a Fatal Flaw (with a lot of organizations out there)

So fast-forward to present-day, and I’ll tell you: it’s something that I coach my team on, heavily. I mean, we all have our different personalities and styles and everything, but the common thread on my team is the ability to communicate fearlessly.

But back then, though, in the Army, I learned that it was possible for a soldier to know everything there is to know, but how he could still lose if he sounded nervous and unsure of himself, especially right at the very beginning when he’s first given a chance to speak.

I also learned that it was possible to win, even if you didn’t know all the answers, as long as you spoke with a certain level of confidence that made it abundantly clear to the board members that this soldier is an expert and therefore, he’s the best candidate.

You see, it would be unrealistic to expect that any one particular soldier could possibly know everything there is to know about everything, so even though general military knowledge was important, it wasn’t all there was to it. A person’s “military bearing,” their presence, the way they carried and presented themselves were very important.

 

I left the Army at the end of 2006, and since then, I’ve worked at several organizations where I’ve spent time on both sides of the marketing and sales fence.

I’ve also read quite a few books along the way, tested a bunch of communicative methods out, and I’ve basically been able to map out the ideal, initial interaction, experience that consistently produces a very specific and desirable outcome:

The highest quality of leads who willingly move to the next steps of the sales process because they feel SAFE and feel like they’re working with an Expert, and really, it’s all because of the way I speak.

With this communication style, I use zero force when speaking with Potential Clients, so this typically reduces their “sales resistance” instead of increasing it, and this is why Leads who go through this strategic, communicative process are typically responsive and ready to take the next steps.

With this style of communication, you won’t need to get 20 leads to get 2 deals, and I’m going to spell it all out in detail in a very logical and coherent manner. It’s actually quite simple, and it has nothing to do with my personality or anything subjective like that. I know how to scientifically break down the best way to do this.

From 2017-19, I worked for a major organization and I created and managed the Marketing Response Team there, and we handled all the inbound website inquiries from Potential Clients (and people who called in to inquire about our services).

Long story short, I wiped out everything they were doing, cleaned house as far as the team that I inherited goes, completely broke down their processes and re-wrote everything (including the team name and job titles), then recruited, hired, and trained a team to do things my way, and guess what:

It completely optimized the way that organization did business.

You see, a fatal flaw that I’ve identified at several organizations now, is that most organizations that have a big enough sales team and high enough lead flow get to a point where they need a team that sits between Marketing and Sales who basically do lead qualification. The fatal flaw is that they’ll typically staff those teams with Novices and give them very little to no guidance on how to communicate with Potential Clients (asides from some poorly written scripting and maybe some email templates), and then, on top of that, they don’t pay them enough to take their jobs seriously anyways.

It’s a recipe for failure. I mean, think about it: It doesn’t matter how high your website ranks or how great your products and pricing are if your Potential Clients get scared off the moment they speak with your humans, right? Well, you might get away with having poor communicators if you’re strictly e-commerce, but most companies aren’t.

So, I was hired on to manage the Lead Generation Team there, even though I made it abundantly clear during the interviews that I’m not a “Lead Gen” kind of guy. I mean, yes, I’m familiar with lead gen tactics and digital marketing, but my area of expertise comes more into play when the humans actually start interacting, so I’m really more of a communications specialist.

During my interview for that position (which I was recruited for), the VP of Marketing told me about some specific problems that they were having, and I gave her very specific ways to fix them and showed her examples of my work, and then of course, I was brought on and we made it happen.

In a lead flow conversion analysis for the first three quarters of 2018 (of course I can’t give specifics as far as deal sizes and revenue goes), the organization was converting Leads that went through my process at right about the 40% mark, and we’re talking about 1,433 Potential Clients. That’s a lot!

First quarter was when my process and methods went into effect, so of course there was a ramp-up as people got used to things.

My Marketing Response Team was located at our headquarters, in Scottsdale, AZ, and we supported Sales Reps who were scattered all over the country plus an Inside Sales Team that was located in Austin, Texas, so a remote sales force that was comprised of anywhere from 50 to 60 Account Executives.

First quarter, we converted at 37.7%.

Second quarter, 38.3%.

By six months in, we were firing on all cylinders and for the third quarter, we converted right at 42%.

It was working – all of it – and everyone loved it; the Account Execs we fed Leads to, the organization as a whole, and of course the Customers that we helped. And we’re talking about some high-ticket items, too, with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue generated.

Working at that organization gave me a HUGE sandbox to really test and hone and get all of this stuff down, and I’ll tell you now – none of what I’ll be sharing is product or industry specific.

I basically cracked the code on how to communicate in an influential, yet not pushy or aggressive way that just gets people to follow my guidance and HOW TO REPLICATE IT regardless of personalities. My team has older Team Members, younger Team Members, females, males, different personalities, and it doesn’t matter who handled a Lead, the EXPERIENCE provided is consistently (and predictably) objectively excellent.

I remember explaining to that VP of Marketing, “Like … I don’t know, I just … have this certain way of speaking that gets people to take me seriously …”

But back then, when interviewing, although I had been like this since my Army days, I couldn’t really explain how to do it. Like, I couldn’t scientifically-explain it, step-by-step.

Well, now I can, and I’m sharing all of my secrets here.

Published by Thomas Hurley

I am a father, husband, drummer, boater, marketer, communicator, animal-lover.

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