Hiring your First Salesperson

Are you thinking about hiring a salesperson?

What’s stopping you?
How to pay them?
Handling the new business they bring in?
Managing them?
Losing control?
Something else?
Want to know how to be a better sales manager? Get evaluated.
Want to recruit a superstar? Sign up for a free trial.
Want to weigh your options? Send me an email

Ball Buster!

So, yesterday a prospect told me that they didn’t want to buy and when I didn’t try to handle an objection that contradicted something that they had already said, they acted surprised, but I knew that they didn’t want to buy and I didn’t want to prolong the call. Later, I sent an email that acknowledged their surprise and explained why I ended the call. He replied that I was arrogant and border-line rude.

Today, a prospect indicated that they felt pissed off and pressured. Why? because they want the world to be nice. Nobody lies. Nobody has an agenda. Funny thing is that I watched a client from hell walk all over this prospect, they were nice about it, but they were beating this prospect up on results, responsibility and price…. but they were nice about it. I was blunt because this prospect needs to do something drastically different if they want different results.

Then the Fedex man came. He’s got a package from Wine.com. In it there was a note that read:

“Thanks for all your help Rick.
I figured the Ball Buster wine was right up your alley. Dan”

How can I argue with that? Did you read yesterday’s post?

Match.com for Sales and Marketing Integration

This is a guest post by Carole Mahoney. Carole is the founder and CEO of Mahoney Internet Marketing and a Certified Hubspot Partner, but more importantly (at least to me), she is a major force behind the Smarketing movement. Enjoy!

Since today is Valentine’s day, I thought I would jump onto the sales and marketing dating scenario bandwagon and highlight the first three steps, or stages, of sales and marketing integration.

As I was researching some links for the best online dating sites to use in my analogy, my unsuspecting husband came looking over my shoulder. Day before Valentine’s day and he finds his wife on Match.com. When I told him it was for a post for Rick, he nodded and grunted ‘uh-huh’ at me. $10 says I get chocolate later today.

What Does Match.com Have to Do with Sales and Marketing Integration?

Many people hate Valentine’s day because of the reminder and pressure it puts on them. People tend to resent any action you try to force upon them, especially if it is a change from their normal routine. But sometimes that is exactly what is needed to wake us from the fog, and cabin fever, of the same ol’ routine.

Evaluation – My ever-so brief research led me to believe (not from experience) that sites like Match.com were using personality tests to match people with their ideal partner. Typically with these types of sites, you first answer a bunch of questions about yourself, your likes, your dislikes, your habits, etc.

A sales assessment test, or evaluation, does just that for anyone who is customer facing. This is really all about you. Whether entrepreneurs, CEOs, sales managers, sales, or  customer service- a sales assessment test helps you to answers some questions about where your (or your team’s) real challenges lie. It includes:

  • 4 crucial elements
  • 5 major weaknesses
  • 21 core competencies
  • dozens of selling skills
  • 42 self-limiting beliefs
  • 28 obstacles to sales success

Once you have yourself figured out, how you approach the sales process, your good and your bad habitual sales strategies, you now know what you didn’t know and can take the steps to do something about them, or do something else. The next step with any online dating process is to learn more about your perfect match.

Strategy- Don’t mistake strategy as a way to trick someone to dating you. You can’t be something you are not. Business relationships, just like regular human relationships, take about 3 months to know whether or not the person you thought they were, actually is. All the more reason to take strategy seriously in getting to know and understand your ideal match.

Customer persona profiles are the key to the 1 question that a sales and marketing strategy should be able to answer: Who are we trying to persuade?

Other questions that an integrated sales and marketing strategy need to answer:

  • ROI & KPI Benchmarks. Map out the incremental and continuous improvements and the behavior metrics that coincide with your business goals or quotas and timeline.
  • Target Account Planning & Prospecting. You can’t meet anyone if you don’t go outside of your 4 walls. Thankfully the Internet helps you to be in many of the right places at the right time.
  • Sales & Marketing Agreement, or SLA. This is like the wing-man agreement between sales and marketing. How is a qualified lead determined? How many are needed? How many must close? What is the feedback loop?


At this point, the sales and marketing funnel come together and align with the prospect’s buying process. Remember that online, your prospect:

  • controls the experience
  • is goal-oriented
  • is highly fragmented
  • is a volunteer in this process
  • involved in a self-service environment
  • must be be persuaded to participate in accomplishing their task.

This is where you start the actual dating. In the Match.com world, you might get a profile view, or a poke or nudge (or whatever the kids call it these days). In 21st century buying and selling, there are countless ways a prosect enters the funnel. But they still follow a process. The trick is to figure out where in their buying process funnel they are and match the approach accordingly.

  • Attention- They saw your tweet, or LI update, or answer on a forum and you got their attention. Let’s call this flirting.
  • Interest- Now that you have their attention, they start browsing your website, trying to find out more about you. Let’s call this the ask-your-friend about them stage.
  • Desire- They know approximately what they want in a mate, and wondering if you are the right one for them. Maybe they are not ready to go steady yet and are keeping options open (ie:comparing)
  • Action- They know exactly that you are the one for them. They took action and actually purchased!
  • Satisfaction- Never stop selling. Customer relationships, like a marriage, is to be always selling or dating. Just because you won them once doesn’t make it forever. A customer evangelist is created when they aren’t just satisfied, but delighted.

So this Valentine’s day, share the love. Start with yourself,  are you up for the dating game with your customers and prospects?

Do you know that….

….I have hundreds of clients, followers and evangelists that will earn more than I have? As a matter of fact, a few of them have already earned more than I have.

….I will never write a book? Dave Kurlan was nice enough to acknowledge me in “Baseline Selling” and Paul Roetzer was nice enough to thank me in “The Marketing Agency Blueprint”. I don’t need the money or to see my name on the cover. Rumor has it that it will happen again this year. Enjoy. Glad I could help.
….I will never be part of your problem.
So, if you want to make more money than me, click here.
If you want me to contribute to your book,
click here
If you want to talk about your problem,
click here

Business Lesson from The Artist

Elaine and I went to see “The Artist” on Saturday evening. As I watched the movie, I couldn’t help comparing George to the salespeople and business owners that I’ve met that are:

  • staying the course
  • working their plan
  • doing what they’ve always done
They say that they were the best and they’ll rise again.
They say that their plan makes sense on paper and they just have to keep at it.
They say that their “same old” is different.
They say that this is what they went to school for and they just have to get the word out.
They are always much smarter than the rest of the world.
Don’t let it happen to you.
Have your sales and marketing processes been integrated and aligned with your customer’s buying process? Last week to register for the 12 week (12 webinar) Sales & Marketing Integration course that starts 2/22.

More Sales Leads?

I’ve always been a salesman. So, keep that in mind as you read this.

Salespeople might not be perfect, but I’m realizing that many marketers suck. Marketers are talking about how many visitors they’re attracting, how many ‘leads’ they’re generating and what the market wants. Respectfully, even they know that they’re not relevant, but that doesn’t keep them from pointing at their sales counterparts and accusing them of not knowing what a qualified lead looks like and not being able to ‘close’ a door.
The problem is, most marketers can’t sell. They don’t have the core competencies. They can’t close. They can’t work 1:1 with a prospect to find out what they personally compelling reasons to buy are. So, they guess. They don’t try to align sales and marketing. It’s us and them. Marketers accuse sales of being overpaid prima donnas and that marketers don’t get any credit.
So, for the past two years, I’ve been working with marketing agencies that say that they want to learn how to sell, but that may be the wrong end of the problem. Good salespeople know how to uncover customer’s needs. They can recognize buying signals. They know where to find the budget. Maybe they just need to know the 12 steps to establishing their own personal marketing plan that generates high quality leads for themselves so that they can stop wasting time with unqualified, unsell-able leads.

Operating Blind

Imagine this. You walk into your Doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a headache.” He says, “Ok. Take this pill. It will put you to sleep. Then lay down on that table right there. Then he pulls out his trephine drill and starts loosening up. You ask, “What’s that for?” and he replies, “This will allow me to drill through your skull and hopefully prevent me from hitting your brain.”

So, tell me. Are you gonna take that pill and go to sleep on the mad doctor’s table?

  So, you know how you go to the doctor, sit down on the chair and he sits down in his chair and asks, “So what brings you in today?” You say, “My leg has been bothering me.” He says, “OK, no problem. Put your foot up on my knee here.” and asks, “Do you have a wallet?” You raise an eyebrow and answer, “Yes. Why.” He replies, “Take your wallet. Put it between your teeth and bite down hard. Now, look away.” and he uncovers the tray on the little desk and you see his set of scalpels. You ask, “What are you doing?” He answers, “Exploratory surgery to find out why your leg hurts.” You’re frantic and trying to get your foot off his knee. “What about an xray? an operating room? anesthesia?” He replies, “Relax! I went to Medical School. Sometimes xrays are inconclusive and we need to do exporatory surgery. I’m saving you time. Wallets worked in the 1800’s and they’re cheaper than anesthesia. Suck it up and bite down. Operating rooms are expensive. We don’t need to spend the money. I can do this right here in the office.”
 Impact Analysis resized 600 Some say that companies spend $20 Billion on sales training every year.

Do you have a sales force?

How much does your recruiter cost you? $50-100K? Has turnover improved? Do the new salespeople on-board quicker? Do they stay longer? Do they outperform their predecessors?

How much does your trainer cost you? $50-100K? Has everybody doubled sales? Have most doubled sales?Has anybody doubled sales?

How much do your sales managers cost you? $500K? A million? What impact are your sales managers having on your salespeople? Can/do they coach? Can/do they get their team to perform?

How many MBA’s does it take to deliver mediocre results?

How many times are you gonna take your sales managers’ excuses?

How much longer will you tolerate a longer than necessary sales cycle?

How much longer will you tolerate losing half the sales that should be closed?

How much longer will you tolerate  your salespeople asking their managers to throw something in to ‘sweeten the deal’ so they can make quota?

So, if you wouldn’t let a DOCTOR drill into your brain or do exploratory surgery on your leg without taking an xray, why would you let a bunch of MBA’s operate on your sales force without taking an xray first?

Bottom line: Are you just a do-it-yourselfer? Even if people get hurt?

Are you drinking your own Kool-Aid?


Super Bowl Commercials & Integrated Marketing

This guest post was written by Dale Berkebile. Dale is a branding expert that has qualified as a Certified Hubspot Partner and was the first to enroll in the Hubspot Sales Development Program for Marketing Agencies. Upon completion, he realized how much more he wanted to learn and became a coaching client of mine until the end of last year when I retired. I’m pleased to tell you that we have combined forces with a few others to lead the way in the Integration of Sales and Marketing in the Hubspot community and the world. I hope that you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Is the Super Bowl
an Example of the Importance of Marketing?

Everyone has been talking about the power of Super Bowl advertising.
It probably all started with that crazy 1984 Orwellian Super
Bowl ad by Apple.
Super Bowl XLVI is right around the corner and
what’s the big buzz? The ads of course! The Ferris
Bueller mystery ad
is all the buzz this year. Who do you think is behind
it? By the way, if you want to see last year’s ads go here Super Bowl Advertising XLV

A Corporate
Marketing Question

If you had a choice between buying a Super Bowl commercial or
doing marketing online, which would you choose? Many people would choose the
Super Bowl ad. There will be millions of people watching, some only for the
ads. So is this a good choice? Can marketing online even come close to what a
Super Bowl ad could do?

When it comes to strategic marketing and advertising, the question is ‘what is the
overall goal?’ Is it just getting a bunch of people to see your name? Is it to
give people something to chat about at the water cooler? Or is it something
bigger than that? The goal of integrated marketing communications is to drive business
and bring in more sales
, right?

Marketing Requires Integrated Marketing Communications

So who will be advertising during the Super Bowl? Billion
dollar companies right? The biggest brands in the world like: Budweiser, Snickers,
Geico, essurance, GoDaddy, eTrade to name a few.

Have you noticed that most of these billion dollar companies
are using a more integrated marketing communications approach? Super Bowl ads
promoting not only their products but also their online marketing efforts
(Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter accounts and “online only” offers). Why?

The Largest Brands
in the World Are Stretching their Advertising Dollars

They want to get you with the big splash of their Super Bowl
advertisement and then drive you to the web where they can:

  connect with you

  engage with you

  get you to follow them

  develop and nurture a relationship

  follow you and your future buying

  create special offers that you can’t
get anywhere else so you will spread the word and hopefully take their
integrated marketing efforts “viral”

So is a Super Bowl ad worth the money? Only if it is part of
a bigger integrated marketing strategy. The main thing that will drive big
business for these advertisers is going to be the big post-Super Bowl
engagement they get through their social media sites and other marketing
online. The real value is not only going to be whether these ads help you buy
the advertiser’s product, but buying the product and connecting with them to
become a loyal customer, this is where the big gamble is for Super Bowl

Let’s say you don’t have the budget for a Super Bowl ad. Can
you still create an integrated marketing campaign that delivers
the same thing that an integrated Super Bowl ad does? Is it going to cost you
millions? Are you going to make a splash the size of a Super Bowl ad? How many
watchers of the Super Bowl are a perfect client for you and could you really
handle all that business?

Is an integrated sales and marketing communication strategy
the answer for Super Bowl ad jealousy? Here’s one way to learn about Sales
and Marketing Integration


Divorce and Sales

I hope that you enjoy this post. If you do, please forward, RT or otherwise share with your friends and followers.

Divorcerate.org suggests that about half of all marriages end in divorce. As of today, Elaine and I have been married for 38 years, 9 months and 26 days. Sometimes I wonder, “Why?”.

She married an engineer, but got a salesman.

She married a good looking guy, but got a fat, old grouch.

We don’t agree politically (or on much else).

So, why are we not a statistic?

Switch gears. Let’s talk about sales and new customers.

What percentage of your customer relationships end in divorce?

How many of them end with your customer dating someone else?

 – having an affair?

 – having a huge, knockdown, drag out argument?

 – either/both of you wondering why you ever got married (did business) in the first place?

 – arguing how to divide marital assets (who owes who)?

As good as it getsOne more diversion: This exchange happened in the 1997 movie, “As Good As It Gets” between the Jack Nicholson character and the Helen Hunt character.

Melvin Udall: I’ve got a really great compliment for you, and it’s true.

Carol Connelly: I’m so afraid you’re about to say something awful.

Melvin Udall: Don’t be pessimistic, it’s not your style. Okay, here I go: Clearly, a mistake. I’ve got this, what – ailment? My doctor, a shrink that I used to go to all the time, he says that in fifty or sixty percent of the cases, a pill really helps. I *hate* pills, very dangerous thing, pills. Hate. I’m using the word “hate” here, about pills. Hate. My compliment is, that night when you came over and told me that you would never… all right, well, you were there, you know what you said. Well, my compliment to you is, the next morning, I started taking the pills.

Carol Connelly: I don’t quite get how that’s a compliment for me.

Melvin Udall: You make me want to be a better man.

Carol Connelly: …That’s maybe the best compliment of my life.

Melvin Udall: Well, maybe I overshot a little, because I was aiming at just enough to keep you from walking out.

So, what does this exchange have to do with the divorce rate and sales? If you watch the movie you’ll learn that Carol (the salesperson) isn’t looking to change Melvin. She’s looking to find a “normal boy friend”. So, many service providers start a relationship by saying something like, “I can change your life!”, but it’s not until the prospect says, “I want you to change my life.” that movement begins and it’s at that point that both parties get on the same page.

Until the prospect says of their own volition, “You make me want to be a better man.” your relationship is doomed. That’s why I suggest that your sales process should be a disqualification process rather that a qualification process. My goal is no bad marriages and no divorces.

This post is done, but I’d like to share one more thing. Each of my clients has said something like, “You make me want to be a better man.” and as a result they make me want to be a better coach.

Want a sample?