the first, fully digital mobile promotions, gift cards, payments and rewards apps for phones and tablets. Merchants use ION Loyalty® to increase traffic, sales & margins, reduce credit card fees and get good customers back more often.  Users of the ION Consumers use ION Rewards® to earn IONs at every checkout, then spend them like cash on anything at any time at nearly 40,000 retail locations nationwide. The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.

The Small Business Administration provides a host of services designed to enhance the likelihood of success for small businesses in the US.  Their overarching goal is to increase available jobs through helping small businesses (who make up >50% of US business commerce) grow.  I got to speak with Terri Dennison of the Small Business Administration about their initiative to support small businesses through the Small Business Saturday campaign, aimed at encouraging US consumers to include local small business retailers in their holiday shopping.  SBA encourages America to support local economies shopping small on November 29th.  At the SBA, they know small businesses are vital to the growth and prosperity of the American economy. Since the recession, small businesses have created two out of three new private sector jobs… these firms are largely responsible for America’s 10.3 million new jobs that have led to 56 straight months of job growth.  Accelerating our recovery means creating the right environment and implementing the best policies for small businesses to thrive. The entrepreneurs the SBA works with face many challenges, but among the greatest is getting new customers in the door.  That’s why the SBA is proud to be part of Small Business Saturday – it’s a perfect time to promote your business and find new customers. On November 29th, millions of consumers across the country will participate in Small Business Saturday. More than 70 percent of Americans are now aware that two days after Thanksgiving is a day devoted to shopping small.  Last year, nearly half of all consumers who knew about Small Business Saturday…. acted on it … spending an estimated $5.7 billion dollars at local merchants across the nation. So we want to continue this momentum… And we’re asking you to help us promote the message that Small Business Saturday is day when buying gifts for the people we love … supports jobs and prosperity in the communities we call home.

We all have a stake in seeing foot traffic increase on Main Street.  We want to encourage shoppers to seek out unique, handmade gifts they won’t find at a big-box retailer.  And we want to see Internet traffic spike, too, with purchases of “gifts to ship” – and gift certificates from restaurants and service providers.  Everyone can spread the word about Small Business Saturday by recommending their favorite local shops and restaurants via Facebook and Twitter. The SBA is helping to spearhead an effort this Nov. 29 to extend the hours, so to speak, by promoting Small Business Saturday Night.  We know many of our small businesses are local restaurants and food purveyors…After a busy day of shopping, we want to encourage consumers to patronize their local small business restaurants and favorite watering holes.  The SBA is partnering this year with the National Restaurant Association to encourage families who are shopping small to “dine small” at local restaurants Saturday night.  Additionally, we’re encouraging small business merchants to extend their hours so they can take advantage increased nighttime foot traffic on Small Business Saturday Night.  So I hope we can create some synergy in this effort to keep Small Business Saturday going when the sun goes down.  To help in your preparations, I want to direct you to sba.gov/SmallBusinessSaturday where we have holiday marketing tips, ideas and materials … even for entrepreneurs on a limited budget.  And use our hashtags on Twitter: #SmallBizSaturday for Small Business Saturday and #DineSmall  for Small Business Saturday Night.

Special Guests:

William Mills, Owner of William Mills Agency  Twitter 16x16  Facebook  Linkedin  google-plus-logo-red-265px  youtube logo  feed logo

William Mills Agencies

  • BA Communications, Florida State University
  • Member, Executive Committee of Florida State University College of Communications & Information’s Advisory board
  • Has been quoted as an expert for Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Entrepreneur
  • Contributor for numerous publications

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

SionicMobile

  • 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

Terri Dennsion, District Director, US Small Business Administration Georgia District Office  Facebook  Blogger 2  youtube logo  google-plus-logo-red-265px  Twitter 16x16 

Small Business Administration Georgia Office

  • Former Deputy District Director, US Small Business Administration Indiana District Office
  • MA Urban Studies, Trinity University
  • Recipient: Atlanta Business League 100 Most Influential Black Women, 2006-2008
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle 100 Top Professionals in Banking and Finance, 2007-2011

Frontline Selling Optimized Lead Generation

Frontline Selling

Frontline Selling and Optimized Lead Generation

On today’s show I sat down with CEO/Co-Founder of Frontline Selling, Mike Scher.  He came by to talk about how Frontline Selling got its start after a number of years of highly successful work in enterprise sales.  He shared how he had discovered that his approach to the function of prospecting and lead generation meant that he was consistently getting a high percentage of new First Conversations with his prospective clients, enabling him to close more business than many of his peers.  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.

In 2002, two enterprise sales guys, my business partner, Dan McCann and I developed an entirely new approach to getting more meaningful conversations with key decision makers, and launched FRONTLINE Selling, an overwhelmingly successful appointment setting business. That arm of our product platform, now called Staccato In-motion, is still building incredible success stories for our clients today. Our client list is extensive and we’re proudly adding to it every day.

Because of our success, our customers, some of the most respected firms in the world, asked if we could teach their sales teams to do what we do – and we said, sure. So, we developed a solution and the second arm of our product platform, Staccato On-demand, to provide access to all of the knowledge and best practices we use every single day for our clients. We’ve now shared that information with companies across almost all products and industries — and tens of thousands of sales people worldwide.

Every single one of them, transactional sellers or big game hunters, 25 year veterans or newbies just out of college, became better at getting more first appointments with the right people. And, for many, the experience has been a career game changer.

We believe in our customers, and in the services we provide every day. We don’t ask for long-term contracts, so you’re free to cancel at any time. That’s how sure we are that you’ll significantly increase those critical first business conversations.

It really comes down to two simple things: 1) if you believe getting more first conversations with the right people will help you sell more, and 2) if you believe your team can experience the same remarkable results as the thousands before you, then we’d love to have you as our next success story!”

I am very pleased to get to sit down with Mike to talk about what they’re doing at Frontline Selling.  They’re yet another example of the innovative and successful companies that help the B2B space move faster, more efficiently, and help businesses grow.  We have some excellent business solution resources in our community and we look forward to linking them up with folks like those at Frontline Selling.

Special Guest:

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

Frontline Selling

 

NowAccount Network Corporation

Nowaccounts Network Corproation

Kim Humphreys and Lara Hodgson of NowAccount Network Corporation

Nowaccount Network Corporation Eliminates DSO Aging for Small to Medium-sized B2B Companies

Today on Midtown Business Radio we were joined by Lara Hodgson and Kim Humphreys of Nowaccount Network Corporation.  In the business world, companies can encounter significant risk related to prolonged aging of their Accounts Receivable.  It’s not uncommon for some businesses to have a Day Sales Outstanding of nearly 60 days.  With so much capital unavailable to cover costs such as payroll, necessary production materials, and capital equipment, many companies are forced to avoid taking on larger contracts/client orders or even close their doors due to capital short-fall.  Until now, B2B companies were forced to try to secure capital through onerous loans (if they could obtain one), factoring agreements (which require disclosure to all clients), and other less-than-optimal sources of funds.  Service companies that provide a service versus selling goods/products can have a particularly difficult time gaining access to loans or other options due to a lack of inventory/capital equipment that could be used as collateral.

Nowaccount serves the B2B space and provides access to AR pending capital within 2-5 days for a 2.5% fee.  In essence the service is akin to being able to accept a credit card for invoices.  Their clients can select which of their customers’ accounts they wish to include in their program rather than requiring them to enroll ALL AR.  Additionally, Nowaccount Network Corporation doesn’t force a long-term contract on their clients, giving them even greater flexibility.  Nowaccount does not require disclosure to their clients’ customers of their relationship so engaging in Nowaccount’s services is completely invisible to the B2B’s customers.  With access to their capital in such a timely fashion, many of the company’s clients have been able to leverage their quick access to pending AR capital into securing large contracts that would have been previously-inaccessible.  Some Nowaccount customers have been able to use their newly-acquired AR Cash in hand to gain bulk buying discounts on supplies/production materials and even improved company valuation prior to selling their company.  If your company is a B2B company that doesn’t have access to capital sources the Big Boys have there is no good reason to not be taking advantage of Nowaccount Network Corporation’s elegant solution to aging DSO!

Special guest:

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

Nowaccount Network Corporation

Lara O’Connor-Hodgson of 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

Conn Jackson of ConnTV

ConnTV

Schwegman and Conn Jackson talk about Toast

Conn Jackson of ConnTV

This week Dave and I sat down with Conn Jackson of ConnTV and InspireOne.  He’s an accomplished motivational speaker, known for his recent seminar “How to Sizzle”, and his talk radio and tv shows on ConnTV.  Conn has interviewed a number of well-known celebrities along they way including, Maya Angelou, Rudy Giuliani, Joel Osteen, Master Shah, Andrew Young, and more.

He left a successful life in the corporate world of finance to put his energy into putting positive energy into the world around him, using his media outlet, ConnTV and shows like Pro v. Conn, and IHeartRadio.  He is working to inspire people to grow beyond their internal boundaries to go from good to great (to coin the phrase).  Prior to his success in business and now in the public media he was diagnosed with some learning challenges as a child and told he should not expect to succeed in high school; that he should perhaps consider vocational training of some kind.  Instead he was blessed with getting his particular learning challenges identified such that he was able to thrive in spite of them, ultimately attending business school at Harvard.

Conn shared several key thoughts that would be useful to anyone listening to this show, be they business professionals or individuals seeking to live a richer, more fulfilling life.  This has been one of our most enjoyable and enlightening shows on personal levels and we’re looking forward to having Conn back again soon.  “It’s all about Toast!”  Listen and SHARE!

Special Guest:

Conn Jackson

  • Harvard graduate, overcoming diagnosed learning challenges
  • author
  • motivational speaker
  • successful radio/TV personality
  • founder, InspireOne

 

Midtown Business Radio Powers B2B Foward With New Media

Midtown Business Radio

David Schwegman and CW Hall discuss how Midtown Business Radio drives B2B co’s forward with New Media

Midtown Business Radio, Business Radio X Drives B2B, Harnesses Power of Earned Media

New Business Radio X studio affiliates, Dave Schwegman and CW Hall talk about the power of new media in creating relationships and driving B2B companies’ businesses forward.  The internet-based radio station takes on the Big Boys with an elegant approach that harnesses the power of earned media to extend the reach of each guest’s message.  Traditional media outlets focus on monetizing every available moment of air time.  They are also very resistant to giving access to the editorial real estate they have available to Joe Business owner to tell their stories.  Midtown Business Radio gives B2B companies the opportunity to have a forum uninterrupted by commercials, traffic, and news to talk about how they help their clients’ businesses move ahead.  We don’t determine the agenda for the guests nor do we tell them what they’re going to talk about.  Guests don’t pay to appear so the information is real and not “posing” as an interview.

Midtown Business Radio gives a voice to the B2B company that says, “Our product or service speaks for itself!  If only we could talk to THESE 50-100 people our business would go crazy!”  We don’t need to sell anyone on “Hope” by talking about an audience that’s 400,000 strong.  Our listeners tune in specifically to hear OUR GUESTS’ message.  That means when you’re on our network you’re talking straight to the very people your business “Hopes!” hear what you’re saying.  Enough people listen to our content to rank businessradiox.com among the Top 1% of all websites based on total traffic and visitor behavior (Alexa.com) and >90% of our shows are made possible through contributions from Atlanta-area B2B companies.  It’s not an infrequent occurrence that guests of a given show walk out talking about getting together to talk business after appearing together on one of our programs.

If you are a B2B company, particularly one that is hyper-local to the Atlanta area, you’re investing in marketing, and you need to talk to hard-to-reach folks to make your business run we want you join us on Midtown Business Radio!  Be our guest and we’ll help you get the word out.  We look forward to hearing from you.