You Need A Terrible Sales Team

4 minute read

In all my years coaching owners, managers, and sales and marketing teams, I’ve never heard anyone ever say they wanted or needed a terrible marketing team! What I have heard, hundreds of times, is these owners and managers say: “we have a terrible marketing team, and we need to fix it.” The fact is the only ones that think they have a great sales and marketing team are the salespeople and marketers!

Marketers will cite examples of “success” such as:
  • “This agent talked with me for an hour, he’s really interested”
  • “I had lunch with a plumber three times and they say they’ll send us jobs”
  • “The agency has our mugs, magnets, pens, and stress balls – they LOVE us.
  • “The insurance agent said they don’t get claims, but they want me to keep visiting!”
  • “Bob the Plumber really likes our snack packs. He’s had three, but no referrals”
  • “I’ve visited them every month for two years – I know they will start using us.”
  • “They will refer us some day, we just have to be patient”

All too often, owners don’t know HOW to fix the terrible sales team, and the terrible sales team believes they are great! Many times, the marketers are fun, friendly, seem to work hard, are great with people, but they are scared to death to ASK for a referral, lead, or job! In fact, the number one failure of 95% (yes, it’s that high) of marketers are simply afraid to ASK for what they want.


Obviously, we (owners and managers) make those hiring decisions, and since we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us which ones we should hire, we use a different criterion. Most often as owners and managers the following is what we base our hiring decision on:

  • Their previous position was a marketer for your competitor
  • Their most valuable trait is “they are good looking”
  • A personality analysis such as DISC or Berke Assessments
  • Your belief they are a real people person
  • Being friendly and outgoing 
  • Claims to know a lot of people
  • A gut feeling
  • Someone we would want at a party
  • They are energetic and enthusiastic
  • Getting the “seat” filled quickly
  • One or two biased “recommendations
  • They seem to fit our “culture”

Personality tests are valid, but they must be used in the correct way. Studying their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media engagement is also a telling clue about “who they really are!”  If they claim to be actively engaged with prospects and clients already, and even claim to have a “big database of relationships, but only have a few hundred (or way less) connections on LinkedIn, they are blowing smoke. Today, marketers need to be professionally active on social media, as well as have great communication skills. (Not just be “loved” by everyone).

Please understand when I’m saying: “You Need A Terrible Sales Team,” I am hoping to get your attention, so you’ll make far more intelligent hiring choices. Especially when it comes to salespeople and marketers.

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Dick Wagner  Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of BLOG

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