WARRIOR VS. ZOMBIE: AN INTERVIEW WITH TOM PRIKRYL

Triad B2B Agency’s Tom Prikryl talks about life, work ethos, and B2B marketing.

Tom Prikryl, founder and president of Triad B2B Agency, sat down with Dave Roberts, host of the Warrior vs. Zombie podcast series, for a live chat about his approach to life, work, and marketing. 

Prikryl credits his father and football with instilling a strong work ethic at an early age.  “I can’t overstate the importance of mental toughness,” he says in this emotional and insightful conversation.

Hear the interview here.

Hear the interview here.

Limitless Thinking

At Triad, we believe that every individual, every organization has the potential to be much more than they are today. And we find inspiration supporting that belief in a series of “limitless” quotations that we have compiled. Join us here and on LinkedIn and Facebook for a new quote each week.

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Old School…Better Selling

Over the past 10 – 20 years, anyone who has been involved in selling into B2B markets has been inundated with information on how one can (or should) sell using the latest technology.  Emails, letters, texts, social media messaging, etc. have been promoted as the “sales tools of the future.” 

This past Thursday and Friday, while attending our client’s (Portfolio Reinsurance) annual sales meeting, I was reminded how critical “old school” selling is and how the latest techniques can only supplement the proven “old school” way of acquiring a customer.

This sales meeting was primarily run by two experts in the area of automotive dealership F&I (finance and insurance) operations, Greg Hoffman and Graye Wolfe.  Greg and Graye are both Managing Directors of Portfolio, and each is an outstanding businessperson, having been high performers throughout their careers.  These two gentlemen have a strong track record of successfully closing very high-ticket transactions, and during the meetings, both Graye and Greg emphasized that their use of “old school” selling approaches have long been a key to their success.  Some of their techniques are well worth noting, and remembering:

  • If selling a large-ticket item, or an ongoing business relationship, the process is personal.  Whenever possible, visit with the customer or prospect in person, and have a face-to-face discussion.  Email and texts, letters, and even phone conversations are great communications tools, but they will never replace the connection, and the nuanced and clear communications, that can be realized by meeting with someone in person.  And remember, most prospect’s Inboxes are loaded with emails.  Similarly, many of your prospects are inundated with text messages.
  • When possible, fully address the points of a transaction or business relationship that might be contentious.  If these elements are going to be barriers to doing business, you are doing the prospect and yourself a disservice by not getting that information on the table as soon as possible.  No one enjoys discussing what might be an uncomfortable subject, but the sooner it is addressed, the better for all involved.
  • At some point in the sales cycle, one must determine whether the prospect is going to become a customer…ask for the order, or the commitment.  I believe that most who sell for a living, at one time or the other, have hesitated to take the actions necessary to find out whether a prospect could be (or was going to be) a customer or not.  This hesitancy is probably based on a core fear that the answer is actually going to be “no.”

Now, I am not naïve enough to think that one can rely strictly on selling to successfully move their products or services over the long term.  Marketing has always played a key role in the whole “making a customer” process, at times even serving to predispose the prospect towards your sales message prior to a meeting.  Today, a company has many new options for marketing success – digital advertising, social media (particularly LinkedIn®), email marketing, Search Engine Marketing (including Pay-Per-Click Google ads), e-marketing/retargeting advertising, e-newsletter and website advertising, emailing, texting, etc.

However, even in the area of B2B marketing, certain “old school” techniques can be very effective, when combined with some of the new marketing techniques.

  • Print advertising, creatively developed and placed in carefully selected trade publications, can often help garner attention, build a brand, and elicit a prospect response.
  • Because the volume of B2B direct mail has been reduced (mostly replaced by less-expensive email), a well-concepted, written, and designed direct mailer can stand out in a manner that gets noticed.
  • Carefully crafted letters, professionally produced, can also get attention that an email cannot.

So, while anyone who is selling or marketing into the B2B space should be conversant in all of the new marketing and sales tools at their disposal, one should not forget the many proven “old school” techniques.  Using these techniques in conjunction with modern marketing and sales tools, can add to the effectiveness and efficiency of your overall sales and marketing efforts.

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Opinions: Loyalty and Manners in Business Today

Since today is Triad’s 23rd anniversary, I have had the opportunity to connect with many friends and business associates. It is rewarding to talk to people (or least, communicate via email) with whom I have worked in partnership in developing new and better solutions for clients. These connections made me think about the nature of business today, and how in some ways it has become much coarser, and is neither as effective nor as rewarding as it should be. Two areas that I think where these changes are most apparent are found in supplier relationships and in general business manners.

    1. Many companies have now come to view what was once valued “supplier partners” as strictly “vendors,” who are only favored as long as they offer the lowest price. This approach to the people and companies on whom your business may rely is short sighted.

      Loyalty is a two-way street, and it is inevitable that one is going to need one of those “vendors” to come through with a supporting idea, or even a favor. “Vendors” have little motivation, and no obligation, to respond to your need for a favor. A valued partner will stand ready to help you. In addition, working with supplier partners becomes very efficient and effective because each of you understands the other’s company, their needs, and their ways of doing business. Working with someone you understand and know well, and who knows and understands you, is more-often-than-not the route to getting things done in the best possible manner.

    2. Almost every day, I see examples of bad manners and/or lack of consideration in the business world. Here’s some news…YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RUDE OR DIFFICULT IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL. Asking for things in a mannerly way is not that difficult (it will not hurt to say “please” periodically), and a sincere “thank you” can go a long way. I know it may seem like a dated concept, but perhaps we should all try to treat others as we would like to be treated.

Think about what I have written here. I know that I will…and try today, tomorrow, and the days going forward to be a better, more mannerly, more considerate business person.

- Tom Prikryl, President & CEO

 

Opinions: Well Done is Better Than Well Said

Opinions: Thoughts on 23 Years with My Thanks

I will never forget the excitement I felt the morning of August 4, 1994, when I unlocked the door and stepped into my first day running Triad Business Marketing. Triad occupied one office in an executive suite, furnished with two side chairs, a desk chair, and a chair box that I was using for a desk. Delivery of the remainder of my furniture was delayed, but it didn’t make a bit of difference. Triad was open for business!

A lot has happened since that day in 1994…a few bad times, mostly good. It has been an unbelievable learning experience, and the learning curve only gets steeper with every year.

As I was thinking about what I should write on this 23rd anniversary, it occurred to me that now would be the right time to thank those who contributed to Triad’s long-term sustainability and success. Clients, fellow workers, and suppliers…Triad would have never thrived (let alone survived) without the support, cooperation, and efforts of these people. I believe the contribution they (and many others) made should be recognized.

I would like to begin with some of Triad’s clients, past and present, who have contributed to our success: Dan Eckermann, Joey Berry, Lou McDuffy, Don Vogelsang (deceased), Lance Vogelsang, Bill Toelke, Bob Carrell, Janna Critcher, Jeff Schiefelbein, Todd Grzych, Carlos Kenda, Bruce Marion, James Peden, Greg Wolfe, Brooke Verinder, Jay Grissom, Adam Maclay, Corey Koewler, Rob Copeland, Mike Ward, Chris FitzGerald, Gary Heisterkamp, Ben Rookey, Allen Dunkleman, Malinda Preather, Kazu Toyama, Ryan Bonner, Rod Alavi, Randy Rape, Rocco DiRago, Polo Gutierrez, Whitney Bouterie, Kenny Wood, Frank Mullins, Bruce Suggs, Jim Garaghty, Stan Burson, Dennis Wolf, Marty Mauer, and so many more.

An agency must also be able to count on its suppliers, and some that immediately come to mind are Ron Higgins, Charlie Cookson, Tina Vulgaris, Keith Bates, Lynn Felhauer, James Andrews, Patty Taylor, Bob Tucker, Rick Rodriguez, Scott Light, and Russ Jolly. Again, there are many more people than I can ever hope to cover.

Finally, the foundation of Triad has been its employees, many of whom have dedicated their time and talents to making this a great B2B agency. I would like to mention every employee who has worked at Triad, but this space won’t allow for it. However, a few Triad employees I would like to mention are Susan Worthington and Rhonda Anderson (Triad’s first two employees), Liza Garza, Joy Jennings, Annette Spanhel, Gary Bradbury, Bill Prikryl (deceased), Julie Gardner, Waynette Ray, Casey Fleming, Kristen Lee, Jason McCain, James Ware, Steve Cunningham, Teresa Edwords, Alan Cooper, Mark Watson, Lance Rinker, Cheryl Roberts, and Jacob Harman.

While Triad has put 23 years in the books, this is not the end. In fact, it is just the beginning. As we move into our 24th year, we are energized by new developments within the agency and the vision we have for our future. We were a better agency in year 23 than we were in year 22, and you can count on next year’s edition of Triad being the best ever. At Triad, we believe that the only limitations are those we place on ourselves. And trust me…self-imposed limitations will never be on this agency’s agenda.

Thank you to everyone – from clients, to suppliers, to employees – for making Triad – A B2B Agency™ a thriving enterprise and a force in B2B marketing.

Looking ahead to the future,

- Tom Prikryl, President & CEO

Brand awareness in business marketing

Awareness Matters In Business Marketing

For all sales and business marketing people…sometimes we forget the implications associated with our companies’ level of market awareness. I would like for you to consider this fact…if your market awareness among potential buying influences is 45%, that means 55% of the people who could possibly buy from your company don’t even know it exists. And if they don’t know your company, they are certainly not going to buy from you. 

Think about it…in this scenario, your company is turning its back on 55% of the people who might possibly buy from it. What is your company’s level of market awareness? Can you afford to ignore a large number of potential customers? What are your thoughts…please contact me at tp@triadb2bagency, and let me know what you think. 

– Tom Prikryl, President and CEO, Triad – A B2B Agency.

Oil and Gas Marketing

The Oil & Gas Industry is picking up, so should your marketing efforts.

Right now, we’re at a point in the oil market cycle that signifies growth and sustainable opportunity. As competitive as the oil and gas industry has become, it becomes increasingly important to get in front of the market by realizing new opportunities for strategic oil and gas marketing initiatives. Whether your business is focused on selling units in the drilling or production markets, it’s time to capitalize on the numerous growth opportunities in the current industry. For over 22 years, Triad – A B2B Agency has been intertwined in the oil and gas space. We’ve earned in-depth knowledge revolving around a wide range of industry products, services, and technologies that enable us to go above and beyond in meeting our oilfield clients’ marketing needs. More importantly, the team at Triad has come to understand the nuances of the oil and gas market—from both marketing and sales perspectives. We’ve seen how the industry reacts to growth and downturn in commodity pricing, how buying influencers make decisions, and how new products are received in a common “don’t fix what’s not broken” way of doing business. Triad is part of the oil and gas industry, and we’re always open to new challenges and welcome the opportunity to explore the market’s potential with you.

Triad’s Oil & Gas Marketing Knowledge

Drilling and Completion

  • Drill pipe and tubing
  • Pipe threading
  • Pipe thread and connection compounds
  • Land/offshore rig design and fabrication
  • Mud pumps
  • Top drives
  • Drawworks
  • Drilling control systems
  • DC/AC rig power systems
  • Liner hangers, packers, and tools

Production

  • Pumpjacks
  • Load cells
  • Inclinometers
  • VSD controllers
  • Rod pump controllers
  • Artificial lift monitor/control systems
  • Compression systems
  • Gas compression for gas lift
  • Croswell seismic
  • EOR services

DOWNLOAD OUR INFOGRAPHIC View the key takeaways from the 2017 World Oil Industry Forecast. Download the Free Infographic

READ OUR CASE STUDY Get more in-depth discussion about what an effective oil and gas marketing campaign looks like.Read Our Oil & Gas Case Study