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Unicorn Hunting: Secrets To Attracting And Building A Powerhouse Sales Team

Ep 8: Unicorn Hunting: Secrets To Attracting And Building A Powerhouse Sales Team – Mason Marquis and Jesse Kreisman

When Mason and Jesse let go of the sales reins and handed over the responsibility to their teams, they freed up their businesses and witnessed incredible growth.
New salespeople cost money; success comes down to onboarding strategies.
The internal make-up of a sales rockstar and how to coach them.
Integrity should be the hallmark of any sales department; the trick is finding people to deliver it.
The quicker new recruits feel like they’re part of the team, the quicker they’ll start performing to expectations.
Knowing when to let go of someone who isn’t working out is essential to the bottom line.

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Listen to Episode 8

Read a Summary of Episode 8

Do you have `wet noodle’ salespeople in your contracting company? You know, those folks who always have excuses for not closing and need constant hand holding?

The hard truth is that poor performing salespeople abound, from those who can’t follow processes to all-around dicks who don’t get along with anyone.

But at some point, you’ll have to weed through them to find the professionals who share the same values and will grow your business. Mason Marquis, owner at Spray Tex Painting of Denton, Texas, reached this conclusion when, as his own one-man sales force, he realized “I couldn’t grow and hit the goals that I wanted to even if I was at 100% closing rate.”

Meanwhile in Bethesda, Maryland, Jesse Kreisman, vice president at Alco Products Inc., is so driven to make his sales department the best it can be that he asks potential new talent to fill out personality profiles before interviewing them – to determine how hardwired or adaptable they are (and avoid wasting hours of interview time, only to find out they are not a personality match).

Mason and Jesse are our guests for this episode of Contractor Evolution.

Here are five takeaways from our conversation about achieving sales excellence:

1. Shorten Your Ramp-Up Time

When you get new salespeople they’re going to cost you money for a good while,” Mason says. “The quicker you can get them producing on their own, the better.” The solution? Find people with proven track records for high volume sales, and who are goal oriented and punctual (the latter is an indication of integrity).

“When you get new salespeople they're going to cost you money for a good while. The quicker you can get them producing on their own, the better.”

2. Establish A Process

I wouldn’t hire anyone without having a well established sales process,” Jesse says. “I didn’t even start my own business without a sales process: I bought one, tweaked it, and made it my own. This is huge, because many things need to be done in a repeatable fashion.”

3. Cut Some Slack

Mason says if people are willing to follow his process, good things will come: “If they follow the steps, even if they’re not closing, I’m willing to give that person more time. Because with more experience, usually those sales will come.”

4. Selfies Rule

Jesse encourages his salespeople to videotape their pitches (even if the recipient is an empty chair) and study them. “Sometimes you might come across as a little sales-y when you think you’re coming across as consultative,” he reasons. Other deficiencies can be detected, and when the videos are shared with other team members “You can get input from the other sales guys, and that’s really helpful as well.”

5. Mistakes Are Inevitable

You’re absolutely going to make some bad hiring mistakes, you’re going to end up going through people,” Mason says. “But if you’ve got a good infrastructure in place and great people on your team, it will survive a bad salesperson, and you’ll learn a lot from your failures.”

Mason and Jesse had tons of stellar advice to share about building a strong sales force, and I guarantee it will help people avoid serious icebergs when they embark on building a team of their own.

Check out what they have to say in this episode of Contractor Evolution, and enjoy!

Benji Carlson

Benji Carlson

As the son of two proven entrepreneurs, Benji’s spirit for self-starting business runs deep. Since he was a young teen, Benji has been starting and running profitable small businesses; most recently culminating in a highly successful 4-year career as a franchisee with College Pro Painters. Benji’s enormous heart and passion for people is what drove him to produce over $1,000,000 in revenue while taking the highest quality care of his employees and customers. He was consistently acknowledged for having the most productive staff in the company, while leading more junior franchisees to fulfill their potential. Benji’s uncanny ability to find the right people and put them in the right place make him a natural fit for Breakthrough Academy’s Assessment Team.

Upon finishing up his career with College Pro, Benji set out on the ultimate victory lap: a nine-month transcontinental motorcycle trip from Canada to Peru.

Benji lives in beautiful Kelowna BC. During the summer you’ll usually find him on two wheels: either bombing down a trail on his mountain bike or cruising the pavement on his motorcycle. When the snow falls, he escapes to the mountains for steep and deep powder.

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Welcome to Contractor Evolution, a show created for high-performing contractors that are focused on scaling up, working less and increasing profitability.

While a lot of other shows focus on early stage growth challenges, we focus on real life scenarios faced by contractors that are scaling at a rapid rate, and how they keep everything dialed in without losing sight of work/life balance.

If you’re ready to evolve from a contractor into a better business owner, you’re in the right place.

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