If you’ve ever doubted yourself at work, be sure to listen to this week’s show. Mike Neilson’s fields of expertise before setting out on his own were business software and marketing. Two years ago, he launched a product called Switcheroo (switcheroo.com), and it required very different expertise - electrical engineering, intellectual property, industrial design, manufacturing, distribution and retailing.
Mike’s story is a great one, perfect for The Pitchwerks Podcast. It’s about making a plan and sticking to it - adapting when necessary - until all the tasks on the list have been checked off, and you’re finally satisfied.
Mike Stafiej, the president of PICLIF, knows that a lot of disruptive young B2B companies start off with the assumption that they will continually need to check in on their clients over a period of time - a model where a lot of “account managers”, “customer success” people, and “client satisfaction” staff need to be hired.
Mike set PICLIF up to be different. Together with his trusted advisors, Mike set PICLIF up to grow quickly. The company uses a B2B technology sales model to sell to funeral homes, but rather than pinning their hopes of success onto a large scale field team’s ability to upsell and after-sell, they are working a high-speed market penetration strategy instead.
GIS Associates is a government-relations firm, and vice president Peter Madaus has been there for 18 years. If you don’t know what that means, or what he does, you’re not alone. Apparently a lot of people have this problem, so it’s good we’re doing a show about it.
Like a lot of lobbyists and government consultants, Peter doesn’t enjoy prospecting and selling. He’s totally comfortable working with representatives and senators, but when it comes to approaching prospects and seeking out new work, he’s just like the rest of us. Peter and Scot talk about using a “referral first” strategy for initial conversations, and also spend time discussing how entrepreneurs might use government relations services.
This week, Scot goes to San Francisco to chat with Jason Putorti, a well-known and respected interface designer & civic technology innovator. Several of his past projects have been aimed at solving issues in civic engagement, but his latest one is creating a nationwide buzz.
Resistbot (text RESIST to 50409) connects you to your elected officials as soon as the mood strikes. It’s different from Jason’s past civic tech projects, in that there’s no app or specialized interface - Resistbot works on whatever SMS chat app you already have on your phone. For bonus points, it works on Facebook Messenger and Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices too.