I’m ranting a little today, but that’s because I think this needs to be said. There’s a classic scene in the mockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap" where they are interviewing one of the guitarists. In the scene he shows them his Marshall amp, and he talks about how he’s able to dial the amp’s volume to 11. Most people laugh at this scene because most amps only to 10, but it makes him feel like he’s rocking even harder when he’s playing it at 11.
 Why Most Sales, Prospecting, and Marketing Suck

Here’s the scene for your folks who haven’t seen this classic movie:

Today I want to talk to you about why most marketing, sales, and prospecting sucks, and dialing it up to 11 can fix all these things.

Cool buzzwords Ryan, why don’t you shut up and get a haircut?

Listen reader, there is no reason to be rude here. What I’m talking about today is a philosophical way of approaching your work, your leadership, and your future.

Prospecting, marketing, and sales is not binary. If you are a VP of Sales and you are asking your team to do activities everyday, activities are far too often measured by being complete or incomplete.

Most default CRM and sales enablement tools’ dashboards show the number activities that have been done. That’s because the majority of them are made by people who were trained and beaten to death to sell via activity goals. It’s not their fault. It’s not yours either.

The problem is, activities should never be the measuring stick of how well your team is prospecting.

Yes you need to do activities! (If need help with this, check this post). Yes your team needs to work hard.

But if you are approaching your day in prospecting on hitting enough accounts up, and making sure you are doing a touch with each account, you’re already losing half the battle. Sending an email to send an email, and doing a cold call just to do a cold call is one of the most common things I see with reps, oId and young.

Real prospecting should be emphasizing not just getting something done, but attacking your prospecting with something special. Think about how you approached the accounts you went after today. Did you send an email or cold call an account because you were fired up and had energy? That’s cool, but there’s is a difference between doing something, and doing something well.

If you aren’t sending your best email of all time, or making the best cold cold you can, why are you even doing it? Dialing up your prospecting to 11 means you do something really special for your prospect.

...wait a minute….no. It means you do something special for ALL YOUR PROSPECTS.

Take a minute and look at your SENT box in your email. How great the emails? Grade them now. Seriously!

Out of A, B, C, or D… be honest here. If you were getting that email you sent, would you respond?

Ignore the value of your product, and really think about this.

If you were getting that voicemail you just left, would you be call that person back? Would that comment on LinkedIn make the prospect DM you? How good was it?

The system is broken right now. With a broken system, there is an opportunity.

Many B2B companies are stuffy and boring. Bigger companies are too afraid to take chances because what they’ve done so far has been successful. The thing is, if something is too challenging, it usually means it’s the right thing to do.

Send a prospect a song if you are trying to woo them. Make a prospecting video that mostly about your prospect instead of your product. Open up a cold call telling your prospect about something that made you think of them that doesn’t relate to your product. Write clever copy in your cold email that will make them know you aren’t just an average Joe. Show your passion for your product or service you are selling, without being salesy. Inspire!

That’s dialing your prospecting to 11.

With marketing and sales, you are also screwing up! Sorry, I don’t care anymore. Story time!

A few months ago, I went to the Sales 3.0 conference Las Vegas, and every talk was about personalization and being human with selling.


You know what happened next? My inbox for the past two months has been getting slammed with binary prospecting. Automated marketing slog that isn’t even entertaining. COMPLETED actions that were done, but not done well.

Why did the marketing person write a boring email to the leads? It was because they wanted to get something done. I’m not going to be cynical and say they were lazy. Maybe they were afraid.

Leaders lead. They don’t follow.

Cliche town, population 1. Hear me out for second though because this is related.

Don’t just follow sales and prospecting books. Stop listening to sales coaches and jerks like me.

There are good ones out there, but there is no reason these people can’t be your peers. It’s inside you. They are just like us. We are all unique people who

Do you wake up in the morning and feel content going to work knowing you are going to a be sheep? I didn’t think so. You are a peacock as I always say!

You are an extraordinary person, and so is your team. That means every activity you do should be dialed to 11. You need to do be so unique and thoughtful that no one can turn you away

Don’t prospect by the book. Write the book. Really the set the pace. Forget the fences that B2B institutions have set, and lead.


Think of how America was born. Historians argue that only 6% of those that were able fought in the American Revolution did. Those that did were part of something special. Many of the survivors of our revolution went on to be towns are named after them. In New Hampshire, half our towns are honoring those who fought and lead.

You can be a one percenter too.

I don’t mean in an Occupy Wall Street money money money kind of way. What I mean is that you could be one of the top 1% people out there if you just be thoughtful with everything. Don’t just do things to do things. Attack your job putting yourself into it. Your personality, your quirks, your skills, and your ideas are enough to carry you to do great. You’ll enjoy your life more if you approach everything this way.

Don't just do things that are in your job description. Screw pay checks and commission. Those may get you nice things your life, but what about a legacy?

Do great things because you want you want to be great. Why not you?

Lead. Dial it to 11, and attack your job. Don't just do things to do things. Do things well, and write the book. I promise you’ll feel better, and great things will follow.

Rant over.

## If you want to see how three CEOs think and how they lead, check out this cool talk with them by clicking here.



Posted by Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting

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