PODCAST: How To Improve Your Sales, Understand Your Tools and Hire Salespeople with Mark Hunter

By Itamar Shafir on Dec 31, 2021

Following is the transcript (and podcast links) for  Episode 32 of the Marketing Umbrella Podcast, our CEO Itamar Shafir interviews Mark Hunter, recognized as a Top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing Leader.

Mark is known for challenging people and the sales myths they cling to. His message is not for the timid; it’s for the organization that knows change is required and must happen now.

With over 30 years of sales leadership experience, Hunter travels globally working with companies to help them grow their top-line sales and bottom-line profits and giving keynotes and training workshops.

Here is what to expect on this week’s show:

  • How to approach the structure of storytelling, important for your sales approach.
  • The channels that Mark prefers for prospecting new clients and why.
  • The importance of knowing your ideal customer profile
  • Why you should keep sales tools simple and effective
  • How to find and hire good salespeople
  • Much more!

You can read the transcript below. You may prefer to Listen to the podcast or Watch the video.

Transcript

Itamar Shafir:

Welcome to The Marketing Umbrella Podcast, where we talk with successful marketing experts about ways to build and grow your digital marketing agency. My guest today has been recognized as a Top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing leader. He is a fought-after keynote speaker and the author of three bestselling books, A Mind For a Sale, High Profit Prospecting and High Profit Selling. He traveled the globe helping leading companies, such as Coca-Cola, Salesforce, Lenovo, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung, Heineken and many more, to maximize their prospecting and sales. I’m excited to say hello to Mr. Mark Hunter.

Itamar Shafir:

Hi, Mark.

Mark Hunter:

Hey. Hello, welcome. Thanks for having me on the show. And, we’re not going to talk about big companies, we’re going to talk about your company, the small company out there. Let’s give them some real strong advice today.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah. Thank you very much. As you know, marketing agencies and sales is very much intertwined. But, it’s funny how many times, somebody can be an awesome Facebook advertising manager but not really a good salesperson for himself or even know how to find good salespeople.

Itamar Shafir:

But, Mark, before we jump into helping our listeners, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to helping such amazing companies?

Mark Hunter:

Well, yeah. My background was really in Fortune 500 companies and I had the fortune of leading a sales team, about 700 people. It was 21 years ago that I said, “Screw it, I quit. I want to go do my own thing. I want to be on the small side of things.” You know what? It’s a lot more fun being on this side than on that other side, where you’re corporate, corporate, corporate.

Mark Hunter:

So for the last 21 years now, I’ve been working with companies, ranges of size from startups, solopreneurs, to the smaller businesses. I just came from a meeting with a company that maybe has, I don’t know, maybe I’m guessing seven or eight employees and they’re really in the startup mode. I’ve got a call here in a few hours, with another company that’s looking to raise not even A round of funding, they’re really in friends and family funding. It’s absolutely a kick. That’s really what I do.

Mark Hunter:

My whole focus is really helping companies, helping salespeople find and retain better prospects that you can close at full price. That’s a challenge that I think every small business out there has. Where do you find good, good prospects that you can turn into clients? And more importantly, clients that you can make money on.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah.

Mark Hunter:

Hey, freemium does not get you very far. Just saying, just saying.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. We had a lot of conversation in this show about PIP results versus full pay in advance, about how do you structure pricing, which I know you’re an expert on.

Itamar Shafir:

But, in my experience when you sell to Fortune 500 companies, or corporates in general, then you have several touchpoints, and then you have several decision makers and you have a long sales cycle. And the budgets, it’s large. And with small businesses, it’s different. Obviously, we talk with the decision maker faster, and so on. But, do you find any commonalities, in your experience, that no matter if you talk with a Fortune 500 CEO or you’re talking with a small HVAC company, always come into play in the sales pitch?

Mark Hunter:

Well, here’s what I find. I want to share with you a difference before I get to a similarity.

Mark Hunter:

The difference is that the big company may, “I’ll go and take a ride on this, I’ll go and buy this. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. It’s no big deal.” The small business can’t afford to do that. They have to be ensured it’s 100% success. So their hesitancy to buy is actually greater.

Mark Hunter:

Now, that’s the difference. The similarity is it’s still an emotion-filled decision. It’s still emotion-filled. Even with the big company, it’s still … We say, “Oh no, they buy based on fact.” No, they don’t. They buy based on emotion. It’s personal. Down in the small business, it’s very personal, it’s very emotional. So there’s a real similarity there.

Mark Hunter:

Sales is really about people understanding people. When I understand people, I can begin to understand their needs. I’ll give you an example. I was working with a small business company. They teach yoga, teach yoga to corporate. Hey, that’s a small business, right?

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah.

Mark Hunter:

They were not having any success growing because they were making these calls where they were saying, “Hi, Joe Company, do you want to buy yoga for your employees?” Click. You can imagine how that call goes, right?

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah, yeah.

Mark Hunter:

Here’s the deal. No business, large or small, wakes up in the morning and says, “Gee, I want to buy yoga lessons for my employees.” What they want is they want, really, they want to get employee retention, they want to lower turnover, they want to increase employee productivity. They want to improve the culture of the company. That’s what yoga does. It was reframing their message to the outcome that the customer is looking for. Yoga just happened to be the delivery vehicle to get them there.

Mark Hunter:

And, small businesses, this is one of the big challenges that I think every small business, digital agencies have in particular. It is so easy to get caught up in, “This is the mechanics of what we do.” It’s not the mechanics, it’s not the mechanics. It’s the result.

Mark Hunter:

I like to say, “You can’t take clicks and likes to the bank.” You may have a great social marketing post that gets a lot of clicks, gets a lot of likes, gets a lot of comments. Big deal. I mean, it’s great, I love it, but until I can monetize it, until I can monetize it, however my monetization plan works, that’s only when it really becomes valuable.

Itamar Shafir:

Right. So you’re actually saying, “Okay, even though I’m a salesperson,” for example, a salesperson at an agency or an agency owner, “I now have the responsibility to find the right [QSP 00:06:09] and the right positioning for my product and that’s where the story starts. It starts with a little bit of my branding, a little bit of my unique aspects.”

Itamar Shafir:

You talk about storytelling and that goes with that. How do I build my story? I don’t think it’s easy for everybody to do that.

Mark Hunter:

Well, it isn’t easy. And especially, if you’re in a startup. If you’re in a small business and you really don’t have any track record, what’s the story?

Mark Hunter:

Now, this morning I was having a conversation with, like I said, this small company. I shared with them two stories, not from my own situation, but from other situations I’ve seen, other retailers and an airline. And, it resonated with the person. It was like, “Wow, that’s interesting.” And I said, “Well, this is what we do.”

Mark Hunter:

So storytelling, all you’re trying to do with storytelling is this. You’re trying to engage the other person by hooking them with something that they can connect to emotionally, so they can relate to it. If you can do that, then you can begin to get them seeing, “Ah, this is what’s possible.”

Itamar Shafir:

So you’re saying the story doesn’t even need to be about me, it just needs to be a story that tells my story, but it’s not about me.

Mark Hunter:

Right, yeah. Yeah. Now, if I’ve got a story about me, that’s great.

Mark Hunter:

But, here’s the problem with small businesses. And if you’re selling to small businesses, you tell a story about me, do they really care about me? No, they care about them.

Itamar Shafir:

Right.

Mark Hunter:

It’s the wrong me. You have to be careful of how you frame the story, that it doesn’t become egotistical. It doesn’t become, “Oh, I am Superman, I am super human. I can do all things.” You have to be careful on that.

Itamar Shafir:

Do you have some tips about how to structure that story?

Itamar Shafir:

So let’s say, for example, I’m just going to take a use case. I’m a small agency, I’m going after attorneys. Divorce attorneys.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah.

Itamar Shafir:

Maybe there are easier niches as an example, but it just came up to mind. Feel free to come up with another niche. And, I’m a young agency, I have a small book of business. But, nothing too fancy that I’m going to write home about and I want to tell a story that is engaging to that attorney. Any tips on how to structure that story?

Mark Hunter:

Well, sure because what you can share is … Hopefully, you’re not sharing your own personal story how you had to hire a divorce attorney. But, you can share examples of …

Mark Hunter:

What’s very interesting is, here’s something we’ve found, is which spouse is the one hiring you. I’ve seen time and time again, situations where, if it’s the female that’s hiring the attorney, they have a different level of expectation, especially if there’s kids involved. I would imagine, you’ve had situations as a family divorce attorney, where the kids are involved and, depending on the ages, that very much changes. I’d just be curious to know, what are some of the differences that you’ve seen?

Mark Hunter:

You see how I’m doing?

Itamar Shafir:

That’s very nice.

Mark Hunter:

I’m crafting a story and I’m now bringing you into it, by asking you for your opinion.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay. So for somebody that has less experience, would you suggest that they investigate that niche beforehand and come up with a cookie-cutter story they can use time and again?

Mark Hunter:

Yes, yes. You’ve got to do your homework before going in. Because if you sit there and walk in, or you’re on the phone with, we’ll say that divorce attorney, “So, tell me about what divorce attorneys do. Wow, what’s that like? There was a TV show back in the ’70s or ’60s called Divorce Court. Was that you?” No, it doesn’t cut it.

Itamar Shafir:

Right.

Mark Hunter:

But, this is the amazing thing. The internet allows us to learn anything and everything. The example I used earlier about yoga, I’m not into yoga. I’m not into it. I went out on the internet, did some research. Pretty easy. And, I have some friends who are very much into yoga, I asked them. See, you can do your homework before you come into it. And then, you set the story up and you begin to paint.

Mark Hunter:

What you’re doing is you’re holding up a canvas and you have a palette of colors, and you’re giving them the brush. And, what you’re doing is you’re just guiding them to paint the picture. And as they begin to paint the picture, then both of you begin to see it, both of you begin to make changes, both of you begin to tweak it. But then, when the picture’s done, that’s the outcome that that potential client is looking for. Boom. Now, I can help them solve their issue.

Itamar Shafir:

All right. That’s very good and it goes to what you say usually on stage, is you need to get that buy-in, that engagement. Once you get them hooked, then you know that you have a future for the sale.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay, so that’s the narrative that we’re already in a conversation, for example, with the attorney and we’re already talking to them, it’s an open conversation. But before that, there is the very hard process of prospecting to even get them on the call. What’s your thoughts about that?

Mark Hunter:

Well, the thoughts are, first of all, you become more valuable locally when you’re recognized globally. Let’s stop and unpack that for a moment.

Mark Hunter:

Social media is a powerful tool and if you’re a digital agency, I hope you have a pretty strong presence out there on the internet because, let me tell you something. Nobody takes a phone call with anybody without first Googling them. I happen to notice that, over the last several days, you’ve looked at my LinkedIn profile a couple times. Gee, because you were doing your homework, right? Absolutely outstanding. I did the same thing with your company. Yeah, I did my homework.

Mark Hunter:

So, this is the whole thing. Before anybody takes a conversation with us, they’re going to do homework on us. What does the internet say about us? That becomes absolutely valuable. Now, here’s where it comes down to. My objective is not to say, “Hi, how’s your day going?” Or, any of those. Oh, come on people, please. I’ve got to come at them with a question. As a divorce attorney, what have you seen change since COVID?

Mark Hunter:

See, I want to ask them a question that’s relative, that’s pertinent to them. And, the faster I can engage them in a question, because now what’s going to be interesting is … Okay, you don’t really know. Wait a minute, COVID. It almost sounds like you may know a little bit about what I do, about my business, about how it’s changed because of COVID. Because, guess what? Divorce attorney work has changed dramatically because I can’t even get live in court, everything is online and just filing the briefs, and so forth, so all these little nuances. But, it’s just engaging them in that conversation because then, the question comes back, “So, what’s been your process of finding really great clients? What’s been the process you’ve used? And, what’s changed since COVID?”

Mark Hunter:

And then, what I love to use and I love to use this line for small, professional practitioners, “The way you increase your value locally is you become recognized globally.” Social media. To me, that’s a digital marketing haven. That, to me, is bingo.

Itamar Shafir:

So that’s your preferred channel, social media, so if you had to ping somebody you would do it on LinkedIn, or Facebook, or something like that?

Mark Hunter:

Well, yeah. Well again, it’s not just social media. But, whether it be pay-per-click ads, whether it be YouTube, anything, anything streaming online.

Mark Hunter:

It used to be said that the most valuable real estate was the 12-inches of a grocery store shelf because that was the moment of decision for everything. Now, I think the moment of decision is the five inches or six inches between the iPhone and our eyes.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah.

Mark Hunter:

So we have to be able to have presence. What our whole job is, this is why I do what I do every day, we’re putting things out there on various platforms. Because, what are we trying to do? We’re trying to come up in that search, we’re trying to optimize every means possible. What does that do? It increases my value.

Mark Hunter:

I would not have had this meeting this morning with a local company here, if they did not view me as being recognized globally.

Itamar Shafir:

That goes very much into your online presence, into your brand building, into what people see about you when they find you and how they find you. What do you feel about direct prospecting? Meaning, everything from cold calling, direct messaging.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah.

Itamar Shafir:

Is there a channel that you prefer?

Mark Hunter:

Yes. And, it comes down to you’ve got to understand who is your ideal customer profile. Who is your ideal customer profile? And, look at your existing clients. Who are your existing clients? What you want to do is you want to target and get as tight, as tight, as tight as you possibly can on who that ideal customer profile is. Then, when you do that, you know the outcome that you can help them with. Now, there may be a dozen outcomes but you know you can help them.

Mark Hunter:

You see, at this point, you now know that you can help them. My view is this. If I know I can help someone, I have an obligation to reach out to them. I can pick up the phone, now I can call them. I can call them in a heartbeat because I know I can help them. And, I don’t call this cold calling, I call this targeted calling because what I’m doing is … This is a very small [inaudible 00:16:26]. And again, we’ll go back and use divorce attorneys.

Mark Hunter:

I know a gentleman who runs a very successful business. In fact, it’s very similar, it’s family law and he focuses exclusively in on family law. But, he has been able to provide a service around family law for family law attorneys. He’s even defined it even tighter than that. That every day, he’s calling 25 to 30 family law attorneys in various metropolitan areas around the country. Incredibly successful.

Itamar Shafir:

So you’re saying definitely niche down. You have to niche down and that’s also helping you build a reputation for yourself faster because you’re the family attorney guy, you’re the real estate guy, whatever guy.

Mark Hunter:

Right.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay. Let’s jump for a second. We talked about prospecting and a little bit about sales discussion after we’re getting somebody on the phone, we’re telling a story, we’re getting that trust factor going.

Itamar Shafir:

Now, you talk a lot about avoiding discounts, going for the full price and in fact, optimizing price. Agencies think that if they go low and just get that motion starting with a client, they can rise at the other end and they’re killing themselves with low margins. I see that a lot. You can’t always … How would you convince the listeners to keep to their margins, keep to their pricing?

Mark Hunter:

First of all, just because they want to do business with you doesn’t mean you should do business with them. The person who is attracted by price will leave you on price. So if you’re in a conversation with somebody and, “How much does it cost,” and all this sort of stuff, chances are that’s a red flag. I don’t want them. I don’t want them.

Mark Hunter:

Prospecting is a mating process. You’re trying to sell them, but you’re trying to see if you want to do business with them. There are a lot of clients, prospective clients who come to me, that I reject. Because again, they’re not willing to pay my price. Price connotes the value that you create.

Mark Hunter:

I’ll give you an example. In the United States, Walmart. I can go to Walmart and I can walk into Walmart, and spend a couple dollars for something. If it doesn’t work, no big deal, I could care less. I walk into Nordstrom and I expect a much higher level of value. This is why I say you can’t take a Walmart customer and make them a Nordstrom shopper. It just doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. So I want to zero in on people who understand value.

Mark Hunter:

Now, here’s the deal. It’s the pain, it’s the outcome that you’re going to help them achieve. Let’s use the example of an airline. On a typical flight, you can have an aunt, uncle, a grandpa or a grandma and they’re flying for $129 to go visit grandkids, or nieces or nephews, whatever. They only paid $129 for that flight because they don’t care whether they fly on a Tuesday or a Thursday. They could care less, they just want to get there. They’re willing to put up with anything for the lowest price. Sitting up in the front of the plane, there could be a person, there could be a lady, who paid $800 for the same ticket. Same ticket.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah.

Mark Hunter:

But, she is going to an appointment that she has the potential to close a $5 million deal. And she can only fly Tuesday morning, because she’s got to get back to the office, she’s got to do this, this or this. So to her $800, to potentially close a $20 million, no problem. No problem.

Mark Hunter:

See, what’s the outcome? What is the outcome? The client is willing to pay.

Itamar Shafir:

That’s very good.

Mark Hunter:

That’s why you can never put price on the table until you understand what is the outcome that the client has that you’re going to help them with.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay. It’s a very good point. Can you talk to us a little bit about the differences between the sales hunter, the sales close and the sales farmer?

Mark Hunter:

Sure. Here’s the whole thing. Sales hunter, I’m going out and creating incremental business. I’m creating incremental. I really feel that the role of sales is to create opportunities that would not come to you otherwise.

Mark Hunter:

The role of the sales farmer is to get more business out of existing customers, land and expand. I might try to land this client and I’m going to do one slice of business here, at full price, and then I’m going to expand and do more business with them. That’s the farmer.

Mark Hunter:

The closer, the closer is all about getting you engaged. I see a lot of salespeople, what they can do, they can get them all the way there but they just can’t quite close the deal because they haven’t created enough urgency. And right now, in this COVID world that we’re in, it’s even more important than ever because here’s the whole thing. Businesses, I don’t care what size business, are only dealing with a couple priorities, that’s it. And, if your solution doesn’t help them achieve their couple priorities, they’re not interested.

Mark Hunter:

I’ll give you an example. I had a small business person who has been trying to sell me branded merchandise, with The Sales Hunter logo on it, for years. Every couple weeks, he hits me, [inaudible 00:22:08]. I am just now in a conversation with him.

Itamar Shafir:

He’s tenacious.

Mark Hunter:

The reason, the reason, because I now have an outcome. “You’ve got to sell stuff on your website.” Nobody’s going to buy. It isn’t a priority to me.

Mark Hunter:

Now, because of a new project I’m starting, I want to have branded coffee mugs. See, now I have a very precise outcome.

Itamar Shafir:

Right.

Mark Hunter:

I have a very precise outcome.

Mark Hunter:

Now, here’s the situation. We raised our hand and we said, “Hey, we’re looking for branded coffee mugs.” So he sends my marketing person this 30 different pictures of mugs. We pick some out and he sent me sample. And I said, “It’s a piece of crap, I don’t want it.” And I said, “Here’s what I’m looking for.” I was a little bit pissed. He didn’t do his homework.

Mark Hunter:

He said, “I apologize. I sent you a Walmart mug when I should have sent you a Nordstrom mug.” I said, “Yeah, that’s right.”

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah.

Mark Hunter:

See, it’s funny. He’s a follower of mine, he knows my line. “Hey, you can’t take a Walmart customer and make them a Nordstrom shopper,” but he didn’t even practice it himself. Wow.

Itamar Shafir:

So would you say the entire time that he kept badgering you, would that be a sales farmer?

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. Well, no. He was the sales hunter.

Itamar Shafir:

The sales hunter.

Mark Hunter:

Because I hadn’t done any business with him, at all so he was hunting.

Mark Hunter:

Now, the challenge is he could have been a lot more efficient because he would send me a text message, every two weeks. It was like, “Dude, you’re killing me with your text messages.” I really just turned off, turned off, turned off to him. But, I wound up going with him, I probably could have gone with any number of companies but I wound up going with him. Because literally, the day before, I told my marketing person, “Let’s get going on these,” I got a text message from him. Timing.

Itamar Shafir:

It’s timing. And, it also goes to show, and I’ve seen it in a lot of stats, that for salespeople, a lot of follow-ups. Follow-ups are super important.

Mark Hunter:

Yes.

Itamar Shafir:

Because it’s timing, you don’t know when the person is ready to buy.

Mark Hunter:

The sale is made in the follow-up. This is where so many companies fall down. They make one call, they make two calls. “Well, they didn’t buy, they must not be interested.” How do you know? You never had a conversation with them. It’s repetition.

Mark Hunter:

This is why I say some of the most valuable advice you’ll ever get is found in your shower. Look on every bottle of shampoo, “Rinse and repeat.” Rinse and repeat.

Itamar Shafir:

Very good.

Mark Hunter:

Take that to the bank in sales.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah. And if we’re talking about follow-ups, today you have a lot of nifty tools that can help you with reminders, with actual follow email, follow-up SMS. And, there are so many new tools in the salesperson’s arsenal. You have dialers, you have sales intelligence. I think people don’t know exactly what to do. Really, just with the amounts of CRM out there and you’re a small business, you don’t want to spend a ton of money, checking 50 different tools.

Itamar Shafir:

What do you recommend? I’m one person, two people on my sales team. What’s my musts?

Mark Hunter:

First of all, it is easy to say, “Hey, if I get this app, if I get this software, the world is going to be great.” And it doesn’t happen, okay. It’s like getting a membership to the gym. When you get a membership to the gym, that does not make you in shape. You’ve got to physically go and work out.

Mark Hunter:

Here’s the thing. You can become tool overloaded very quickly. Small businesses, really all you need is a good CRM system. And, that’s probably not Salesforce. Now, I love Salesforce, great tool. But for small businesses, I really recommend something like Zoho.

Itamar Shafir:

Right.

Mark Hunter:

It’s a very simplistic tool. And, don’t over complicate it. The best tool you have is you, picking up the phone, making the call, sending out the email, sending out text messages, whatever.

Mark Hunter:

And, my whole premise, success in sales is not around, “Gee, let’s send out 2000 emails a day and see what happens.” Come on, people, get real. I’d rather do 20 really spot-on phone calls and emails a day, and I’ll have more success. I’ll have far more success, if I know my ICP, my ideal customer profile.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay. I’m going to stay on tools just a little bit longer, because there are a new set of tools on the market, on sales intelligence, like Gong.

Mark Hunter:

Yes, great. Excellent tool.

Itamar Shafir:

Have you used it? I really wanted to ask you, do you feel it’s also relevant for a one person sales team? Putting aside that it’s expensive.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. Gong is a great tool, I love it because we can learn a lot from recording our calls and listening to them, et cetera, et cetera. If I’m a one or two-person, I’m going to say do I really need to do it. Now, if I’m up to five or six and I’ve got a couple people on the phone, yeah I’m probably going to take a look at Gong. But again, I want to make sure that there’s a need there before I jump into it.

Itamar Shafir:

Right.

Mark Hunter:

I think, without a doubt, Gong and there are other tools, similar tools out there, they’ve done more to improve sales than probably any other tool out there because they’re helping us measure what we’re already doing. That’s what I like.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah. Okay, perfect. So you’re saying good tools, but keep it simple.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah.

Itamar Shafir:

One or two people, keep it simple, keep it cheap and it’s mostly you. Focus your prospecting, focus your niche, focus your story and that will get you the best result. And obviously, follow-up.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah, it is. Yeah. And, keep your head in the game. The most powerful sales tool you have is this right here, your brain. Use it. Your mindset. It’s amazing what happens when we engage.

Itamar Shafir:

Let’s say I’ve tried it but my mind is set on different things. And I’m saying to myself, “Okay, Mark, I tried it. I don’t have time,” whatever it is. “I need to hire someone.”

Mark Hunter:

Yeah.

Itamar Shafir:

Give me a tip about how do I hire a good salesperson, because you hear so many things. There are people that are willing to work for 25% commission only, and then there are people that want a specific base plus that and you don’t know how to measure them. And, you have personality tests, whatever. And you’re an agency, or you have just a few people, how do I do it? How do I find a good salesperson?

Mark Hunter:

Well, this is what’s absolutely key. First of all, just because you hire a salesperson doesn’t mean your sales problems have gone away and doesn’t allow you to disengage.

Mark Hunter:

I work with an agency now, they have three salespeople and the CEO is very much involved. He’s very much involved in sales. In fact, every other week we have a phone call with these three salespeople and the CEO. He’s very much involved, he’s making sales calls himself, he is engaged. The reason they are successful is two things. One, they do pay a good base and a solid commission.

Mark Hunter:

I tell people this. Look, if you’re going to hire somebody and they’re going to be straight commission, guess what? They’re probably going to run out of runway before they have enough food to eat. Because again, if you’re paying straight commission and chances are, “Hey, I’m going to pay you a huge commission, it’s going to be great.” There are salespeople that are, “Oh, I want to work for rate commission.” How long is it going to take you to start generating sales? Whoa, probably too long.

Mark Hunter:

I work with a company right now. A smaller company, and they’ve hired some salespeople and they’re on a draw. Now, here’s the reason. The draw works because now, the company’s invested in them. If you’re a salesperson, you do not want to go to work for a company that they are not willing to invest you. I’m going to tell you, if you’re a salesperson out here, do not go to work for a company that pays you 100% commission because they could care less if you’re successful or not. Oh, they can give you, but you know what, if you’re not successful, they’ll just get somebody else.

Itamar Shafir:

Right.

Mark Hunter:

You want to join a company where there’s a partnership, there’s ownership.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay. So you’re saying a draw? Something maybe, $3000?

Mark Hunter:

Well, it can be whatever. Now, let me tell you something. There’s such a disparity out there, in wages right now. I see in the local markets, in the local mid-sized markets, I see great salespeople making $80,000. I see national SaaS companies, where it’s $300, $400,000.

Itamar Shafir:

Yeah.

Mark Hunter:

So again, a huge disparity here. At the end of the day, you’re going to get the person to come to work for you as what do they see in your culture, what do they see in your organization. Do they feel this is going to help them? And, don’t ever think that you’re hiring somebody for a 20-year ride. No, you’re not. If you can get three years out of them, count yourself lucky. I hate to say that, [inaudible 00:31:52].

Mark Hunter:

And also, don’t forget and this is a sad comment. I don’t care, the turnover of salespeople in smaller companies is much higher than in big companies. Big companies, it runs about 40%. Big companies, new hires don’t work out. Small companies, it’s about 70.

Itamar Shafir:

Wow.

Mark Hunter:

I hate to say it. Yeah. Yeah.

Itamar Shafir:

What would be two or three things that I must look at when I’m doing that hiring, in that CV?

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. I want to look at two things. I don’t care what their industry experience is, I could care less. I’ve seen people, “Well, I’ve got all these contacts I can bring,” that never happens. I look at attitude. I look at attitude and a willingness to hustle, and a willingness to learn. I don’t want to sit there and ask them questions. “Hey, talk to me. Share with me some examples that demonstrates hustle. Share with me some examples of how you’ve overcome challenges, when you’ve been put into a corner and there’s no out.” I want them to explain, I want them to share with me stories. I want them to share with me examples. It really comes down to you have to hire an attitude. I can teach them the skill, it’s the attitude that I can’t teach.

Itamar Shafir:

Right. Okay, great. That’s awesome. Thank you, Mark.

Itamar Shafir:

Our last section, and I know you need to bounce soon.

Mark Hunter:

Okay.

Itamar Shafir:

Our last section is a rapid Q&A. I ask you quick questions, I need quick answers. The questions are in no way edgy, but if you feel that any of them are not right for you just say, “Pass.” Okay, but they’re not edgy. Ready?

Mark Hunter:

Ready.

Itamar Shafir:

Okay. Did you get along with your parents growing up?

Mark Hunter:

Yes, I loved my parents.

Itamar Shafir:

Do you have siblings?

Mark Hunter:

Yes.

Itamar Shafir:

Do you have pets?

Mark Hunter:

We had to put our pet down about six months ago.

Itamar Shafir:

Oh, dear. Sorry for that. Do you have kids?

Mark Hunter:

Yes.

Itamar Shafir:

How old were you when your first kid was born?

Mark Hunter:

I was 29.

Itamar Shafir:

When do you wake up?

Mark Hunter:

I wake up at 4:30, every morning.

Itamar Shafir:

When do you go to bed?

Mark Hunter:

I go to bed about 9:30.

Itamar Shafir:

Ideal vacation?

Mark Hunter:

Europe, with my wife.

Itamar Shafir:

Are you a man of faith?

Mark Hunter:

Yes.

Itamar Shafir:

Awesome. Mark, thank you very much for being on the show. Your advice is amazing. And guys, you want you to visit thesaleshunter.com, that’s the best site to read more information about you. Mark has amazing information there for salespeople and for people interested in sales. And also, courses that might be very relevant for you guys. So, thesaleshunter.com.

Itamar Shafir:

Mark, thank you very much for sharing so much good advice and practical advice with our audience.

Mark Hunter:

Thank you.

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