Three Ways to Stay Positive in a Negative Environment

Here are three things you can focus on to help you stay positive in today’s challenging environment.

1. Sell, Sell, Sell – Never stop selling. Even if times are great you should always be selling and expanding your customer base. Most importantly, you keep a steady stream of business coming in the door. There are other benefits as well. You learn more about your market and potential markets you might want to enter. If you close more business than you can handle, be selective when you choose your customers and start raising your prices. You might be surprised and learn that you have been undercharging. If business is not as robust as you would like, you will be building your sales funnel. No matter what, do not stop selling!

2. Associate with positive people. It is easy to fall into the misery pit when those you associate with are negative about life. Regardless of what you hear on TV or read in the papers, there are people who are doing quite well. Find a way to locate these people and a reason to be around them. Business is lot like sports – people with bad attitudes do not win or help others succeed.

3. Turn off talk radio. Listening to talk radio can be great fun and informative. Unfortunately, most of the talk these days focuses on the negative, especially politically orientated talk radio. Listening to pros and cons about what some politician is going to do for you is a complete waste of time and will do nothing to improve your lot in life. You will feel much more motivated if you change the channel and listen to some classic, inspirational music. Try something like Van Halen’s “Right Now” and you will be ready to take on the world.

Sure things are tough right now. Our grandparents survived much more difficult times and we will make it too. So wake up, go out and sell something! You will be just fine.

Salesforce Solutions for Your EDO | Conrin Blog

Salesforce is an industry-leading customer platform that has become the world’s leading enterprise cloud ecosystem. It powers innovation in sales, service, marketing, community, analytics, apps, and more. At Conrin, we specialize in providing Salesfore implementation for Economic Development Organizations (EDO). A good customer relationship management (CRM) system allows an organization to manage their interactions with current and future customers. EDO’s do not necessarily have customers, but they serve businesses of different scales, so the use of a CRM system may seem difficult at first.

Salesforce CRM implementation is a simple three step process, but the details vary based on the mission of an organization. Those details are where Conrin is a helpful tool.


The Conrin blog provides you case studies, industry announcements and tips that we just cannot keep to our self. For over a decade, we have provided Salesforce solutions, implementation, platform migration and post-implementation support for regional and state level systems.


Ann Arbor SPARK

Why did Ann Arbor SPARK choose Conrin?

Ann-ArborConrin was introduced to Ann Arbor SPARK, which already had acquired, by a client from another economic development organization.  Shortly after meeting with SPARK, Conrin began providing consulting services on an à la carte basis.  According to Donna Shirilla, Director, Research and Business Information, SPARK benefits greatly from Conrin’s knowledge of and economic development.

Shirilla also said that “By selecting Conrin as our consulting partner we always have some place to go when we have questions or desire changes to better suit our business requirements.  Conrin’s understanding of both and economic development allows it to contribute to the success of SPARK.”

What benefits does Ann Arbor SPARK receive?

SPARK has utilized Conrin’s expertise in numerous ways over the years.  Some of the deliverables Conrin has provided include:

• Customizations that allow SPARK to better manage time tracking for deployed consultants

• Regular updates to page layouts and configurations

• Report and dashboard creation and management

• Data sharing with the State of Michigan via Salesforce-2-Salesforce integration

According to Skip Simms, SPARKS Senior Vice President, “Conrin has worked with Ann Arbor SPARK since 2007 helping us with the more difficult programming aspects of Salesforce.  It required significant customization for the unique data collection needs of an economic development organization.  Conrin helped make Salesforce more useful and easy and comprehensive.

That’s probably why the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has followed our lead and is rolling out Salesforce as the common CRM system for all the economic development groups in the state.”

Download the Ann Arbor SPARK Case study.


Milwaukee Development Corp.

Milwaukee1The Milwaukee Development Corporation traces its origins to 1973 when it was founded as The Milwaukee Redevelopment Corporation.  In 2003 it became affiliated with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and was renamed The Milwaukee Development Corporation.  The Milwaukee Development Corporation, or MDC, is tasked with driving broad-based economic development initiatives throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding area.


Why did Milwaukee Development Corporation choose Conrin?

The Milwaukee Development Corporation selected Conrin after an in-depth review process.  According to Marjorie Yoshida of the MDC, “Conrin provided a very detailed roadmap that clearly outlined the process necessary to get us to where we needed to be.  In addition, Conrin kept in close touch with us throughout our procurement process, quickly answering any questions we had.  Based on these factors, we were very comfortable proceeding with Conrin”.

The initial implementation was completed remotely via web conferencing and telephone calls.

 What benefits did the Milwaukee Development Corporation receive?

The Milwaukee Development Corporation realized immediate benefits, including

  • A single repository for all lead, account, contact, and project data.
  • Integration with existing Outlook email system.
  • Ability to quickly generate lists and reports for marketing activities.
  • Universal access wherever an Internet connection is available.
  • Real time reporting on project status and other key metrics.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, the Milwaukee Development Corporation has continued to maintain a close relationship with Conrin.  Two years after the initial implementation Conrin conducted a site visit to assist the MDC with new configurations and to provide administrator training.

In addition, the Milwaukee Development Corporation has taken advantage of Conrin’s ongoing training programs to learn more about best practices and implementation techniques.  According to Yoshida, “Working with Conrin is like being a part of a team.  Our account manager is always available for consultation and does an excellent job of keeping us posted about new features and functionality found in”.


Racine County EDC Case Study

Racine County EDC

Racine-CountyRacine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) was referred to Conrin by a local economic development organization early in its search for a CRM application.  RCEDC was looking for a cost-effective, cloud-based solution that would allow its team members to manage company, contact and project data within a single, easy-to-use application.

Selecting Conrin

After reviewing a number of options, RCEDC selected Conrin due to its specialization in implementing for economic development organizations.   According to Karen Frost of RCEDC, “Conrin’s track record with economic development combined with’s functionality and ease-of-use made the choice an easy one.”

CRM Benefits Received

Conrin quickly began the process of customizing its package for Economic Development to meet the specific needs of RCEDC.  Upon implementation, RCEDC had a fully configured CRM solution.  Some of the new functionality and features RCEDC received include:

  • Real-time access to key metrics including retention calls, open and closed projects, and contact and company information
  • Complete donor management capabilities
  • Creation of a systematic migration process to allow Synchronist data to be migrated to on a regular basis
  • Mobile access to data via iPad or smart phones

The implementation was a complete success.  A big part of the success was the ongoing CRM support provided by Conrin after the implementation was completed.

pdf-buttonAccording to Frost, “Conrin was with us every step of the way, both during the implementation and once the implementation was completed.  The post implementation support was absolutely critical to us having the success we have achieved.  We are very satisfied with the overall process and strongly recommend Conrin to other EDOs looking to implement a CRM solution.”


Northwest Kentucky Forward

Northwest Kentucky Forward Case StudyThe Northwest Kentucky Forward (NWKF) is a public-private partnership that focuses on driving economic development in the northwest Kentucky region.  NWKF understands the importance of capturing and organizing both contact and project data.

According to Kevin Sheilley, the founding CEO of Northwest Kentucky Forward, “One of our primary assets is our intellectual capital.  We decided we needed to look at new methods of managing our business relationships”.

Why did NWKF choose Conrin?

Sheilley researched a number of options before deciding to engage Conrin.  Conrin has extensive economic development experience, having worked with economic development organizations since 2003.  According to Sheilley, “After reviewing a number of options, we selected Conrin based on its EDO experience and expertise with, a cloud based customer relationship management (CRM) system.”

Conrin and NWKF decided to conduct a “remote” implementation, which was completed via web conferencing and conference calls.  Conrin specializes in remote implementations because they are rapid and cost effective for its clients.  The implementation was completed on time and within budget.

What benefits did NWKF receive?

The benefits realized by NWKF were numerous and included:

  • A single CRM system that contains all contact and historical data, and project metrics
  • A marketing platform that allows NWKF to quickly generate campaigns targeted to an individual’s specific areas of interest
  • Capability to generate reports in real-time
  • Instant availability anywhere, as solution is web based
  • No incremental IT support requirements, as is a cloud based solution

The engagement was very successful for NWKF.  According to Sheilley,

“We are very pleased with our decision to implement through Conrin.  We have greatly improved our ability to access and share our key contact data and metrics.  This product allows us to manage information across all of our economic development programs—business attraction, retention, creation and workforce development.  The constant refrain in our office is ‘how did we do this before Salesforce?’ We are quite pleased with our decision to engage Conrin for this initiative.”