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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Climbers, Campers and Champions | SALES AND MARKETING

Bill DoerrSales and Marketing with Bill Doerr

15 Second Executive Summary

Marketing is the function that fuels growth. It generates the 'stuff ' needed for growth. Newer firms differ in the marketing challenges they have and how they respond to them. This article examines 4 stages of growth as well as the issues that must be addressed in each.

Glenn Mattson is President of Mattson Enterprise, Inc. - a sales development consulting firm in Long Island, NY. His clients are primarily in the financial services field. He's been doing this for 17 years and his company is one of the most successful offices of an international sales development company in the world. He's a repeat speaker at the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) - a respected organization of financial services representatives who must meet significant performance-based criteria to become members.

During a recent interview, Glenn shared his thinking about the challenges he sees his clients are facing and what he's doing to help them grow to the 'next level'.

Glenn's helped a number of his clients grow from 'solo practitioners' into bona fide 'business owners'. "That journey" he says, "reveals a process that must develop progressively or you might get stuck along the way".

People who are growing . . . moving along a path of progress toward becoming a business owner are what Glenn calls, 'Climbers'. Those who reach the status of business owner are 'Champions'. Those who seem to stop along the way he considers 'Campers'.

I asked about the challenges Glenn sees that people on the path can expect and how he advises them to address them.

Stage 1: The Salesperson

New practitioners, especially in the financial services field must see a lot of people. So prospecting is a key function to master. Being new, they have a lot to learn. They are generally more 'busy' than 'productive' and have certain mental mindsets that must be overcome to grow. A major mental obstacle facing a new salesperson is: Fear of Failure.

Glenn offered that the key to overcoming this issue is to recognize that, "You can't lose what you don't have". Meaning? Too often a new salesperson modifies their behavior with prospects based on their fear of losing a sale they don't even have. "You want to embrace the risk of failure with a prospect and not be crippled mentally, by it. Ironically, not being afraid to fail means you're more likely to do what is essential to succeed".

"Getting through this initial stage", offers Glenn, "happens faster if you do the following:
  1. Be willing to fail (so your bravery and behavior grows),
  2. Find a purpose bigger than your own ego -- to support your behavior
  3. Learn to not make excuses
  4. Do what produces pleasing results rather than what is pleasing to do
This last point is worth an explanation.

"Successful people are successful because they do what unsuccessful people don't do" Glenn added, "Funny thing is, they don't like doing those things any more than people who are unsuccessful. But the reason they will do them is that successful people are motivated by pleasing results and are inclined to do whatever it takes to enjoy them. In contrast, unsuccessful people are more likely to be motivated by pleasing behaviors and are inclined to accept whatever results those behaviors may produce".

Stage 2: The Agent

Having survived the 'newbie' stage, these people know how to 'see the people' and do so more consistently than when they first began their careers. But their challenge revolves around time and how they use it to grow their revenues.

"These people are growing more effective at some things (like prospecting) but their efficiency isn't what it could be." I asked why? "Head-Trash. The mental muck that lies between their ears that keeps them from doing what they know they should to grow".

"Time" offers Glenn, "is a challenge for people in this stage. They relive their past experiences and suffer GUILT. They also think about their future and WORRY about what may happen to them. The problem with these 'mental states' is that they immobilize actions in the present".

Another challenge of this stage is what Glenn calls 'adjusting'. "People perform in ways that align with how they see themselves." He referred to Winners, Losers and At-Leasters.

Losers . . . are psychologically crippled and seek ways to prove they're 'damaged goods'. That's sad but they're also not likely to be functional enough to be in business.

Winners are the people who are taking action and making things happen.

It's the 'At-Leasters' who are the challenge in this stage. "They're not losers. But they're not winners. Not yet. Their problem? They don't see themselves as winners. So when they act 'as if' they are winners, they find ways to sabotage their success so it's more aligned with their self-image -- "I'm not a winner but 'at least' I'm not a loser, either!" Glenn offers that building up their self-image will build their production.

"Getting through this second stage", offers Glenn, "happens faster if you:
  1. Don't feed your guilt or worry but DO take action in the present
  2. Hire an assistant - you can't afford not to do this
  3. See that failure is a temporary condition that helps you learn how to succeed
  4. Build your self-image and raise your esteem so you see yourself as a winner
Stage 3: The Producer

These people make a good income. Often a very good income. Many people find this is a comfortable place to 'camp out' and they stop 'climbing' as a result.

"I've worked with Producers who make a high 6 or even 7 figure income. There's nothing wrong with being a Producer. Especially if you're happy with yourself and you make a good income."

At this stage, according to Glenn, "Producers are their own biggest problem." I asked Glenn to clarify this comment. "Let's face it, when you're making a serious income, you tend to believe your own press releases. The very strength of a great self-image and strong ego that gets someone to this stage can also be the reason they get stuck here."

"The challenges at this stage involve ego-based issues. There are many of these. Perhaps the most difficult to address are those that limit the Producer's ability to communicate effectively with their staff ("Why don't they know what I want?" Uh, because maybe you don't tell them and they're not psychic?), organize their business as a business (defining roles and responsibilities for staff is critical to grow but often ignored here) and see that funding their business needs is an investment rather than an expense.

"Getting through this third stage", offers Glenn, "happens faster if you:
  1. Stop thinking 'me' and start thinking 'we'
  2. Have an annual plan
  3. Adopt a mindset that you're investing in your business
  4. Empower your staff to free you to do what you do best
  5. Be consistent and conscientious with your actions
Stage 4: The Business Owner

Not everyone makes it here. Not everyone wants to be a Business Owner. Producers can be very happy generating a high 6 figure income. But Business Owners are people who want to build something that's bigger than themselves.

"Business Owners" says Glenn, "are characterized by the following . . ."
  • "WE not ME attitude". These people build organizations, not egos.
  • "Pay for performance". You'll find the staff make more money than in other firms.
  • "Vision / Plan / Goals / Actions". They are focused on making their future a reality.
  • "Invest vs. Expense". They understand this and live this mentality.
  • "Organize!". They build an organization based on clear roles and defined responsibilities.
  • "No Excuses". They don't make them and they don't get them much, either.
  • "Design, not Accident". It's how they do things. They plan to make things happen.
"Business Owners have (and live by) a VISION. This helps them attract the right people with the potential to make the business successful. They also train their people to develop that potential and create an environment that motivates them to use it to support others in the business and the vision that it seeks to achieve"

Well said Glenn!

Glenn Mattson, President of Mattson Enterprise, Inc. works with highly successful business owners who seek grow their revenues, staff and profits. For a Special Report related to this topic, visit: Glenn Mattson or call: 631-726-3537

Bill Doerr, Partner / Markitect at SellMore Marketing, LLC helps professionals and other service providers to market their problem-solving expertise simply, effectively and affordability. You can reach him online at Sell More Marketing, or by phone at 860-798-6964.

For more information, please visit Bill's TNNWC Bio.

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