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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



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

Marketing Eye, SolTech, Cox Digital Solutions, and Pindrop Security

soltech marketing eye

Marketing Eye, SolTech, Cox Digital Communications, and Pindrop Security

Today, I had the opportunity to feature another four technology companies that help businesses grow and operate more efficiently.  I was pleased to host Marketing Eye, SolTech, Cox Digital Solutions, and Pindrop Security.  Mellissah Smith, founder and CEO of Marketing Eye brought along Veanne Smith, Vice President of SolTech, an innovative Atlanta technology company and client of Marketing Eye.  One of the digital strategy experts from Cox Digital Solutions, Drew Erickson, joined us to talk about why it makes sense to work with Cox Media and their digital team to maximize ROI on investing in a digital marketing strategy.  And Matt Anthony, VP of Marketing for Pindrop Security stopped by to talk about how they help companies avoid falling victim to phone fraud of a variety of types, protecting them and their customers from financial loss.

Marketing Eye is a disruptive marketing consulting firm that delivers small to medium-sized businesses with an experienced marketing team for a small, weekly fee. Their outsourced marketing solution delivers exponential growth to the companies we work with through a strategic approach and clear understanding of marketing strategy, creative, brand, lead generation, public relations, and sales and marketing automation.  Marketing Eye’s model is simple; they provide businesses with a marketing manager and outsourced marketing team dedicated to ensuring that your business achieves its marketing goals. Complete with branding, graphic design, web development, search engine optimization, social media, lead generation and direct marketing expertise – Marketing Eye is the ultimate results-orientated marketing solution in Atlanta.  Whether you need a marketing resource to accelerate your business growth, or a more strategic approached aligned to your business outcomes, Marketing Eye is well known for high performance, technology-driven marketing campaigns that deliver results for their clients.

SolTech is a Custom Software Development, Web Applications Services, IT Staffing and Technology Consulting Company in Atlanta, GA.   The company, now in its 16th year, helps companies fulfill visions of success and goals for growth through custom software development, strategic technology consulting, system integration, application infrastructure support, and staff augmentation. Using proven, structured methodologies to ensure outstanding deliverables, SolTech provides a quality alternative to high-priced consulting firms. Their promise to their staff and clients: to be honest about their capabilities, to stay focused on core services, and to remain committed to delivering quality results. To find out more about how SolTech can turn your company’s ideas into reality now and as you grow, visit their website.   The company is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Sitecore Partner and a Java certified developer.


Drew Erickson, Digital Sales Manager for WSB-TV and Cox Media Group. He consults with clients to develop a strategy for digital marketing, advertising, audience insights and lead generation programs. He’s been with Cox Media Group for over 10 years, all in digital marketing and advertising.  Their staff, comprised of a team of highly-experienced digital marketing experts, work closely with their clients to determine what their goals are.  They review what they have been doing to date to grow awareness of their brand, how effective those measures have been, and come up with a comprehensive set of recommendations that encompasses the variety of media types at their disposal to create a campaign that gives the greatest likelihood the brand gets its message in front of their target customers.  Cox Digital Solutions takes full advantage of today’s mobile technology, enabling their customers to display ads to prospective customers based on geo-location, allowing their clients to be very specific about where and when their message is displayed.  Cox Digial Solutions also leverages their role as a Google Premier Partner to take advantage of the wealth of analytics data available to them to place Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click (PPC) text and display ads that much more effectively.  They combine these tactics with recommendations for improvements to their clients’ websites to insure the landing page for displayed ads provides the highest likelihood of conversion once a prospective client visits the website.  As someone who has worked with the team at Cox Digital Solutions I can tell you it will quickly become apparent they are invested in your success as an advertiser investing money with them to grow your business.

Matt Anthony is the VP of Marketing for Pindrop Security.  I was fortunate to link up with them via Twitter and looked into what they do.  Prior to that I knew phone fraud occurs but I didn’t realize that it’s not only still going strong, it is as Matt put it, “a growth industry”.  Thieves have become experts at “social engineering”, meaning they are adept at personifying an authentic customer in an effort to obtain sensitive data from a helpful call center agent.  This puts any business that possesses sensitive information at risk for significant financial loss.  Pindrop Security has developed technologies that enable their client businesses to determine with a high degree of accuracy that a given call to their call center is likely a fraudulent attempt to breach their system.  The process of evaluating voice, originating device, and geographic location happens as quickly as 20 seconds into the call.  This means Pindrop Security customers are able to terminate those calls or lock down the account that the caller is attempting to access to prevent the theft before it happens.  This means that Pindrop Security clients are able to avoid significant  financial losses and potential legal issues that arise when their systems are breached, allowing sensitive data to be stolen.

Special Guests:

Mellissah Smith, Managing Director/Founder of Marketing Eye  Facebook  Twitter 16x16  Linkedin  Pinterest  feed logo

Marketing Eye

  • Founder/Owner, Insomnia Marketing and Communication
  • Founder, Marketing Eye Magazine
  • Author, “108 Ways to Market Your Small Business”
  • #2 Marketer to follow on Twitter, >47,000 followers on Twitter, >11,000 connections on LinkedIn
  • Hundreds of thousands of readers follow her blog

Veeanne Smith, Vice President/Founder of SolTech  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter 16x16  Linkedin


  • Former VP, Computer Management Services/Computer Associates
  • Former Professional Services Manager, Computer Task Group/ctg
  • CS Advisory Board Member, Kennesaw State University
  • BS, Computer Science, Illinois State University

Drew Erickson, Digital Solutions Manager, Cox Digital Solutions/ WSB-TV  Twitter 16x16  Facebook  google-plus-logo-red-265px  Linkedin

Cox Digital Solutions

  • Former Owner, Drew Erickson Productions and Marketing
  • Former Sales Account Manager, Cox Radio
  • Former Digital Web Master, Cox Radio
  • IAB Digital Media Sales Certification, Interactive Advertising Bureau



Custom Software Development, Technical Recruiting & Staffing, Mobile Application Development, Hosting & Hardware Support, Strategic Consulting


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