Peter Radizeski is Founder and President of RAD-INFO INC. He is an accomplished blogalyst, speaker, author and consultant. He has helped many service providers with sales training, marketing, channel development and business strategy. He is a trusted source of knowledge about the telecom sector. His honest and direct approach make him a refreshing speaker.

Look for his innovative ideas and analysis of current technology on his blogs.

Meet him at one of the many conferences he attends and speaks at.

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Channel Manager Tips 2020

The Remote Selling workshop is going well. The feedback has been great. I am going to do a 3-week workshop for channel and partner managers.

On Tuesdays at Noon Eastern time for 3 weeks, attendees will get concise, actionable tips on Recruiting, Following Up and Enrolling partners.

3 weeks, 20 minutes per week, just $20! Starting May 26, 2020. REGISTER NOW:

Missed Out!

Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and J Crew have all filed for bankruptcy under the cover of COVID-19. Only Bloomberg seemed to notice that these retail giants were over-burdened with debt. The reality is they aren’t just laden with debt; they also are laden with poor management.

Creativity and Innovation are just not a part of the corporate structure much any more. On Forrester’s SDSummit, speakers remind attendees that companies need to “encourage more innovation” since “failures are just experiments“. There was no better time to open the cookbook and try things than during this pandemic.

My fiance and I were talking about how we just had not seen much from locals stores. Amazon took the lion share of business because everyone else sucks at it! It is frictionless!

TJ Maxx just closed down. Walmart wasn’t doing pick-up or shipping (on many items). Target or Big Lots either. Dick’s Sporting Goods was doing pick-up, they just wouldn’t say when you could pick up. Even Drizly was stalling out — which is okay IF you (over) communicate!

There was not much clarity to Big Retail. And Local retail – where are you?

This would have been the perfect time to do personal shopping for folks via Facetime. If Instacart can text with buyers as they shop for them, why couldn’t retail? What an experiment that would have been for any clothing store in America.

Bakeries were open, but you wouldn’t know it. What a time to be Gramming your cakes, brownies, cookies, what-have-you. What a great time to sell a kit to make a cake at home!!!! My pal, Dave Burton, got inventive at Tampa Pizza Co. by selling make your own pizza kits!

This was the time to experiment with ways to sell and serve.

One store was pushing its organic, homemade disinfectant.

There are a thousand ways to be creative. The bars started getting imaginative with take-out cocktails and videos on how to mix that specialty drink.

There are a bunch of books not just on creativity but ways to do guerrilla marketing or experiential marketing.

We even offered to hold a webinar to help businesses with ideas – and crickets. If you close down, you can blame the government and the pandemic but some of it was a lack of creativity on your part.

Running a Virtual Conference

I see people talking about virtual conferences. I have even been on two this year. I am passing on any more. Here’s why:

In-person keynotes from the corporate exec have been stale for years. I have sat through more than my share and have been impressed twice. The rest are dull and quite frankly written for and about the presenter.

In an in-person event, the attendee can forgive some of that while checking email; drinking free coffee and booze; networking with peers; and hopefully making sales (or at least sales contacts). How do you do any of that in a virtual conference?

Event companies (like Informa) think they put on impressive events with fantastic content. They don’t. The keynotes are there because of the company they work for – not because the exec is a great speaker.

On the hundreds of panels I have moderated and been on, it is rare that anyone did their homework. Who is in the audience? What do they care about? What could I say that would impact them? What nugget can I give them as a take-away? Nope. Most are waiting for the opportunity to sell – give their value prop or talk about how great the company or product is.

This doesn’t work on Webinars, so how will it work on a Virtual Conference?

Here’s some advice:

Do your homework! Know who is in the audience. If it is a mixed bag – like say CP Ev with MSPs, VARs, Agents and vendors in the audience – clearly identify who you are speaking to (not at, TO).

Choose one thing to say that will be impactful.

Be engaging. Spark interest. Don’t read the slides. Treat it like a TED Talk or an IGNITE talk. Quite frankly, the Ignite format of 20 slides (images mostly) auto-rotating every 15 seconds is a fantastic format for virtual conferences. At Ignite Tampa Bay (that I co-founded) we had a slogan, “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” And “Hang on. Something new in just 5 minutes.”

Most speakers hate (or cannot perform) the Ignite format. TED talks are longer: usually 18 minutes. Either format, the speakers practice. Not something most conference speakers do. More’s the pity because of this.

Could you run a Virtual Conference? Absolutely. Here’s an idea:

TED and Ignite style talks – picked by committee after the speaker submits the talk title, summary and bio. (That is how we pick IGNITE Tampa Bay speakers for 10 years now).

Follow up each talk with an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Then move over to break out rooms to discuss the topic and network in smaller groups.

One speaker per hour. Plenty of time for the talk (18 minutes, 15 minutes of AMA, and 15 minutes of break out). Even time to take a call or do email.

Too hard on the speakers? Then do interviews. Questions can be submitted live or beforehand. Last week I moderated a panel of 5 channel execs for 400+ attendees. It takes preparation – and some work live for Q&A but it can be done.

How do you make money?

Sponsors of each talk. Sponsor of the break out rooms. Attendee tickets – doesn’t have to be free. Offer a Money Back Guarantee. Donate a portion of the tickets.

In this “New Normal” (I hate that term) we have to be creative. We have to give Value first and second and maybe third.

To garner attention you have to have something impactful to say. People are preoccupied with survival, so your petty BS talk that you gave last year won’t cut it in 2020 or 2021. Leave you network map and the slide that provides a history in your recycle bin. It’s time to step up your presenting game.

Notes: Some extra tips from Eventbrite.

This Was Cloud’s Moment

On call after call, I hear about the premise solutions losing ground – hundreds of seats at a time. Avaya struck that deal with RingCentral just in time, because this pandemic (COVID-19) has accelerated the move to the cloud.

But don’t mistake the bounce in seats and users as the win. You have the opportunity to retain those customers and that revenue. You also have the opportunity to lose them.

One thing missing is user training. If users are unable to be productive using your service, good luck keeping them!

Best example I can give is on Zoom. I am on so many Zoom calls every day. 99 percent of these calls could be done on ANY platform. ANY. Some could be done on Facetime!!! I have only been on 2 impressive Zoom calls. On one, they used the Breakout rooms, which was fantastic! That is the only time I have seen it used.

On my panel yesterday with AireSpring on State of the Channel, we had 5 panelists, 1 moderator and 2 other presenters and almost 500 attendees. Pretty good platform for that as long as there isn’t a shared screen or Power Point.

Remember that 90% of MS Office users only used 10% of the functionality. You have to train people how to get the most out o fyour service.

People didn’t evaluate platforms or run an RFP or do a trial. Their hair was on fire and they picked a vendor for CCC and UC via a dart board. Now keeping them is up to you.

On a call today with buyers I heard a couple ready to leave one vendor. I heard one complain about no training. I heard a few others grumble about call quality. Your stressed out customers aren’t happy!

Just a reminder from your friendly neighborhood secret shopper.

What’s Selling Right Now (Part 2)

In this 22 minute conversation with Josh Anderson, CEO of master agency – Acuity Tech in Tampa FL – partners can learn what is selling right now and why. We also examine what customers might need – and offerings that partners might want to look at for their customers during this pandemic.