Bottom Line Marketing is not really in the business of sales, I mean, I guess we are. We get new clients by pitching creative and proposing why we’re better than the other guys, but we really don’t have a sales-driven business model. Sure, we ask for the business and put our heads down and work hard, but we don’t come back month after month trying to sell more to the same customers.
However, nearly all our customers are in a sales-driven space in one way or another, so we, must be experts at recognizing champions. I’ve spent my entire career with retail and service-based sales organizations, here is what I have learned so far.
How do I define a champion?
They are the first one there the last to leave. They don’t take too much vacation because they aren’t looking for their next vacation, they love what they do. They don’t want an “out of office” reply on their email, because they are the kind who will take a call from a customer or potential customer while throwing back mimosas in Cabo. They don’t care about work-life balance, they have concrete boundaries of work and play. Balance is bull and if you’re seeking balance hit up a yoga class, champions don’t look for balance at work. They know how to separate the two.
Champions aren’t obsessed, they aren’t workaholics, they’re focused and driven. They write down their plan and work their plan. They set attainable goals and believe in them. They read. They master their craft. They believe in their product. They find people smarter than they are to learn from. They listen more than they speak. They say YES ten times more than they say NO. They are respected because they are kind and humble. They give more than they get. They don’t make excuses. They cheer on the underdog. Becoming a champion is a marathon, not a sprint.
We didn’t talk about money once. We didn’t say “champion salespeople who sell the most”. Or, “Champions are top producers because they work 80 hours a week!”
I still feverishly work on myself every day. My mind chatter sounds a little bit like this “Check your ego at the door, Kendall. Be kinder. Be patient. Quit talking, listen. Be ten steps out in front. Buy your team lunch. Lift someone up. Oh shoot, I forgot mascara. Is that a gray hair?” Yes, even I, captain The Hot Mess Express!
At BLM, we are a quad-partnership, four of us go home every night and we take a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror and hope we lead like champions that day, we hope we like what we see, crow’s feet and all. We don’t always get it right, but if we can’t act like champions how do we expect our team of 40 to?
Here is the bottom line: Good businesses have great leaders. Great leaders build great teams. Great teams have multiple champions and ultimate winners. Build this, focus on this and you’ll never have to worry about a black bottom line.