What’s fRickun Cool at the Marriott?

This week’s frickun cool discovery comes by way of my assistant, Jennifer Porter. While on a recent trip to New Orleans, LA, Jennifer had the chance to try out one of the most innovative new features in hotels today.

From Jennifer:

After checking in at the downtown Marriott, I walked to the elevators and had to stop for a second. Rather than your typical “Up” and “Down” arrows, this is what I saw instead:

With this type of elevator service, guests simply select their floor number and the letter of the elevator car to take them to that level appears. 

Different? Sure. Efficient? Absolutely! The entire time of my stay, I wasn’t in an elevator with more than 2 people at a time, getting to my floor in what felt like seconds.

Pretty fRickun cool, right?

 

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Why Five Guys is fRickun Cool

Once or twice a year, I allow myself to indulge in a delicious cheeseburger and fries at Five Guys. I’ve always loved Five Guys, but I try to eat healthy. On a recent “cheat day,” I saw something totally new to me: a touchscreen Coca-Cola soda machine that mixes an almost infinite number of flavors. I rarely drink soda, but I was so excited to try this thing out that I gave in to a Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke.

I watched other customers as they used the machine as well. Their excitement level was at a ten. Kids were begging their parents to come back again tomorrow. I have a feeling this will bring in new customers and will also keep others coming back more often.

It’s a great example of a company using new technology and fun to engage customers and build loyalty. Yes, the novelty will eventually wear off. But there’s a ton of money to be made in the meantime.

        

The Art of Manliness

I love reading old sales books. The language, the culture, the technology (or lack thereof), the technique, the perspective – I am totally in awe of our forefathers. It’s so interesting to compare their perspective, their obstacles, their challenges, and their successes to ours.

Old books aren’t for everyone. There’s often a language barrier. You might think old sales books are hokey (and that’s because they often are).

So here’s something for every sales person on the planet: vintage motivational posters courtesy of The Art of Manliness.

Trust me, they are fRickun cool!

Why River Valley Bank is fRickun Cool

I had the honor and pleasure to speak to leaders from River Valley Bank yesterday in Wausau, Wisconsin. It’s a family owned bank with 18 locations and it’s a bank that the big boy’s should study and attempt to emulate. River Valley Bank is full of passionate, dedicated, intelligent, and friendly people. People who are willing to do what it takes to serve their customers in memorable ways. And, people who are willing to go out of their way to help.

This passion is evidenced by the information on their front door. Below their hours of operation, River Valley Bank has a note that read, “After Hours By Appointment.”

After Hours? Really? At a bank?

When I asked employees under what circumstances they would be willing to stay open late I received a simple answer: “When a customer asks.”

Wow. Or should I say, fRickun Cool!

Jigsaw

I’ve been using Jigsaw.com for years. I haven’t shared it with you until now because, well, honestly, it’s been my little secret. I have used Jigsaw’s socially powered B2B contact database to:

a. Identify prospects
b. Get direct phone numbers and email addresses
c. Find the REAL decision maker in large organizations
d. Connect with a human being rather than a toll-free call center
e. Find just about anyone who’s anybody in the business world

In Jigsaw’s own words (don’t be confused by the reference to Data.com…Jigsaw operates under both names since their sale to Salesforce.com): “Data.com Contacts is the world’s largest database of up-to-date, downloadable, and complete contact and company information. With a directory of more than 30 million business contacts and over 40,000 contacts added and edited daily by a dedicated user base of over one million, the quality, content, and scope of the contact directory is unrivaled. Every Data.com Contacts business contact is complete with a phone number, position, company, mailing address, and business email address. Data.com Contacts also offers free tools for researching companies as well as a user generated company research wiki pages.

Data.com Contacts’ unique Wikipedia-style crowd-sourcing model delivers the world’s most complete, accurate and up-to-date business contact and company data. By harnessing the power of many, Data.com Contacts is broader and deeper than any other data source. By setting up a free account, community members can access the database, and can accumulate points through helping to maintain data quality. These points may be redeemed for access to additional records.”

If you’re in sales, you need Jigsaw. Sign up now. Like right now.

A fRickun Cool Phone

It’s fitting that this week my fRickun Cool discovery is a pay phone, considering this week’s edition of The Ark of Sales includes the second article in a series focused on phone skills.

Here’s the background: my daughters, who are 6 and 8 years old, know pretty much every pop song in the top 100. A few weeks ago I heard them singing “Payphone” by Maroon 5 and I asked, “Do you girls know what a pay phone is?” They both tried their hardest to come up with a coherent answer but failed miserably. I realized that they had probably never even seen, let alone used, a pay phone. Talk about a harsh dose of reality – I felt like a dinosaur.

I then proceeded to explain, with a nostalgic slant, what a pay phone is and why on earth I would have ever had the need to use one. They listened with great interest and then said, “Can we try one?”

So for several weeks every time I was with my girls I was on the lookout for a pay phone. Guess what? We could not find a single one! That is, until we were walking around at an outdoor art festival that also happened to have a small antique section. As technological evolution would have it, the only pay phone my daughters have ever seen was being sold as a collectible for $275.

Interesting to think how far we’ve come in such a short time, no?

And, just in case you’re wondering, I did NOT buy the pay phone.

If Apple Made a fRickun Cool Car…

Just after dropping my kids off at school this morning I noticed this fRickun cool car in the parking lot. The owner decided to have a little fun and place a large unlock sticker on the door (a la Apple’s iPhone home screen).

It’s fun, it’s a bit ridiculous, but it’s also an indication of how impactful Apple’s designs have been.

Ask yourself this: what have you or your company created that somebody would be willing to put on their car?

Recombobulation is fRickun Cool

I find myself looking for humor in everything. And, while traveling, this is especially true. Thankfully, I don’t have to look far when flying to or from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Field. The TSA in Milwaukee hung several signs just after the security check points that read “Recombobulation Area.” I smile every time I see it. Maybe that’s because TSA employees aren’t known for their humor. Maybe that’s because I’m often slap happy from exhaustion. Whatever the case, I like it.

And just in case you’re wondering what the heck recombobulation means, you can view the Urban Dictionary official definition.

 

Boiler Room

I have a collection of sales movies that I love to watch from time to time. Boiler Room, starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, and Ben Affleck, is one of my personal favorites. On a recent flight, I decided to watch it again and I was reminded why I like Boiler Room so much. There’s cold calling, hard-selling, and a hat tip to Wall Street to boot. If you’re in sales, this belongs in your library.

Here’s a more complete list of sales movies you should own (in no particular order):

Boiler Room

Glengarry Glen Ross

Tin Men

Tommy Boy

Salesman

Wall Street

So, what did I miss? What’s your favorite sales movie?

Pocket

All day long, I’m inundated with emails about cool articles, products, and new things worth checking out. So how do I combat my “Oo! Shiny object!” syndrome while still managing to stay productive?

Hello, Pocket.

This free app allows me to save videos, articles, etc directly from my browser or other apps. Once in Pocket, I can then view it on my phone or iPad when I’m waiting for a flight to take off or if an appointment is running late.

With one location to view what I want to when I want to, Pocket helps me get rid of a bunch of email clutter. Oh, and I don’t even need an internet connection.

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