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Do you have a mind for sales? Mark Hunter was recognized as one of the top 50 most influential sales & marketing leaders in the world. He is the Author of 3 books, High-Profit Prospecting, High-Profit Selling, and his newest book, A Mind for Sales. He has an online program “The Sales Hunter University” which is ranked as one of the top 10 sales learning programs due to his unique style of coaching and engagement. He spoke on 5 continents and travels more than 200 days per year working with people, helping to show them how to find and retain better prospects. His integrity-centered sales strategies are used each day by thousands of salespeople from “Fortune 100” firms to small start-ups. Regardless of the industry, his strategies work. He’s known for his engaging style that empowers sales teams to move to a higher level.
In this episode, Mark is going to teach us about what it takes to be a salesperson, a genius process to getting more referrals, and his renowned 10:00 am rule. What is one significant thing you can accomplish by 10:00 am that will leave you feeling accomplished regardless of how the rest of the day goes? Get out out your pen and paper, Mark has prepared a conversation that will set you up for success, and help you develop a mind for sales.
Conquer Local is presented by Vendasta. We have proudly served 5+ million local businesses through 50,000+ channel partners. Learn more about Vendasta and we can help you build your dream agency or learn more about Vendasta’s Affiliate Program and how our listeners (like yourself) are making up to $10,000 off referrals.
George: This is the Conquer Local Podcast, a show about billion dollar sales leaders, marketers leading local economic growth and entrepreneurs that have created their dream organizations. They wanna share their secrets, giving you the distilled version of their extraordinary feats. Our hope is with the tangible takeaways from each episode, you can rewire, rework and even reimagine your business. I’m your host and creator of the show, George Leith, and this week, we’re very proud to have one of the folks that I follow online and have for a number of years, the sales hunter, Mark Hunter. He was a disc jockey, started in sales because he needed a job, too many speeding tickets, maybe we can get him to tell that story. He was recognized as one of the top 50 most influential sales and marketing leaders on the planet. He’s the author of three books, “High Profit Prospecting”, “High Profit Selling”, and his latest book, “A Mind For Sales”. Regardless of the industry, his proven sales strategies work. He has an online program called the Sales Hunter University, which is ranked one of the top 10 sales learning programs due to its unique style of coaching and engagement. And Mark has spoke on five continents and travels more than 200 days per year, working with his clients and working with salespeople all over the planet. Get ready conquers, The Sales Hunter. Mark Hunter is coming up next on this week’s Conquer Local Podcast. It’s another addition to the Conquer Local Podcast. Mark Hunter joining us on the line, Mark, welcome to the show.
Mark: Hey, thank you for having me, looking forward to talking to the audience today.
George: The Sales Hunter on my LinkedIn stream. I see Mark Hunter sharing his information, and now finally, I’ve got you on the other side of the mic for the show, I’m super pumped.
Mark: Yeah, so I don’t look at all like my picture, right?
George: Well, you know, as a former disc jockey, we both are by the way.
Mark: That’s right.
George: My mother always says that I have a face made for radio. So I don’t know what that means.
Mark: Hey you know what, I thought that was my line, I thought I was the creator of that line.
George: So as two broadcasters turned into salespeople, I’ve got a ton of questions that I wanna ask, and I’m expecting that we’re gonna have a hell of an episode, but first off let’s talk about you and when you started in sales.
Mark: Well, when I started in sales was really after I met the police department because I got too many speeding tickets and I couldn’t afford car insurance. I mean, that’s how I wound up in sales, this was not a plan. I could not afford car insurance, so I had to get a job that supplied me with a car, that’s how I wound up in sales. And I was so good, I got fired from my first two sales jobs. So yeah, hey, what can I say?
George: Baptism by fire.
Mark: Baptism by fire and think about this for a moment, the reason I got fired is because I just thought sales is all about just taking the money as fast as you can from the customer. I didn’t realize there was such a thing as building a relationship, creating trust. Those were novel concepts to me.
What Does it Take to be a Salesperson
George: Well, so I wanna ask this question, what does it take to be a salesperson?
Mark: I think it requires, you have to have interest in the other person. ‘Cause that was my struggle initially, I could care less who you were. It was all about just getting your money. To be a salesperson, you have to demonstrate, and you have to be able to show and care for the other person because that’s the only way you’re really gonna find out what they’re looking for, that’s the only way you’re really gonna be able to help them, that’s the only way you’re really gonna be able to make a difference.
George: Do you find when you’re working with sales organizations in the work that you do today, there still is this mindset of, you know, there’s gonna be a new prospect tomorrow, all I have to do is get the deal done, move on to the next, like, not that thought of a repeatable model where you’re growing the client, you’re solving more problems, but just get the deal done and move on to the next one?
Mark: Sadly to say, yes, there are still people, there are still companies out there like that. And it’s what gives sales kind of that “eeee! I don’t wanna talk to a sales person.”
George: Yeah, it definitely is the bane of our existence, if you’re doing it correctly and you really do care about the client and you care about their outcome and you care about your own reputation, carrying the bag and the one sheeter and the transactional sale thing, it just seems to be a thing of the past, but we still find it. You know, as a sales person, it’s easy to think, why did I sign up for this job? But sales really is a demanding profession.
Mark: Well, it’s funny because everybody gets into sales because, oh, there’s so much money to be made. Well, there’s a reason there’s a lot of money to be made because it’s hard, okay. Come on! Now, here’s the deal though, it doesn’t have to be hard. If you really put yourself in the attitude that you’re gonna help the person, sales is nothing more than having a conversation. And if you’re willing to have a conversation, a genuine conversation where you’re being authentic and transparent, and you’re creating a level of integrity, things are gonna happen. Things will happen that will benefit both sides.
The 10:00 am Rule: Accomplish one significant thing by 10:00 am and watch the momentum of your days change forever
George: One of the things that I like best about doing this podcast is we get to bring on industry experts like you, and I don’t even wanna guess what your hourly rate is for the consulting gigs that you do, but we’re gonna get taught by Mark Hunter here on this episode. So I know that you’ve got this 10:00 AM rule. Would you be so kind to teach our listeners about your 10:00 AM rule?
Mark: Yeah, the 10:00 AM rule is not the time you wake up in the morning. Okay, so let’s get that one off the clock, let’s get that one off the table right now. Hey, the 10:00 AM rule is this, it really is something simple. And I want everybody to set their phones right now to go off tomorrow and every day at 10:00 AM. Here’s the deal, by 10:00 AM, you want to have accomplished something significant. I talk about my book how Mondays are the most important day of the week and the mornings are the most important, what you wanna do is you wanna hit the ground running. And if you can accomplish something significant by 10:00 AM, this may be reaching out to a particular prospect, taking care of a customer proposal, taking care of something significant, by the time you get to 10:00 AM, you’re gonna say, hey, dang, I had a great day, this has been a great day. And you’re going to create momentum for yourself that’s gonna propel you forward for the day. Or if on the other hand, your day falls apart and nothing else goes right, you can still sit there and say, you had a good day.
George: You get that one thing you accomplished.
Mark: You get that one thing. Right, so the 10:00 AM rule is so spot on important.
George: What about.
George: Planning your week? I know you have a methodology for that as well.
Mark: Yeah. I mean, planning your, here’s the deal, we can react to the week, or we can act on the week. And what I wanna do is I wanna set the week up, and this is what drives me crazy, people have their to do lists. I could care less about a to-do list, I wanna create an outcome list. I wanna go into the week with what are my outcomes? What are the objectives I want to accomplish? Then I begin to back in and say, what are the things I’m gonna do? But here’s the whole thing, if we just write down a bunch of to-do’s, it’s amazing how we just do the, we never connect the dots.
Mark: Think about what is your big goal for the week, and it’s something I pride myself on. Everybody should, tomorrow begins today. You never end the day without knowing exactly what you’re gonna do tomorrow. And that includes who are you gonna be reaching out to? What are the objectives? What are the outcomes you want? What does that do that frames your mind up? So the idea being is that when the day starts, you don’t sit there and say, hmm, what do I wanna get done today? I don’t know. Let’s see what’s on television, no, no, you attack the day. That’s how you make things happen, because I’ll tell you what, what I find is if you spend the first hour of the day kind of like gearing up and getting ready. Well, not only have you wasted an hour of the day, but you never really get out of second gear. If you hit the day running hard, I get up at four 30 every morning. Okay, I know that’s weird, I know that’s crazy, I know that’s bizarre, but I don’t get up at 04:30 just to say, oh, let me just sit around and kind of see what I wanna do. No at 04:30, I’m into my routine. And that’s the other key thing, you have to have a routine first thing in the morning, there’s a certain sense of discipline in the morning. What does it do? It creates disciplined throughout the day. The way you act, the way you behave that first hour or two of the day is gonna set the tone and the tempo for the entire day.
Referrals: When, how, giving, and the follow up
George: I have been watching your LinkedIn profile as I have for years, and I noticed recently there’s a lot of content on there about referrals. So, I know that salespeople are, the referrals is a great thing, we all want them, but we can never have enough of them. I’d love to get Mark Hunter’s perspective on referrals.
Mark: Well, you know, this is so funny, but referrals are the easiest. I don’t care what kind of business you’re in, it’s the easiest way to grow your business. I mean, it is so easy. And yet so few salespeople really take advantage of it. Well, I don’t wanna ask them for a referral, I don’t wanna bother them, I don’t want, hey, excuse me, you’re in sales. Okay, let’s ask for the order, but here’s why I like referrals, and I want every person listening to this, think about your business, if your business has not grown over the years through an increase of referrals and repeat business each year, then you got a problem with your business, something’s wrong. See, because referrals are really, they’re really an indication of the quality you do. Now don’t sit there and say, oh, well, you know, I don’t know if they really liked the job I did so I dunno if I should reach out to them. You do wanna reach out to them because if you didn’t do a good job, if you didn’t, don’t you want to find out? ‘Cause they’re telling somebody, wouldn’t you rather have them tell you so that you can correct it? Yes. So I love asking for referrals and here’s, I could go on for hours about referrals, but here’s one more piece, people always say, well, I can’t ask for a referral until I’m all done delivering the service and it’s all completed. No, you can ask for a referral anytime you create value, anytime you create value for the customer. But wait, there’s one more, I’ll throw in one more thing, don’t think for a moment that you can only ask your customers for a referral, you can ask anyone for a referral. You know, you come in contact with a lot of people. Those are all potential people who can give you referrals, but here’s the deal, are you giving referrals?
Mark: You know, people always wanna get referrals, but you know what? Hmm, you better stop and ask yourself what, and you don’t what, there’s no better way to get yourself in a great mindset for a great week than to sit there and say, you know what my objective this week? I’m gonna give three referrals to people, or I’m gonna give five referrals, set yourself a weekly referral goal of people who you want to refer. Wow, that’s a game changer. That’s a game changer to your mindset, your attitude, and you know what? You’ll suddenly find yourself getting referrals from other people.
George: I can’t remember what the phenomenon is, but you know the thing that happens when you wanna, let’s say, you want to buy an Audi, you don’t have an Audi right now, you wanna buy an Audi and then when you drive down the road, all you see is Audis. Is referrals kind of like that? Like, we’re almost talking about karma, give some referrals, get some back, but it is a mindset, it needs to be there all the time is what I think I hear you saying.
Mark: Exactly. I mean, yeah, it’s like you buy a red car and everybody’s got a, right, it is, there’s something, here’s what happens, you just get in that mindset, you get in that mindset. And I asked people who get a lot of referrals, you know, wow, you get a lot of referrals for your business. And you know what? They’re the ones who are giving a lot of referrals. Now you don’t give one to get one, that’s a bad attitude, or I gave you a referral, you give me one. Oh, no, no, it’s just, you just give them out. And referrals come from an attitude of abundance. You have an abundant attitude. And when you approach things that way, it’s amazing. I love giving business away to other people. In other words, it doesn’t quite fit my business model, if I give it to somebody else, I could probably do it, but I find I get better value for myself and for this person I’m not serving by giving them to somebody else who I know is gonna serve them better.
George: One of the things that I noticed the other day on LinkedIn, you were saying something about when someone gives you a referral, make sure that you reach back out to them, acknowledge that you got that referral. And a lot of people don’t do it, which just blows me away.
Mark: It does, it does. It was interesting, I was having lunch just the other day with a gentleman, he gave me two referrals and I very purposely today reached base, it’s been a couple of days now, and I very purposely reached back out to him and not only thanked him for the referrals, but gave him an update. Now I haven’t connected with either of the people, but I still wanna let them know, hey, I’ve tried to reach out to them, haven’t heard back from them, but I wanna keep you in the loop. And think about that, that’s a real sense of appreciation because then that person says, hey, I did you a favor by giving you a referral and you’re keeping me in a loop there. And what does that do? That actually encourages them to give you more referrals. Gee, wow, that’s a great way to grow your business.
George: Is there something more there too? First off I’m taking you at face value, but I also know your sales person. I’m wondering if you’re hoping that the person that placed the referral will actually help you with further acknowledgement that you’re the right solution for the problem. Is that part of the reason to reach back?
Mark: Sure there is. Sure there is, because remember every referral has an emotional context. Okay, I mean every referral. I mean, it’s either you’re giving this person a referral because you really like them or you really want them to go away. But any way you look at it, it’s an emotional experience. So I wanna tie back in and remember this, what am I trying to do? I’m trying to create a relationship. Here’s the magic to business comes down to the level and the depth of the relationships I have with people. The more relationships I have, the deeper I go with my relationships, it’s amazing how many more business opportunities I get. That again, comes back to the secret of having a mind for sales. That’s how you make things happen.
George: When you introduce this off the top, and I asked the question when you introduced it, one of the things that you brought up that really got me thinking as we go through this is you’re only gonna get referrals if you’re running a good bloody business. And if you’re not getting referrals, it actually tells you something about the health of your organization or your offering or your delivery. That’s really interesting to me. I don’t know if everybody is thinking that way when they’re getting into a referral mindset.
Mark: Yeah, now, well, I gotta put some bumpers around what you just said, because it isn’t like referrals in a straight line effort, I’m doing a great job this month, I should get one more referral than I did last month. No, but you can look at a trend line, look at a trend line over the last three, four years of your business and where your customers have come from. And if they’re coming in and you’re getting more and more of them by referrals and or repeat business, that means what you’re doing is good. It’s not gonna be a perfect measurement because again, there’s gonna be ups and down, dips and valleys and so forth. But when I hear somebody say, we don’t get any referrals at all, and I go, uh-oh, we got a problem, we have to fix something, because people, think about this, especially in this society that we live in in today, people are always, I mean, there’s this thing called social media out there. Wow, that’s a new found thing. And people talk, people talk. I just heard you, I just read a big Facebook rant yesterday on a particular airline, this person was teeing off on an airline. Gee, that’s nothing new, is it, yeah. Yeah, but I mean, well, see, we have to always have a mindset of being in a position to help our customers, help our customers shape their mindset as to how they think about us. I mean, it’s really not a hard concept. Don’t lose sight. Hey, here’s peace, here’s an easy way to remember this, I want us to get rid of the word closing a sale. I closed a sale today. I had a really good day, I closed, and that’s so negative. I want it to be opening a relationship. I opened a relationship. Think about that for a moment. And what do you do when you open a relationship? You stay in contact with that relationship, right? Hello, I mean, you know?
George: Well, my friend, we are kindred spirits because I like to call it the start, not the close because the close…
Mark: Thank you.
George: Is when it’s over. So we’re definitely on the same page there.
Mark: Thank you.
How to Grow Your LinkedIn Following, One Simple Message: Consistently add value
George: Well, I was hoping that I get asked this question and we, and we have time, so I gotta know, how did you get 300,000 LinkedIn followers? I’m feeling very inadequate here, I only have 30,000.
Mark: I came from a big family. I mean, this has been one follower after another, after another. I mean, I’ve been on LinkedIn for, I dunno, since whenever LinkedIn was created, I have no idea. I was on it way before they even had pictures. I remember when they went to pictures, oh, that’s rude, boy, but wow, what a great idea. So it’s just being, here’s the thing about LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a B2B tool. I am on LinkedIn far more than I’m on Facebook or Instagram or anything else because it’s a B2B tool. And what I tell people is don’t try to play on every social media platform. Play on the social media platform where your customers are. Become, no, one of the ways that you become more valuable locally is you become recognized globally. Think about that for a moment, you become more valuable locally when you become recognized globally. And I tell this to so many small business owners, you wanna create a platform out on LinkedIn because that’s your global platform. So what I did was I just began putting out content. We put it out consistently, we put it out, this is not three hours a day. This is maybe 15 minutes a day, but it’s just like working out, it’s just like taking a shower, it’s just like doing anything that you’d normally do, you just do it. And over time, then you just start building up, building up, and LinkedIn begins liking you, and then you begin and you create a LinkedIn ecosystem. So that’s how I wound up doing it. There was nothing, there was no, gee, let’s go out and buy. You know, let’s remember the days when you would go out and buy Twitter followers. Like you can buy 10,000 Twitter followers and yeah, that got you nowhere. It’s just being, I’ll tell you what more than ever right now, because of COVID because of everything, society is craving for authenticity and transparency. And if we’re authentic and transparent in social media, and in our lives, people will be attracted to you. People will be attracted to you. Don’t play games, don’t put on facades, don’t play this oh, gee, look at me, just be genuine and share content, share content, share content. That’s how you slowly get to 300,000 followers.
How to Get in Contact with Mark Hunter: The Sales Hunter
George: So Mark, the author of three books, and the latest book is A Mind For Sales. Plus you’ve got the Sales Hunter University. And the interesting is Barbara has been connecting us even before we met on the show. She’s a disciple of yours, she’s part of our ecosystem. And I just love when these worlds come together, how can our audience get more The Sales Hunter, Mark Hunter?
Mark: Well, the best way is just to go out to the website, thesaleshunter.com and yes, Hunter is my real life, people always say, what was your name before you change it? My real last name is Hunter and the Sales Hunter, don’t steal it, it’s trademarked. And thesaleshunter.com, that’s the best place to go get stuff, but you can follow me on LinkedIn. I mean, we try to put new content out there, fresh content, insights. If you can’t find me on the internet, somethings, although Mark Hunter is a common name, there’s a hockey player, there’s a member of parliament, there’s an Irish rock band. It’s not a totally uncommon name, but hopefully I come out, hopefully I come through.
George: There’s only one Mark Hunter, I’ve learned that right over the years.
Mark: That’s right, that’s right, that’s right, that’s right.
George: Five continents, 200 days of travel. It sounds familiar because I think that was my travel schedule before COVID as well, and I have very famously said on this broadcast that I won’t go back to that much travel again. Where are you now, post COVID from pre COVID when it comes to that level of travel ’cause I think it’s important to your brand and your earnings. And do you see yourself going back to that much travel again?
Mark: Well, yeah, I mean, I was just in Spain about five weeks ago. So I’m out there traveling, not nearly like I was, it’s so much of it’s virtual.
Mark: I just rented this little camera, stare, look, look, look, look into the camera, talk into the microphone. I do so much of that every day. But I’m gonna be back out because there’s just something magical about face to face. And there’s just something about being on flights that get delayed and get canceled. There’s just something special about that. So, I mean, I will be, I suppose this next year, I’ll probably be back up to about 150 days a year. I don’t know if I’ll get to 200 plus, but.
George: Yeah, 200 is a lot. So the one thing that I’ve been noticing is that, there’s a lot more demand for virtual, but it’s seeming like we’re moving back to face to face. I would just at a convention two weeks before this episode is being recorded. Usually there was about 7,000 people at the convention, there were 6,700 and I trust the organizers that they didn’t fudge the numbers, but it’s good to see that people are getting back to that.
George: I guess my question is, if you can look into your crystal ball, do we have a hybrid of the virtual and the face-to-face or are we just headed back to the way that it used to be?
Mark: I think hybrid is here to stay. It’s always gonna be here, it’s always gonna be there, but I think people do crave getting, be able to break bread together, have a drink together, being able to connect with. There’s something magical that happens in those types of settings. So I think there is a desire. The travel will look a little bit different. It may not be as frequent, it may not be, I think the air, I mean, I live in the Midwest part of the United States and I would run to New York for lunch and come back. Those days are probably gone. Travel is gonna be a little more thoughtful, a little more planned out, but travel is still gonna be there. And international travel, starting to come back, it’s gonna come back in a big way. There’s no ifs, like I said, I was just over in Spain about five weeks ago. And yeah, you got to go through protocol and so forth, but there’s a desire for people to get together and connect.
Mark’s Best Advice for Salespeople
George: No, I would agree with that. So my team’s gonna kill me if I don’t ask this question, you know, you have been ranked one of the top 10 sales learning programs, you’ve trained 10s, maybe even 100s of 1000s of salespeople over your career, brand new seller. And you wanted to give them one lesson, what would that be?
Mark: Focus and discipline. I’ll tell you what more than anything, focus and discipline. Be focused on helping people and be disciplined in doing it every day. If you do those two very simple things every day, you will be successful because the definition of sales is about helping others see and achieve what they did not think was possible. That’s it. That’s it. It really is not that complicated, focus on the other person.
George: Mark Hunter, the Sales Hunter joining us this week on the Conquer Local Podcast. Mark, thanks very much for giving us some of your valuable time. Go get the book, A Mind For Sales from Mark Hunter. And we appreciate your learnings this week. Thank you for having me.
George: I can’t thank Mark Hunter enough for sharing his stories this week on our show. And here are our team’s top three takeaways from this episode, you need to create an environment to receive referrals. It’s a mindset, it’s a methodology that needs to follow your entire sales process from delivering on your promises and then asking for the referral, following up when people offer referrals and keeping that person that offered the referral in the loop on how it’s performing. Also, we talked about that 10:00 AM rule. I love this, we’ve talked about this before, I like to call it, do something crappy in the morning, do something hard in the morning so you have that accomplishment. Mark’s got that same concept, by 10:00 AM, set the alarm on your phone right now. By 10:00 AM tomorrow, you’re going to have accomplished something. And if nothing else good happens, if everything else goes up in flames the rest of the day, at least you have that one accomplishment. But the other thing that he talked about is when you have that accomplishment at 10:00 AM, it breeds additional accomplishments. You’re feeling good about yourself, you’re in a positive mindset, you’re more likely to have further accomplishments as the day progresses. And then the final item is delivering on the promises, create the relationship, don’t be afraid to follow up. Sales is about focusing on the client’s outcomes, working with that customer to get them what they want. And at the end of the day, you get what you want. Those are our top three takeaways from our team on this episode of the Conquer Local Podcast. And if you liked Mark’s episode, be sure to listen the next time you’re waiting in your car and traffic, walking the dog or going for a coffee, episode 437, every job is a sales job with Dr. Cindy McGovern. Dr. Cindy talks about taking the ick out of sales. If every job is a sales job, why does no one wanna be a sales person? Episode 305, the four mental leashes with Jason Forest, part one, and episode 306, part two. Jason talks about how sales is a mental game and mindset is everything. He goes through the four mental leashes that are holding us back. It’s the challenge of unlearning versus learning. Those are just three of over 200 episodes we produced in the past four seasons to help you conquer local. If you found value in those episodes or Mark’s episode today, please leave us a review wherever you consume your podcasts. This feedback helps our team grow and better adapt to what you wanna hear in future episodes. Be sure to subscribe to the Finney award-winning Conquer Local Podcast. As we continue to welcome extraordinary sales leaders like Mark Hunter, marketers, and entrepreneurs from all over the world. My name is George Leith, I’ll see you when I see you.