Lise Was Having A Rough Day with Her Sales Calls Until She Found Gold

Ever meet a salesperson who didn't deal with rejection, insults, isolation, self-doubt, and loathing due to the demands of the job? My story is about Lise, a fantastic, freelance contractor, and a current client we're helping with the art of content marketing, sales, and business development.

People like Lise, a freelancer and small business owner, me, and Nick, his wife Karen, and his entire team of people are a tiny part of the massive heartbeat of America; small business ownership, leadership, and management. With small business success in America, we would lose 60% of the jobs that remain, or worse.

As a freelancer, Lise is hiring by, managed by, and working with me and a client as a home-based telesales executive extraordinaire. Lise found me on LinkedIn, and when we finally connected the dots, she reminded me that I had hired and become friends with her son, Patrik, a brilliant young man I first hired when he was only 19. Like his mother, Patrik is an old soul and a great worker.

Small Business Case Study

Let me set the stage for you with a quick overview of the scenario or case study here. By the way, if you don't know my work, my elite team of creatives practice, "the art of content marketing." In other words, we create powerful marketing campaigns that are data and ad-driven, and we get sales results. Think, "New customers and buckets of cash flow" when the team aligns, and we all do our job following the process I share with all my clients. The process never fails; only the people to follow the process.

In this scenario, Nick and his team are 100% following the process I share with all clients. It's a strategic action planning model I use to coach and advise teams of business development people, along with the owners and key stakeholders

Nick makes my job easier than usual because he's so coachable and responsive. His approvals of new content, upgrades of systems, and empowering mindset he brings to work each day are refreshing. Heck, Nick's the kind of guy who wins the hearts and minds of his employees, customers, and locals in the community.

Nick is for the "little guy" in America; farmers, construction workers, builders, and people who build America. He's a family and community guy who exhibits the character and values of a leader we all would seek to follow. Watching and working with Nick in action reminds me of how my father showed up as a small town, small business owner, and community - the heart of America.

The campaign we're working on is for a big-brand farm equipment dealership owner with three locations in the mid-west. His name is Nick, and he's one of the sharpest CEOs in a hands-on way. He empowers his people to be friendly, customer-focused, and all about getting better business results. Nick reminds me of my father and how he handled his business and family. My dad was the first hero I knew in the business world.

It's Week Six - Momentum

We're starting week six of our digital and content marketing transformation. We're getting great results; eBay sales up 50% or more in the first 30 days, website traffic up 100% or more, a higher volume of calls to stores for sales and service, off-the-charts engagement on the Facebook ads, 300% potential upside for the Adwords campaign ROI, and other positive signs in the early stages of our work together.

Digital and content marketing, including daily social media posting, advertising, and engagement, is a team sport. It's also a contact sport meaning our goal is to make more meaningful "contact" with existing and new potential customers. That's Small Business Management 100 stuff. The same is true for sales and customer service.

Meet Lise In Customer Service

Lise is amazing. She's working from the comfort of her home office many miles from both Nick and me. Lise works with a short customer service script and a list of thousands of past customers. She is calling this list, talking with and thanking previous customers, and asking them how they're doing through the COVID-19 pandemic that's taken the planet by storm.

Lise is doing a fantastic job! Typically, I would have hired at least three people for the same project knowing I'd have to fire one or two of them in the first two weeks for non-performance. Yes, hiring freelance sales and customer service talent is just as hard as hiring any talent. You have to learn how to hire with your head, heart, and soul. Hiring is an art and one that is costly to fail at doing well.

We agreed to assign Lise 30 hours a week because, as a talented freelancer, Lise takes on a variety of business projects like this, and is paid well like more than 60 million other skilled freelancers in America.

Here's the exciting news that compelled me to share the story about Lise, Nick, and our early success aligning well as a virtual team with Nick and his people.

This morning, I opened my email to see this ...

Hey!!! just finishing up now. 80 calls 4 contacts and 1 HOT HOT . I am sending now. The retail price on the net is $14,600 so I am hoping Nick will have someone take it to him. That is a better end of day.

Thank you

Bruce H. shops the XYZ store

Keep reading Lise's email to me ...

Been talking to K. Looking at the ABC machine. He is really interested but his wife doesn’t really want to go anywhere due to the virus, so he hasn’t taken it any further. He asked for my direct number and I told him that I worked in the office but would call over to Mason. He said he would talk to his wife and I said we could probably bring the ABC machine to him.

- Lise

A Day In The Life of A Salesperson

Why does my story matter? It matters because the campaign success I'm describing is extraordinary due to the alignment of the new team. Lise found "gold" amid hundreds of calls and conversations with past customers. The "gold" is the new sales and service orders, phones ringing, and keeping America's farming and other families as productive as can be even though most of us are stuck at home waiting out the pandemic.

I am new to Nick's team, and I have introduced other new freelancers to the team as well. Jeff runs all our digital advertising and analytics with me. Lise focuses on customer service and new sales calls.

We have other salespeople and customer service talent that does phenomenal work. It's incredibly gratifying considering I've witnessed a lot of marketing train wrecks over the last 30 years.

Here's the deal with being in sales. The sales job Lise is doing is NOT fun. It pays hourly as an independent contractor, plus activity and sales bonuses.

Think about the actual work someone like Lise does well for 30 hours a week. Sit, dial, smile, talk, smile more, thank the person, and update the contact file.

Much of the time, people don't answer their phone. What we do know is when people are home and stuck with their loved ones, they answer the phone more than usual. The alignment we experience now is good for Nick, us, his family, and business.

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Owning and working in a small business can be brutal, just like it can be brutal to perform well in any sales job. The ups and downs of being in sales torment even the best of us. Heck, one of my worst jobs was making snow during the winter while dragging wet, frozen fire hoses across a small, New England glacier. But then I learned the art of investing in people like Lise, and in marketing, advertising, copywriting, and sales for a lifetime.

If you own a business and you don't embrace investing in people, marketing, sales, and customer service, you will not be in business for very long. The same odds of failure are against us all, and most will not make it in business for ourselves. This is why sharing success stories counts.

Imagine for a moment feeling rejected 82% of the time while doing your job. Over time, rejection takes its toll on anyone. And the art of failing forward in sales and marketing, being data-driven, and aligning as a team are essential aspects of success. If being in business were easy, most of us would faceplant, crash, and burn into oblivion doing it.

Small business owners have to learn to love the journey. Otherwise, we are likely to bail out when the going gets tough like it is now, and millions of small business owners can't pay their employees or themselves.

There are always great leaders and success stories amid tough times, including pandemics and other natural disasters that humble humanity. Lise is one of the heroes in this story, as is Nick, because they go to work every day despite the odds of failure, and in the hope of success and glory. Guess what? Providing jobs during a massive layoff surge is darned essential, don't you agree?

For every up, there are at least 10,000 downs. (I exaggerate for effect.) The point is most of the time in sales; we get rejected, ignored, or worse, insulted, and cussed out. I know because I was born into being a sales and marketing guy learning from my father and mother as I watched them build more than one small business, through both success and failure.

Thanks for reading my article. I always appreciate your constructive, non-spammy, comments, and questions. If you'd like to contact me, please click here.

How To Hire A Ghostwriter You Can Trust

Do you need a ghostwriter to help you get your message out to the world? If you're a business owner, an agent of change, thought leader, advocate, and someone who wakes up every day seeking to make a difference, I'm writing this article specifically for you.

My goal is to give you the basics about ghostwriting, share why I love to write and where and offer you several essential suggestions for hiring a ghostwriter you can trust to get the job done right the first time.

Born to Write

As a published Amazon author, ghostwriter, award-winning blogger, and contributor to The Business Journals, Huff Post, and LinkedIn, I've been a writer for more than thirty years.

I was born to write, read, explore the world, and serve others.

When I was 13, I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the local newspaper where I grew up, Laconia, New Hampshire. The year was 1975 and inflation was raging out of control. Hamburger prices at the ski area were too expensive. So, naturally, I had to take a stand.

My first typewriter as an IBM, not this one. (Canva)

In 1978 during my junior year of high school, my father made me take a typing class. I thought he was a fool. Turns out my dad was a scholar who somehow knew I would grow up to be a writer.

I started writing marketing copy, sales letters, brochures, workshops, training programs, and other content for the companies who hired me out of college in 1983. In 1990, I started working for myself and wrote almost all of the sales and marketing copy for my businesses.

My first business was a financial planning and investment advisory practice. I sold it in 2000 to a major Wall Street firm. After that, I started a sales coaching business that morphed into a digital marketing and agency model specializing in marketing automation in 2007 when I launched my first blog.

I wrote for work every day and got better. The rest is history. I've been able to publish, speak, train, write, teach, and reach millions of people every year who read my articles, watch my videos, and hire me to be a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriting Basics

Ghostwriters write articles, ebooks, books, seminars, sales scripts, email marketing campaigns, websites, landing pages, and anything that requires the art and science of the written word.

Most of us get paid by the word and do our own work. The only reason I have a team of other writers behind me is that I used to own a digital marketing agency. I maintained all of the relationships I had with my best freelance copywriters and ghostwriters.

I love my writers dearly! I'm blessed to have great people to help me help my clients. For example, one project required us to write an entirely new website featuring dozens of police and military vehicles with customized specifications. This project required months of planning and hard work. In the end, the client got a great website and we got paid to write.

Be sure to hire a ghostwriter who loves to write. If they are truly committed writers, they will be able to show you their work. Here are some of the books I've coauthored with famous people.

I'm also the guy who worked with legendary, best-selling author, Harvey Mackay. My team and I crafted for Harvey and an entirely new library of online courses we wrote together for www.HarveyMackayAcademy.com.

In this case, Harvey and his staff worked extremely closely under the same brand and umbrella to make our work even better. It's not easy working with a true master, but it was one of the most rewarding, challenging experiences a kid from New Hampshire could imagine having.

Harvey Mackay and I, 2018

Copywriting and ghostwriting has always been more art than science. When you hire a ghostwriter, be sure they love to write the kind of content you need.

Most of us have areas in which we specialize. My ability to improve as a ghostwriter and copywriter happened in business creating sales, marketing, and training materials for my businesses and others.

Trust is a big deal when you hire anyone to write. All great writers have a unique filter or lens through which we see the world. We have biases and agendas just like everyone else. But when our job is to write for someone else, we need to get out of our heads and hearts and into yours.

"Hire a ghostwriter who will write for you more than themselves. This requires your ghostwriter to know your head, heart, and soul, and vice versa."

- Cliff jones

The Hiring Process Matters

Do you have a process for hiring a ghostwriter? Most of my clients find me online or are referred to me. When you search for the best ghostwriter to hire, you'll do your homework just like we will. The way we normally begin the process is by scheduling a discovery conversation.

The purpose of the conversation is to get acquainted and see if there's a fit to work together. It's kind of like a dance taking place. We feel each other out.

All great ghostwriters have a process for hiring the right clients. The reason we want to hire great clients is so we increase the probability of clear communication, commitment, and long-term success. Nothing, including great ghostwriting and marketing success, happens overnight.

Ghostwriters are creative people. Creative people are innately curious and we approach each client with the best of intention. We seek to know who you are, and what your goal is. We will ask you many questions before we agree to take on the first project.

Clear communication is the key to the alignment and outcome for every project because every project is important for professionals who care about results.

Most of us agree, hiring and managing people can be a costly nightmare. A great sign to look for early is the kind of questions and time a ghostwriter will ask you before you reach an agreement.

Hire With Head, Heart, and Soul

The best way to hire anyone is to invest the time to get to know someone. It's the same when you want to hire a ghostwriter. The best way to do this is to schedule a virtual video meeting or meet in person. Seeing someone eye-to-eye is priceless.

The conversation must be a two-way street. This means you will exchange questions and listen mutually. The goal is to seek alignment so you get what you want and your ghostwriter gets another great client!

Win-win!

Here are some of the first questions I like to ask about you.

Conversely, you as the client might as me these and more questions:

Now you can see the power of having a conversation for the purpose of getting to know each other.

Essentials for Ghostwriting Success

I love to write for myself and others. Based on more than thirty years of experience as a writer and ghostwriter, here are the essentials you must seek when you are the client:

Hire wisely!

For the Love of Writing

Every writer I know loves to write. We write because we love to practice our art. And imagine what it feels like to provide a useful, creative service that is the only one of it's kind.

Whenever you hire a creative person to write for you, with you, and to be part of you, hire with both your head and your heart. Choose wisely and be sure to align with anyone you trust enough to ghostwrite for you.

The best way to align with your ideal ghostwriter is to think of us as your trusted friend who you can tell anything. Our first job is to listen and hear the words not said as much as those said.

Now you know how to hire a ghostwriter you can trust.

Interested in scheduling a conversation about your copywriting or ghostwriting project?

Please click here and find a convenient time on my calendar.

Me, teaching from the stage about leadership.

P.S. If you want to see more of my work, click the links below:

  1. The Business Journals - Contributor
  2. Amazon Author - Four books.
  3. Medium - Contributing Partner
  4. LinkedIn - Contributor
  5. Huff Post - Contributor
  6. Personal Blog - My Stream of Business Consciousness
  7. Harvey Mackay Academy - Co-founder, Managing Editor
  8. RetireOnPurpose.com - Founder, Managing Editor, Blogger
  9. ConversionMarketingExperts.com - Award-winning blog.

SharpSpring Saves You Time and Money With New Content Calendar Manager

This post walks you through how SharpSpring saves you time and money with the new content calendar manager. The short video is the best way to see exactly how I test drive the new SharpSpring tool for better managing social media marketing.

Who is SharpSpring? Glad you asked.

SharpSpring is one of the leading marketing automation solutions on the planet. But you may not have heard of them because they don't spend money advertising directly to business owners, sales and marketing leaders. Instead, they choose to target and market value added consultants like me, and mostly, amazing agencies who see the power of putting SharpSpring in place as the content marketing and customer relationship management solution in one.

My short video walks you through SharpSpring's newest feature called the social media content calendar. I call it a manager because that's what it does. It makes managing your social media posts to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter easier because you can do all the work in one place and schedule for posting now, or in the future.

Block Time, Schedule Social Media Posts

One of the best ways to get even more from a social media management tool as powerful as this is to block time every week, month or quarter to plan, choose, set up and schedule all your social media posts in advance, IF that makes sense for your business model and marketing plan.

If not, there are many other ways to make social media a more effective tool for top of funnel marketing awareness and lead generation. But the key is knowing who will do this hard and very important creative work, and make sure it gets done on a regular basis. Consistency is one of the keys to being effective with social media marketing. Don't cut corners because every word, every image, every link makes a difference.

The bottom line is social media, when done consistently well over long periods of time, can be a powerful way to boost traffic, attract and engage more of your ideal customers.

How do you manage your social media now, and what would you change, if anything?

I always appreciate your comments and questions here on my small business success blog.

If you'd like to learn more about SharpSpring, or how I and my small team of writers and marketing geeks can help you with content, strategy and creative marketing insights, connect with me here.

To your success!