Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

Phil Gerbyshak and Social Selling

More goodies at http://Lookers2Bookers.com and http://PhilGerbyshak.com 

Here's my interview with the super helpful Phil Gerbyshak all about social selling, digital relationship building, and what his recommendations mean to YOU and your business. Check it out.

pssst... if you love my interview with Phil, you might also like these popular posts:

 

Market with Your Mouth: How to Use Speaking to Get Clients

Here is an in-depth interview about how entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, coaches, and experts can unleash a flood of new clients using the power of speaking.

If you want to discover exactly how to develop a client-magnet talk, deliver it like a champ and fill your coaching or consulting practice with high-ticket clients, make sure to join me and Alysa Rushton on July 5 for this free master class >>>

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Q: What does it mean to Market with Your Mouth?

David Newman: A lot of business owners work hard to interrupt people with cold calling, advertising, and spam. That era is over. We’re living in a world of voluntary attention. Which means — first you earn their attention, and then you have a chance to earn their money.

“Market with your mouth” is shorthand for one of the best and most direct ways to earn attention. As a speaker — if you’re in front of the right room with the right people and for the right reasons — you have at your disposal a tremendously powerful marketing platform. You’re an authority. You have high visibility. You have the opportunity to deliver high value. And if you do it right, you earn high trust.

At that point, the marketing and sales process is 80% finished and now you’re simply in the process of filtering and sorting your best-fit prospects and you invite them to do business with you!

Q: Why should someone consider the strategy of generating business leads from speaking?

David Newman: Every consultant, solopreneur, and small business owner needs to establish their thought-leadership in order to stand out from the crowd and be heard above the noise. No matter what business you’re in, there’s simply no room for yet another “Same-O Lame-O” player. Their days are over and their influence and impact are declining… daily… and dramatically.

So that means that every day you wait to claim your place among the thought-leaders in your industry and in front of your target buyers, you’re losing time AND money. Don’t let that happen to you. The good news is that independent research from the Wellesley Hills Group with over 200 buyers of professional services shows that at any given moment, between 52%-72% of them are willing to change professional services providers.

Across all service areas, more than 50% of purchasers could be considered Switchers, open to changing providers, ranging from 52% Switchers for Legal Services to 72% Switchers for Management Consulting. So the startling truth is that if you market with your mouth, you’re never more than one good presentation away from generating new clients and new revenue.

Q: You emphasize choosing a target audience and a very specific niche topic when you speak. Why is that important?

David Newman: Whenever I work with clients 1-on-1 or speak to groups of business owners, we always ALWAYS start with identifying specifically WHO you are marketing to. I call this your “Buyer Persona” and we use 7 key questions to flesh out the specific characteristics of the folks who are your highest-probability prospects.

You need to understand what makes them tick — what are their characteristics, traits, attitudes, and values? What’s important to them? What headaches and heartaches do they have when it comes to the types of problems that your product or service is brilliant at solving? What do they SAY about their situation and what WORDS do they use to describe it? This is what I call “learning to speak prospect language about prospect problems.“

Until you can do that, NO marketing strategy will work, and especially speaking where your main focus is on articulating problems you can solve and sharing answers to those problems that your audience can take away and use immediately.

Q: We all want to spend more time in front of right-fit audiences. How do we get started finding them?

David Newman: That’s a great question that I get asked a lot: What groups do my ideal clients belong to? This will obviously determine which audiences you want to be in front of. Here’s my suggestion: Don’t guess — ask!

Here is the script to ask your current clients, prospects, and centers of influence who know your target market well…

“I’m looking to speak more in front of groups of [BUYER PERSONA]. I’d love to get your advice, insights, and recommendations.”

Another way to ask might be…

“Of all the industry groups and associations you belong to, which ones provide the most value in terms of the speakers and programs they present?”

With both of these scripts, the natural follow-up discussion would center around your desire to serve this industry/community more and to share information with them that would help them become even more successful.

Likely outcomes from you having this discussion with your best clients would include:

~ Names of specific groups, associations, and conferences
~ Names of specific people serving in board or programming positions
~ Names of other executives or decision-makers in the field
~ Names of other companies or firms in need of similar information/services
~ Specific networking introductions
~ Offers of referrals to the individuals they already know
~ An opportunity to reciprocate and ask how YOU might be of service to THEM

Q: How can we find even more venues for speaking on top of the ones our best clients share from their personal experience?

David Newman: Finding venues to speak profitably could be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Here are some resources to help you laser-target your speaking to your best-fit audiences:

~ The Directory of Associations online (www.marketingsource.com)
~ National Trade and Professional Associations of the United States — hardcopy from www.columbiabooks.com
www.LeadershipDirectories.com for access to 500,000 corporate and association decision-makers (this comes at a hefty $5,000 annual fee)

Secret Tip: Your Public Library — Free access to high-priced proprietary business databases (including all of the above PLUS Hoovers, D&B Million Dollar Database, InfoUSA and most likely several industry-specific ones to boot!) All paid for with your local tax dollars – so enjoy!

Q: How can we design what you call a “client magnet presentation” when we go out to speak?

David Newman: At this point, it might be tempting to create a presentation based on your professional passions, interests, or favorite topics within your expertise. That would be a huge mistake. DON’T do it!

For your speaking efforts to pay off in terms of marketing results, you need to design your presentation content NOT around what YOU are passionate about, but what your buyers and prospects are passionate about!

Imagine a pair of X-ray vision goggles that you are now using to zoom in on your target clients. Ask yourself the following:

~ What do they want?
~ What are they missing in their lives?
~ What hurts?
~ Where is the pain?
~ What are they yearning for?
~ What do they worry about most?
~ What are their biggest headaches, heartaches, and hassles?
~ What are their urgent, pervasive, and expensive problems?

Build your presentation around THOSE specific questions, problems, challenges and obstacles. And don’t hold back. Unleash your best material, most powerful tools and templates, and give ‘em everything you’ve got. If they see the value in your presentation, believe me, they’ll be ready to buy at the appropriate time. And the person they’ll want to buy from is the one they already trust to deliver top-notch answers and specific hard-hitting ideas — YOU!

>>> Quick station break - article continues below and you'll want to get your hot little hands all over this free training "Get Clients with Speaking" on 7/5 >>> 

Join me and special guest Alysa Rushton on July 5, 2016 for this free deep-dive training: "Get Clients with Speaking" >>> 

Q: What’s the first step that business owners should take to find those specific “hot button” issues to address in their talk?

David Newman: What’s the first step? Research. Preparation. Homework. Industry, regional, business, and company news is now at everyone’s fingertips on the Internet. Look for verbatim quotes, video clips, audio interviews to capture as much as you can from representative members of your buyer persona group. Search Google, YouTube and LinkedIn. Scan industry and association message boards.

Then go directly to the source — your real live customers and prospects. If you’re not intelligently researching your prospects’ issues, challenges, and pressures, how can you possibly come in with credible high-perceived-value solutions? One of the best ways to approach prospects is with:

~ Interviews
~ Surveys
~ Research
~ Data gathering

It positions you and your firm as an expert resource and it gives you valuable data you should be getting anyway!

Q: What about the nitty-gritty of putting the client-magnet presentation together? What should it be titled? What should it include?

David Newman: Start by sitting down with a clean sheet of paper. Using the following “presentation idea starters,” jot down 3-5 potential topics/titles in each category based on your topic expertise.

Remember your speech should focus on addressing your buyer persona’s most urgent, pervasive, expensive problems. What are the personal and professional heartaches and headaches that they want answers to? In which areas are they hungry for strategies and tactics?

~ How to…
~ 5 Strategies…
~ 3 Keys to…
~ The #1 problem with… and how to solve it
~ Unlocking your…
~ The 3 biggest traps in [topic] and how to avoid them
~ 10 Tips for…
~ Everything you know about [topic] is wrong

Have some fun with these — brainstorm and jot down key words and short phrases under each one as they occur to you. Then begin to rearrange, compile and combine them until something emerges that you can get excited about. Think in terms of 5-7 mini-topics or “modules” — people can’t absorb more than that anyway.

And it’s better to hammer home 5 key points with clarity, conviction, and specific detailed answers than to do a “surface skim” on 20 or 30 sound bites that leave your audience hungry and slightly unsatisfied. The perception of “meat” and value is directly related to DEPTH and not BREADTH of your topic expertise. It’s MUCH better to be a mile deep than a mile wide!

Q: And so how do you convert an audience of people grateful for your insights into a pool of high-paying clients for your business?

David Newman: That is very much the secret sauce and it’s where a lot of business owners — including professional speakers, by the way – fall down on the job! Every time you speak, you want to make sure you leave with between 90% and 95% of your audience’s business cards or contact information.

Simply say, “I have a fabulous resource that I’m going to send to you.” This could be a handout, a special report, a buyer’s guide, an implementation pack, a starter kit, anything is good as long as it has high perceived value and direct relevance to your topic. Then you use the following script: “If you would like that resource, just give me your business card.” And then here’s the language that’s important:

“I would also like to invite you onto my [TOPIC] tips list. If you would like that to happen, just give me your card. If you do not want that to happen, write ‘NO TIPS’ and I will still send you your gift but then I’ll tear up your card and throw it in the trash and you’ll never hear from me again.”

Folks usually laugh or smile at that — and then they get a visual in their head of you tearing up their beloved business card that they are so proud of and you get 95% of the cards in the room and only 2-3 will have “no tips” written on the back.

This one strategy will result in tens of thousands of dollars of business for you — if you do something smart with the business cards. Put them in some kind of auto-responder, follow-up system, subscriber list, Constant Contact, whatever it might be — but you MUST follow up. “The fortune is in the follow-up” has become a cliche for a reason — it is 1,000% true!

The spinoff business for your company’s products and services will surely come from the “drip marketing” that you’re able to do after capturing your audience’s contact information and sending high-quality, high-value follow-up materials to them on a monthly basis. 

Q: Is there an online or virtual version of the “Market with Your Mouth” strategy?

David Newman: You bet — and you and I are both doing it right now! Whether you choose blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Skype, Slideshare, iTunes — any time you are sharing your face, your voice, and your expertise, you are marketing with your mouth.

Look, the sad truth is that generalists die on price and specialists win on value. That means value that you GIVE away, value that you charge a little for — like your $20 book — and value that you charge a LOT for like your premium flagship products and services. The other thing that specialists do is they publish, they speak, and they are generous with their time, talent and expertise.

Do webinars, host teleseminars, be a guest on radio shows and podcasts and TweetChats! So yes, social media sharing and content marketing ideas are definitely the virtual versions of “market with your mouth” strategies!

Q: This sounds like a lot of work — how can we make it manageable while still running our business?

David Newman: Civic and community groups are a great place to start if you want to start locally. They are always looking for speakers and if you have energy, enthusiasm, and a valuable message with relevant take-aways, you WILL get business from it. Or at the very least you’ll get referred and introduced as a business owner worth getting to know.

Does video, audio, and other content generation take time? Yes it does. But the sources you can use are also right at your fingertips. Look at your most recent customer service issue. Look at the most recent client conversation you had. Look at the kinds of customer questions you get all the time — those answers, insights, and recommendations are the raw material for your “market with your mouth” strategy and they come in ALL the time. Often we don’t need to create content — we need to RE-create content that we’re already sharing during the course of running our day-to-day business.

Q: Given everything we discussed here, what are the top three strategies you suggest our listeners focus on?

David Newman: Figure out the audience you want to serve the most because they are your peeps, your tribe, your natural followers.

Then figure out what they are passionate to learn, to do, or to become.

Finally, start talking about, sharing, and connecting them with resources that solve those specific pains, problems, headaches and heartaches.

Do so publicly through speaking, publishing, networking — both online and offline — and your reputation as being a source of valuable expertise will spread.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork to become visible, trusted, and valuable — the floodgates will open for you and you’ll be in the enviable position of NOT chasing business, but rather filtering and sorting the best prospects whom you’d like to hire as YOUR next customer!

Want to put some of these ideas into action and get going on your own client-getting speaking strategy?

Join me and special guest Alysa Rushton on July 5, 2016 for this free deep-dive training: "Get Clients with Speaking" >>> 

Get Clients with Speaking Infographic

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Sources: 

Wellesley Hills Group "Professional services lead generation study"
RainToday.com "Professional services buyers survey"
mpiweb.org, pcma.org, conventionindustry.org

Make sure to grab your spot for this brand new FREE master class style training with me and the super smart Alysa Rushton on July 5, 2016: Get Clients with Speaking. Register right here >>>

Tags: sales prospecting, marketing, speaking, sales training for speakers

8 Keys to Online Course Success

The fastest, smartest, most effective way for thought-leading executives and entrepreneurs like you to dramatically boost your reach and revenue is with online courses

Specifically, online courses are your best option if you have expertise that you're already sharing with your clients and audiences. It's a natural, common-sense step to build a course so that you can capture and systematize your best ideas, strategies, tactics, principles, practices, templates, tools, and scripts.

But how do you start? How do you make it real? How do you get out of overwhelm and inertia?

And how do you start getting busy in a highly productive, proactive way that will result with you creating a highly valuable, relevant, in-demand, evergreen addition to your menu of investable opportunities that you can monetize month after month and year after year? 

Here is your Ultimate Cheat Sheet for 8 Keys to Online Course Success that will give you everything you need to think about, decide, and implement to help you get started...

1. TOPIC: Source material for your online course comes from your Keynote, Workshop/Seminar, Articles/Blog/Book, Coaching Program, Consulting Process

2. TITLE: When it comes to choosing a title for your online course, be clear; don’t be clever. Clarity sells. Laser focus on a specific topic. Remember: there’s no such thing as a generic solution to a specific problem!

3. WRITE MARKETING COPY FIRST: Focus on value, impact, results, outcomes. Survey your tribe to find their urgent, pervasive, expensive problems; build your marketing bullets around solving those issues, challenges, headaches.

4. WORK BACKWARDS: Create your online course content to fulfill the marketing bullets and promises in Step 3. Give specifics; templates, tools, scripts, provide exactly what to say and how to say it; what to do and how to do it. The best online courses give 100% meat. Zero fluff, zero filler. 

5. CREATE 1-PAGERS: All you need to launch a live-led online course is a 1-page overview for each module that you’ll deliver live each week. Sections might include: Pre-Call Assignments, Questions, Discussion points, Work on for next week, Tactic to get results now, Templates, tools, scripts.

6. LESS IS MORE. Truly. People are already overwhelmed with too much information. Don’t add to it. Focus on Essential steps, Core principles, Key practices. What would your best friend absolutely need to know to be successful? Focus on those skills ONLY!! No theory, no fluff. 100% must-know, must-do info is what will make your online course stand out from the crowd.

7. DECIDE THE TECH: Simple is best. Here are the tools and services I use (some of these links lead to special discounts or free trials):

a. To create your recorded course modules using screencast videos: www.doitmarketing.com/screenflow 
b. Teleseminar conference line for live Q&A: www.FreeConferenceCallHD.com
c. Transcription Service: www.CabbageTreeSolutions.com or www.Rev.com 
d. File storage for sharing bonus course materials: www.Box.com
e. Online community forum for your course students: Facebook group
f. Email marketing: www.doitmarketing.com/mailchimp 
g. [Optional] Bonus live webinars to supplement your course content:
www.doitmarketing.com/meetingburner
h. [Optional] For opt-in/landing pages www.doitmarketing.com/leadpages 

8. PRICING: Pricing your online course can be tricky – price it too low and buyers are not invested in their own outcomes; price it too high and prospects lose sight of ROI. Guidelines on 3 tiers of online course pricing:

a. Less than $500 (clients not invested; commoditizes your expertise)
b. Less than $1,000 (sweet spot for B2B/ corporate/ entrepreneurs)
c. Less than $2,000 (started here – my FIRST course in 2008 was $1500!!)

With the right content, marketing, pricing & sales strategies, your online course will [finally] become your REAL source of passive revenue for your very REAL expertise. 

p.s. Ready to get started? Join me and David Siteman Garland on June 21, 2016 for this special free deep dive training:
"7 Steps to Creating, Promoting, and Profiting from Online Courses" 

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You'll love it - I guarantee it!

What's All the Buzz About Blab [InfoGraphic]

I'm on Blab. My handle is @dnewman. You should add me, and I'll tell you why in a second.

Frankly - I believe Blab will change how you interact with your fans, prospects, and customers for the better.

But at first, I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world. Another fad or shiny object. "Who cares about Blab?" I asked a few weeks ago.  

Here's the full story:

If you're unfamiliar with Blab, this platform allows you to livestream video with up to 3 other people and to invite guests - viewers - onto your broadcast at any time by clicking the "Call in" button as you see below:

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Here's a link to my very first Blab broadcast - Episode #000 - coming up TODAY 4/29/16 at 10:30am Eastern so you can hop on and get a feel for what it's like.

And YOUR fans, prospects, and customers can tune in to watch you on video, and interact with you (and other people watching), LIVE.

At first, I thought this was stupid. Who would watch some rough, off the cuff, badly lit live video with a bunch of nerds sitting around in their basements?

In fact, for my first Blab at 10:30am Eastern today (linked above) I am co-hosting with the amazing Catherine Bernard and there will be open seats for YOU to join us via live video, just using the webcam built into your laptop or phone.

When you go live on Blab, your followers get an alert, and you can follow your favorite Blabbers and also "subscribe" to an upcoming scheduled Blab [without needing to follow that Blab's particular host.]

So we scheduled this for 10:30am today. I had my doubts.

I mean, would anyone actually show up?

Is this actually valuable?

Who would show up for a broadcast with very little notice?

We'll see, right? ;o)

People schedule teleseminars and webinars in their calendars days and weeks ahead and they can't even show up to those.

Why would they show up to this?

Captain obvious here - it turns out that not only do people show up, they actually LOVE taking part in live video on Blab.

Because it's a conversation platform - NOT a broadcast platform. 

And that's why I believe this is a GAME CHANGER for speakers, authors, coaches, consultants and thought-leading professionals who are looking to grow their business.

Plus - right now, it's early.

Have you ever had the thought, "I sure wish I had started my business when..." 

Well, now's the time. Blab is less than a year old, and YOU can be one of the first few people who do it in your industry or niche.

You can watch it on the web, on a link like this, or you could download the app on your iPhone and interact, and get notifications when a Blab goes live. 

I suggest you join here - www.blab.im or download the app now.

And I suggest you follow me @dnewman

Here's why:

For the next few months, I'll be "Blabbing" regularly — "Blabbing" is what the cool kids call going on Blab - and I'll share all-new training material that you won't be able to get anywhere else. Totally free.

Then I've got some cool things lined up for you about how to get more speaking gigs, how to write killer copy that converts, how to grow your email list, how to write and monetize your first (or next) book, and how to maximize your influence, impact, and income as a thought-leading executive or entrepreneur.

The name of my show? The Cool People Show - of course ;o) 

To ensure you don't miss these, go add me on Blab right now. My handle is @dnewman.

That's all for now. "See" you at 10:30am Eastern this morning.

And if you're feeling brave, click the "Call in" button when you see it onscreen and hop in to join us via live video!!

-- David (and Catherine)

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p.s. Here's a great infographic straight from my friends at Blab that will give you an overview of all the different ways you can use Blab - where it came from - and why it could be the gamechanger in your business that you've been looking for to boost your reach and revenue...

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Tags: social media, marketing, blab, video marketing, live streaming

What to do when your business is stuck, sad, or stagnant

Ever wonder what to do when you hit a brick wall or dead end in your business?

When you just feel tired, maxed out, stressed out, and burned out?

In other words, when your business is stuck, sad, or stagnant?

Don't worry - I'm here to help you.

First, by telling you that you are definitely NOT alone...

And then by sharing a dose of my very best advice from a "been there - done that" perspective...

The bottom line is - ALL successful entrepreneurs ocassionally feel stuck, sad, or stagnant.

The successful ones simply don't stay there very long.

Jay Baer Interview: Hug Your Haters

More goodies at http://HugYourHaters.com

Here's my interview with the wicked smart Jay Baer all about the ideas in his new book, "Hug Your Haters" and what his research and recommendations mean to YOU and your business. Check it out.

Tim Sanders Interview: Dealstorming

Tim Sanders has done it again - a masterpiece of specific, actionable, sales-generating ideas for growing sales by growing the sales team to include non-selling professionals.

With these tactical, specific, step-by-step strategies, any sales organization will be able to sell faster, sell smarter, and close bigger deals more quickly by leveraging the power of a sales-focused culture that starts with sales-focused conversation, collaboration, and action.

Is this idea simple? Yes.

It is easy? No way - not unless you have Tim's masterful book by your side to guide you at every step of the way to take your organization's sales from average to awesome.

Buy a copy for everyone on your team - stand back - and then watch what happens as you skyrocket your sales results.

Very few sales books deliver on their big promise - Dealstorming over-delivers and then some.

The ugly truth about coaching, revenue, and the bad old days

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It was ugly.

All of it.

No clients, no money, no clue...

Yup - that's how I started my business back in 2002.

At that time, I only had 2 revenue streams: speaking and training. 

And I was pretty awful at marketing and selling both.

Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut so I got a few big training contracts with companies like QVC, Microsoft, and IBM and several smaller gigs with local companies here in the Philadelphia area where I live...

Was it enough to pay the bills? 

Barely. 

Did it look good on the outside? Sure it did. 

For 3 years, I was bobbing and weaving and hitting dead end after dead end.

Many, many times I wanted to give up and go back to the good old days of a nice 9-to-5 job with the best benefit of all - a paycheck!!

Then in 2005, things started to improve... or I just got real tired of being broke and clueless so I worked like a mad man to figure out this marketing thing once and for all... 

Suddenly, several trainers, coaches, and speakers were asking me to have breakfast, lunch, and coffee with them to share my "secrets" to success... 

They thought I was being humble when I said it's not that much success and I don't have any secrets.

Actually, it was the 100% truth. 

But I helped them out as much as I could - I ate a lot of lunch and drank a lot of coffee and subjected myself to way too many "Can I pick your brain?" meetings. 

They were nice people and they needed help so I did it. 

Then one day in 2005, I was presenting for a group called the Consultants Forum.

At the end of that talk - on a whim - I passed around a signup sheet and offered anyone who wanted a private 20-minute coaching session to contact me. 

My plan was to offer them private marketing and sales coaching at $1,000 a month. 

Before that week was over, I generated $3,000 in new coaching revenue from the folks in that room [there were only about 15 people at the event.] 

The next week, I was at another local event [not speaking, just attending] and a woman who ran a promotional products and advertising firm hired me for private coaching for another $3,000. 

After generating $6,000 in less than 10 days back in 2005 - basically by accident - it dawned on me:

I should probably offer private coaching in addition to my speaking and training offerings. 

And so should YOU.

If you want the full scoop - plus the 2016 updates to what you need to do in order to start (or restart) your private coaching success - join me for my next master class on 1/26 called the "Coaching Revenue Roadmap."

Sign up is here and seats are filling fast. 

Talk more soon.

p.s. When things got ugly in my business [and they did] between 2005 and 2007, no matter how much I was struggling in one area or another of my business, I could ALWAYS get private coaching clients.

It. Saved. My. Business. 

p.p.s. What started out as free - and then $250 an hour - and then $1,000 a month - and then $4,500 for 90 days - and then $7,500 for 90 days - and fast forward to today where I regularly get $9,500 for my 90-day private mentor program - has become a central pillar of my revenue-generating game plan as a thought-leading professional. You can do the same if you know what you're doing...

p.p.p.s. Remember I am NOT a "coach" - I have zero coaching certifications - and have no coaching letters after my name. That's not the kind of coaching I'm talking about. I'm talking about 1-1 consulting or 1-1 training/mentoring which is exactly what most executives and entrepreneurs are looking to YOU to provide. You can monetize THAT tomorrow if you master the basics. Join me on this training and you will.

How to Hire a GREAT Salesperson

How to Hire a Great Salesperson resized 600

Guest post by Chris DiFonzo

Sales Defined Simply

Simple definitions create profound clarity. I sell enterprise security software for a Fortune 50 company. My team's VP defines my job and his in two sentences:

"Remember: Your job is to post numbers. My job is to find people who post numbers."

The Indisputable, Unromantic Fact

If you're a Solopreneur, your number one job is to post numbers. Brainstorming does not feed the family, networking does not pay tuition, and blog fame doesn't pay bills. Money does these things. Whether you're a writer, speaker, executive coach, or circus talent recruiter, if you're making a living as a Solopreneur, you signed up to be a Salesperson.

Simple Outline for Sales Hiring

Now, eventually enterprise-oriented Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and startups are tempted to build a direct sales model involving finding other people to post numbers. This is a critical decision, not to taken lightly. If you've made the decision to hire and run sales talent in your organization, here's a simple approach:

  1. Find someone who can post numbers.
  2. Pay them well, people who post numbers are expensive, and high ROI.
  3. Provide a lot of upside. Number posters are upside pit bulls.
  4. Manage them once a week for 30 minutes max. Otherwise stay out of their way. Be responsive to the support they request.
  5. Give them everything they need to be successful. Take away all the excuses.
  6. Know your numbers, be clear on expectations, measure them only on numbers.
  7. Evaluate weekly, monthly, and quarterly. If program is working, continue. If not working, fire fast.

I often hear chatter about "other responsibilities," much of which are administrative or provide time saving for founders.

DO NOT GO THERE.

People who post numbers passionately hate admin tasks and generally suck at them.

If you talk about peripheral tasks and a candidate doesn't puke on you or at least roll her eyes, this is a red flag.

Other than post numbers, you only need them to do two things:

  1. Maintain their OWN pipeline in a spreadsheet or CRM tool (PipeDrive great for start ups).
  2. Submit accurate expense reports regularly.

Direct sales IS NOT marketing, lead gen, lead management, mailings, social media, managing the whole company's pipeline, or spending ime with founders and team members singing Cumbauya and playing dodgeball.

Direct sales IS engaging with prospects and customers, discovery meetings, qualifying business, proposing business, negotiating, closing, and posting numbers. Everything else is a distraction.

That's it. Go post numbers.

Chris DiFonzo is an occasional guest blogger who writes about sales and selling. He currently sells cyber security software for a Fortune 50 company and is a three-time entrepreneur.