What do Dolly Parton, Jerry Seinfeld, and Rock Star Sales Rep Mike Have in Common?
Imagine you run a production company. You’ve had a few big wins and business is going well. You’ve hired a master songwriter, and you’re certain you have the next big hit. In fact, this song’s so catchy, even a second tier singer could make it a hit.
But your business is just starting to gain momentum. And what you really need at this stage in the game is a big star. You know a hit song combined with a big name performer will almost guarantee financial success.
So you go out and recruit Dolly Parton. Sure, it takes a few months to get her attention. But you’re convincing, persuasive, and she likes your song.
Plus, she’s one of the best-known country singers around. The extra effort required to get her on board is expected. After a bit of heavy negotiating, Dolly’s signs the contract.
You’re certain you have the winning formula for success.
Dolly starts, and you move on to other issues. Three months go by and you check in on her progress. Sadly, when you call to check in, you realize not much is happening.
You have Dolly. You have a “hit song.” You’re paying her such a lofty sum it’s uncomfortable.
All you’re really asking her to do is show up and sing the song, right?
Eventually it becomes clear Dolly needs more than a mega-check and a “hit song” for success.
A-Listers Require More Than a Song
Come to find out, Dolly doesn’t do her own hair and makeup.
She also needs lighting, a band, and the best musical talent around. Not to mention custom outfits, glamour-gear, stage managers, tour buses, promotional materials, and managerial support.
She’s also going to need someone to run marketing campaigns for her performance, including advertising, graphic design, photo shoots, video, promotional campaigns, and more.
If you hire Dolly and expect her to bring in the bucks humming Many Coats of Colors, you’ll be disappointed.
Frazzled looking Dolly sitting on a wooden stool with a single spotlight, in jeans, with poor sound, and inferior production isn’t going to cut it.
Your investment in Dolly is going to be a major flop.
In fact, it’s going to be a downright waste.
Because when you engage high-performing talent, they’re going to be expensive. But that’s not where the expense stops. They need the right support, infrastructure, and resources to drive the results their capable of generating. The kind of results you’d expect out of an A-lister.
When The Jokes on You
If you paid a million dollars to hire Jerry Seinfeld for one night, would you have him perform and just let him do his thing? Or would you advertise the performance, pay for a top-notch venue, and hire a reputable backstage crew? Would you give him all the things he needs to “do his thing”?
Investing a million in Jerry for one performance and leaving him to “figure it out” is not the best way to ring the register.
My point is this:
Why do companies do this with rock star sales rep Mike?
It’s a major mistake.
Top sales professionals need infrastructure, tools, systems, leadership, processes, and resources to smash in the cash.
Dolly is iconic. She’s a household name. If she can’t walk on stage and sell out for maximum profit, how’s your “amazing sales rock star” going to do the equivalent?
Bad news. It isn’t going to happen.
Hiring rock star salespeople won’t guarantee quota obtainment and massive amounts of new business. Their magical rolodexes won’t be flooding your company with cash overnight.
Even if you hire Dolly, Jerry, or Rock Star Sales Rep Mike, they need infrastructure, support, and tools.
Good Taste and the Power of Strong Resources
Imagine giving Jerry or Dolly minor league tools. Sure, they’d find a way to be resourceful. But the amount of money you’d be leaving on the table would be astounding. A-listers need leadership, processes, training, marketing, tools, and resources worthy of their exceptional capabilities.
If you want to bring in the big bucks and you’re ready for prime time, then support your stars with the tools they need to succeed.
Otherwise, save your money.
Stick with people who are a better fit for the minor leagues. It’ll be less expensive for you and less of a time waste for top talent.
My final question for you is:
What more can you do to help support your sales team? Decide how serious you are about winning new clients, expanding solutions, maximizing star talent, and ultimately growing the organization.
Then it will be time to step up and put the right resources in place, even if you have to fight for them. If you’re ready to build an A-team, you’ll need to secure and adequately distribute the resources your team needs to be successful.
Better margins, accelerated growth, and new clients await you!