Tag: CoolBrands

“Working again on merging old and new media using AR” – Rodric Leerling

“Working again on merging old and new media using AR” – Rodric Leerling

Thanks to a renewed cooperation with CoolBrandsPeople, I picked up a cool idea I’ve been working on before. This technology helps to make bring traditional publishing in sync with the mobile world: Augmented Reality.

The 2nd edition of Around The World in 80 Brands is filled with stories of people behind a great brand, recorded while travelling the world. And with the help from an app on your mobile phone, video messages as well as impressions of a city, region or sports can be shared. Whereas the glossy publication content can easily last for a year, the video content shown in the app can be refreshed as often as you want.

I immediately thought of my other current sales project, the new sport magazine we are launching soon in the Dutch region called West-Friesland. This region is basically the triangle between the towns of Medemblik, Enkhuizen and Hoorn, located in the Province of North-Holland. The first edition of the magazine Sportief Westfriesland will run interviews with local government officials on their policy of encouraging sport as civil participation and the cooperation in the region to facilitate top sport activity. Along with stories of companies actively supporting local sport clubs, telling why and what it does for their company brand image and its employees. And it will be presenting local sports talents and the tools and funds available to bring them to the next level.

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to publish not only these sport stories along with a cool action photo, but also share a action video that will pop up when you point your mobile phone to the interview? Augmented Reality (AR) is working smoothly now, I really love the concept and can envision it. But it’s not for free. A hurdle to take.


“Helping others to avoid the costs of a bad online presence” – Rodric Leerling

“Helping others to avoid the costs of a bad online presence” – Rodric Leerling

Rodric Leerling, Leerling.biz, Sales Power Provider, RefRod

People who run their own business should be aware of their online reputation. It can determine gaining new business or losing it to the competitor. Still, the return on investment building a sound online reputation is not always clear.

There are two sides in the ROI calculation: ‘estimated lost revenue’ – from negative articles and reviews, and ‘potential earned revenue’ – from a clear and positive presence. Research asking people how far they read using Google showed only 36% to look further than page 1, and 50% no further than page 1. The same survey asked people what a negative article or product review could do to their purchase decisions. Result: one negative article on page 1 means losing 22% of business. Consumers will stop calling you and turn to a competitor.

In the online business world, it’s not so much your price or state of the economy but simply attention. Your future customers need to know about you before they contact you. What makes you tick and what do you stand for? That’s why social media is so important to sales people these days. Marketers who focus on blogging (inbound marketing) are likely to get much more positive ROI by getting useful content in front of potential clients. Broadening the customer horizon and filling the sales pipeline.

Key to all this: who are you in real life and is this image the same online? What do you aspire to and where do you want to be in five years from now? Start working on that now. Decide on your key assets and define them. Make sure your Google images reflect who you are today. Start writing (small) blogs, check your online images, tag them well. Start googling yourself regularly and you will see the changes in the next 2-3 months.

“Do you want to know how I deal with female coaches?” – Rodric Leerling

“Do you want to know how I deal with female coaches?” – Rodric Leerling

Rodric Leerling, Sales Power Provider, RefRod, Leerling.biz

Rewinding the film, I realized I’d seen her twice shortly before the game. First when I was trying to find a door to the futsal area, and she walked by just ignoring me. Once in the hall, she again crossed my path installing the score board, again, not saying a word.

It turned out to be the U19 home team coach. No handshake, no introduction. Nothing. It happens once in a while. But after only 3 minutes the war broke out. At this game level, a game secretary is required along with a linesman. The latter was nowhere to be seen, the male secretary I had to explain how to start the clock.

In the 3rd minute, after the score became 1-1, I realized my secretary had disappeared. An empty desk and I was on the other side ready to whistle for kick-off. Demanding the hometeam to adjust the score. She shouted back “if you ask gently we can do it for you”. Ignorant woman. Don’t you know what is required at this game level? I told her to reinstall the secretary because I wasn’t going to do it. The guy returned and would not leave the remaining 47 minutes.

Again two minutes later, we rubbed into each other once more. This time much closer. Her players were standing next to the bench and I asked them to be seated, in passing. They didn’t. I asked again and she would tell her players the opposite and keep standing “as they would be subbed soon” and “I’m in charge of this”. I exploded and told her to have them sit down as it was me in charge of the whole thing, not her. And this was the second time we had a conflict. They were seated.

I always leave a little present for obnoxious people like this. I deliberately gave an out-ball to the other team. She screamed to me to be more alert. This time I ignored her with a smile. The home team won the game and finally she would finally shake my hand.

“Creating Awareness for Need of Online Reputation Management” – Rodric Leerling

“Creating Awareness for Need of Online Reputation Management” – Rodric Leerling

Rodric Leerling - Sales Power Provider, CoolBrands, CBNWS,
Rodric Leerling – Sales Power Provider, CoolBrands People, Online Reputation Management

All your posted online content like blogs, comments, pictures, videos and social media posts draw a picture of who you are. It will greatly determine whether people want to meet and eventually do business with you.

Are those images really you? Or you, but in a shady situation. Or totally not you because you didn’t tag your own pictures well. So when you are googled (and people do that all the time) does the image people get from Google page 1 fit with what differentiates you in the current market?

Online Reputation Management (or: ORM) is all about creating a strong online presence, one that enhances the ‘off-line me’ and helps create your current business. But even more importantly, it will help your next business goals. Where do you want to be in five years? Positioning yourself should not just be based on your current business successes and skills, but also on other dimensions in life. You are more than just your job title.

Look in the online mirror. Go and google yourself.

“Tell me a joke, please!” – Rodric Leerling

Rodric Leerling, Leerling.biz, RefRod, Sales Power Provider
Always have a good story ready. That’s what, in my opinion, a true salesman has to do every day. Not just an elevator pitch and consequent sales story, but preferably an anecdote or cracking joke. Just to elevate the atmosphere or simply get people’s attention by surprise.

I seem to have a good, associative memory for jokes and also seem to know when to tell the right one. The one I most often tell came back in the mental ‘joke-carousel’ when I saw the pope recently, shaking hands during one of his visits abroad. My hero for this particular joke, Mr. Johnson, who’s a good friend of the pope, is eventually recognized by a total stranger on St. Peter’s Square while the pope is just labelled as ‘that guy in the white dress’. I know the long version and the short version of the joke, by the way.

After telling jokes like this, people regularly burst into laughter. They experienced an unexpected twist in a story, realized it is indeed funny, and let go of their emotions. You got their attention now, with their brain focused on what else you have to tell. And they already like you, even before you started the serious part.

I bet you will ask me to tell another one of these great jokes next time we meet. I’ve got a few more, I promise. But always expect a serious (sales) story to follow. One you won’t be able to forget either.

“Social Media” – Rodric Leerling

Doha tower 11 2014Being invited to train people in an international school is a welcome deviation in the life of an ad sales man. Especially when it’s a school in an exotic location. Admission marketers working hard everyday getting the seats filled for next education season, only 3 months into the current school year. They were invited to join a 2-day training course to be initiated in the world of social media. Despite being inundated by work, they managed to keep their phones off and gave it their full attention. The national government demands a list by last day of November of all pupils attending next school year, so work was piling up in the meantime.

We talked about creating more virtual touchpoints with the help of social media tools like Twitter and YouTube where prospective parents would be able to get a good feeling about the school, the teachers and the USP’s of their teaching plan. Happening all before they visit the school website and schedule a (short) visit. How to become that ‘purple cow’ (Seth Godin) among the many international schools in their city – what makes them stand out of the crowd? Extra curriculum activities, mother tongue teaching, flexible child care before and after school hours. How to reach the new generation of parents, the millennials, who demand a mobile communication platform and look for multiple referrals before they decide on a purchase.

We set up some new online profiles, checked the competition and I helped them with first social media tool choices and suggested schedules to fill the tools with content. All in all, a heavy but satisfying training project with that neat extra touch of exotic destination to tick off the list of ‘been there, done that’.

“Living Billboard” – Rodric Leerling

ResizeImageOn my way to a football match last weekend, I passed a huge new digital double sided billboard on the A5. It’s erected along the new road between the notorious Coentunnel (a recently solved bottle neck) and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. From a distance you could see the message, clear and colourful. On the Clear Channel website the outdoor company calls it a “Double Digital” with 160m2 digital surface – available for commercial messages. If I had the money and mass audience as my target, I would sign up today.

It reminded me of the living billboard I met this summer during our holiday on a Dutch lake. The tall guy had a clear voice, greeted everyone his eyes met en walked and talked like a sailor. He had to, as he was the sailschool’s head instructor. Every morning he got his gear organised on time, ready for the kids to assemble on the lake side. Even when you were not taking lessons, he still greeted you and wished you a good morning, afternoon or evening. Always cheerful, friendly and ready to help when someone’s boat was not working.

I was impressed. Living billboards do exist! Colourful, friendly, inviting and with a clear message: join my sailboat lesson, enjoy sailing, come back next year. My girls are still talking about him. After years of hinting a week of sailing lessons and learning this great watersport skill, suddenly they got interested. The free evening activities, using the canoes, peddle boards and sailing boats, worked miracles. They decided they want to come back next year and take lessons. I wrote about this positive experience on their website and gave them high scores on the independent travel site we used to check them out. Advertising works as long as you are using the right tools to reach your target audience!

“A sales guy who never stops” – Rodric Leerling

It doesn’t happens very often, so it really took me by surprise. The lady I had found in my social network looked like the right person to talk to for my social media proposition. She also shared the same nationality and I tried the friendly native language approach, despite her probably English business environment.

Wrong choice, or just the wrong moment? I probably will never know, but she didn’t give me a chance and yelled at me why I called her! Well, that’s a question that can be answered in 30 seconds – the elevator pitch. Before I even could try to explain my reason and asking if she could help me find a better person, she just threw down the phone. So much for an international brand manager!

Ouch, that hurts. Of course, we sales people just start when we hear ‘no’, but I decided this time to leave it and dial another number. Just to get over it quickly and not to take it personal. The next person at the same company listened to me and suggested another colleague to talk to, who proved to be the right person. The door opened and he wanted to hear more.

I might bump into the bad-tempered brand person at my next visit. I will behave like a pro and will just tell her we have been on the phone, briefly, but maybe I should introduce myself properly this time?

Rodric Leerling


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“Blogger and Author as Soccer Ref” – Rodric Leerling

While working and living in New Jersey, I used my skills and experience in soccer crazy Holland to ref games on weekends. It became an excellent way to discover the state of NJ and meet lots of people, starting with colleague refs, different level of teams and team coaches. So many good memories and also lots of weird situations unthinkable in the Dutch football tradition. I decided to record them and collect them into a booklet. Still available in the MijnBestseller store.

Rodric is US soccer ref 003
Soccer Referee in New Jersey
pic RL NK 2012 Scheveningen.3
Beach Soccer ref on Scheveningen beach 2013


pic RL EDO-VVC sept 8 2012 .2
Field Football ref in Haarlem, 2013
pic BS Middelburg ref team 062312
Beach Soccer ref team, Middelburg 2012
RefRod bookcover
RefRod in the USA, blogs about reffing soccer in NJ

“Sales Power Provider” – Rodric Leerling

Along the media rep contracts for longer term, I am also available for short term sales projects. This is where my Sales Power Provider service kicks in.

This could vary from short term sales power injection and help kick-start a new product or service to producing blog content for a busy manager. I wrote weekly blogs to help a busy sales director stay in the loop with his followers, challenging readers to react and think along. Another project consisted of finding research content to support a certain publishing cause (power of print).

But, sales power can also be provided like in the case of  the management pockets Below the Line. A white-label publishing concept where service providers in the financial sectors use the content in pocket format to wrap their own cover and write their own foreword and distribute among their prospects. Or the case of the start-up platform for sole-traders Victor Mundi.

Most recent cases of Sales Power Providing is PRonto, the GMA PR service that helps the marketing sector to communicate their latest news, notify the market of staff changes or expansion to fresh premises or new products/services.

DGA 2014 Cover+interview
DGA Pocket 2014
TomOtting Huisarts Pocket 2014
Huisarts Pocket (GP Pocket) 2014 launched! Celebrating with Tom Otting, publisher.
Rodric Leerling, Summer 2014


Victor Mundi, zzp platform, sole traders networking