Training & systems to maximize your sales.
Mark Evans is the Founder and CEO of Standard Sales Co.
Standard Sales Co. is focused on bringing systems, processes, and structure to one of the most critical areas of your business… the sales department. They help get insights, strategies and actionable steps your sales team can implement today to get more leads, have better conversations and close more business.
Learn more about how Standard Sales Co. can help you raise your standard, raise your sales by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
And with us right now, we've got Mark Evans, Mark, you're the Founder and CEO of Standard Sales Co., which I actually really, really like. And I'll tell you why in just a second. You're also the author of Raise Your Standards: The Definitive Guide to Building Seven Figure Sales. Okay, Mark, you got everyone's attention. On point this out to as well. You're a sixth generation entrepreneur. So I got to ask you, what did your great great, great, great granddaddy, your grand Mom, do?
Well, that's an easy one. Because everybody in my family was in printing, they had been putting ink on paper for generations goes back all the way to Ireland. And I was supposed to be the sixth generation, not only entrepreneur, but also the sixth generation printer. And so yeah, I know the whole family is very sad about that. But I did write a book side like that's kind of there, right?
Yeah. No kidding. So basically from Gutenberg to do you know the name of your the first generation who got into it?
Yeah, we looked it up. My wife is big into genealogy. So check that out recently, and I forget exactly what the name is. It's a blanket on me right now. But yeah, all the way back from Ireland and England, to the new world here in America and then my parents, they own their own small business and that's what really launched me into sales and loving entrepreneurs and just being fired up about business.
What were they print? Do you know what They were printing that many generations ago.
Yeah. I mean, it was like anything within the community. Right. So it was community postings. It was I think books even and some things for the church were like the primary drivers. Oh, yes. So no, no figure there.
Yeah. No, it's it's fascinating. You know, when you look at the list of the 100 most influential people that have ever been on the earth, you know, Gutenberg is always it's, it's always I think it's always a toss up between he and Jesus. So, yes.
And now it's really cool, because my dad is now retired. And so we get to spend some time doing some really old, it's called letterpress. And so it's like an not an ancient, but it's an older technique of printing. And so I've got two daughters that are eight and five, who we've introduced into that and they love anything to do with stationery and printed materials. So that's my little way of trying to pay it forward. Even though I didn't go into the industry.
That's so cool. So you know, I can't go that back that many generations but it seems to be my great great great I am not sure how many greats now. But the very first one I know, business owner, his name was Amos Elledge. That's the only man. I like, Yeah,
that's a good one. They gonna bring that back
world. And what he did is he sold blocks of ice nowhere. Yep. So he'd have blocks of ice upstairs and into people's, I guess, you know, early ice boxes and yeah, that was his thing. So, so business ownership is in your blood. All right, so. So then, you know from your youth then and you've always been primed to be the heir to the printing fortune. You went a different way. How did that happen?
Yeah. Well, I was recruited by a local company in Milwaukee. And when I say local, I mean Milwaukee, in which I got the great opportunity at a young age to not only learn the skill and I believe really a career of sales as I was growing up as a young boy, my dad would always say, Mark, I want you to learn a trade like printing so you can go anywhere and do anything and printing never really stuck. But what did was sales, right? And so I was able to learn the career of sales professional selling at a younger age. And then I got into sales management as we became a very fast growing company, one thing led to another and I was recruited to lead a sales team that went from just a dozen, maybe a handful of salespeople to 60 or 70, sales and service people in a very short amount of time. And it was those fundamental lessons I learned in growing both of those sales teams rather rapidly, that I started to take into my own consulting business. And that's where I work with companies now both small and medium sized to help them grow a sales team that can really scale and grow. Yeah.
So talk to me about the type of By the way, every anytime anyone mentions Milwaukee, I think of the line from Wayne's World when Alice Cooper in Milwaukee an Indian name, yes, Pete. It is actually it's pronounced Meili walk Hey, which is Algonquin for the good land class. I would imagine you really enjoy this. I'm you and I kind of hit it off quickly. And we're both in the Midwest. I'm from Wisconsin, Milwaukee as well, or from Wisconsin, Michigan as well. So we share a lot of commonality, commonalities and sensibilities. Yes. But so, now, today, who would be that you're a kind of the ideal person that you serve? Yeah, that's an audience.
Yeah, that's a good question. So who I primarily serve are entrepreneurs, those that are a lot like my parents, or, you know, individuals that I've worked with in the past where maybe they've got a product right, and they've got a business that that is good, but they want to take it to the next level. Right. And so they're almost like I almost related to, you know, since you're Joshua wisconsinites. I'm going to say you're a Packers fan. If not, I'm inducting. You into the packer football fan club.
See my wife is from Chicago, from West Michigan, and so we kind of lean more toward the bears.
So it's your show, I'll forgive you forget. But anyways, right and so we're These entrepreneurs I see they're kind of like the head football coach of a sports team of a football team. But yet they also want to be the kicker, they want to be the quarterback and they're also like the middle linebacker and the the person selling popcorn and doing the parking right. So then an entrepreneur that's trying to do all the things that be all the people and they're they're just burnt out and they're tired. So I really work with companies primarily in the software and professional services firm. But that's not as important as the individual who says, hey, I've had enough here I've got a great product I need to take it to the next level. And that's where I've helped a lot of companies put in the sale systems processes and procedures that they need to really scale and really grow.
Yeah, so just a quick history lesson on kind of us in and you know, some of the the things that we've gone through so my my previous company savings Angel was just kind of a direct to consumers product. So we didn't really need any like sales management. It was just kind of we made our offer and based on the strength of that offer, we had people buying a $5 a week product. Now with up my influence, you know, we typically aren't Clients are paying us about 1000 to 1500 dollars a month. We provide a great service. But, you know, that absolutely requires retail sales where, you know, we're chatting with people and finding out what their needs are finding out if we can solve their needs that sort of thing. And, and, you know, for the first four years that that's all me. And of course, I think you typified exactly where I found myself and I'm like, Man, I'm doing everything here. And I've been at this now for a few years, really building something pretty amazing. But I, you know, I really need to get a team put in place on some of these other things. We have an amazing operations team. We've got amazing teams, not areas. Sales has been one of those things that two things number one, it's been hard for me to give up. Number two, we've made plenty mistakes. I've hired people that have gone it's gone miserably. I've had good people that just wasn't a good fit. I've tried to outsource it to an outsize outside team. And that went terrible as well. Where do you See, I mean, obviously I've illustrated a few examples. Now. I think where we're at right now we're in a really good groove we've really been able to promote from within and that sort of thing. But what do you typically see in terms of I mean, I gave you several examples. Yeah, screw this thing up, but which I have where we've made plenty mistakes in that. Despite that, thankfully, we've been able to be successful, I think, based on the strength of our product, but where do you see a lot of early stage businesses kind of making a lot of mistakes that like I'm and you know, you shouldn't be doing that here. I can make your life easy.
Yeah. I mean, you hit the common issues that so many entrepreneurs see. And I think it all boils down to culture. And that CEO or that entrepreneur, not being very firm in what their culture and what they want out of their business is right. And so they're willing to say like, well, I don't know what I want. I don't know exactly what this end game is going to look like. So you know, you family member, your Fine, how about you Come on over here? Are you person that I don't really know? But maybe you kind of fit with the culture of the sales here? Yeah, let's have you come in. So I think that's where the mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make is not not thinking like, Hey, we're don't want to be in three, four or five years and thinking yet but from a cultural level, even if this is their first sales hire, and really shifting that focus to Hey, where do I want to go? What kind of sales environment kind of sales culture do on a project. And so I've seen that with a sales culture with any culture of a company. It's a lot like a magnet, right? it repels the individuals that are not a good fit for you. But it also should attract those types of people that say, Hey, I love what Josh is doing. I'm buying into what he's looking for. And I want to be a part of that.
Yeah, well, it's definitely a balance. Right. And it's not something that they teach you oftentimes, like in school, right? There's no like a sales hire one on one. Yeah, I think really, the best part to start is really no, you know, I think we spend a lot of time especially in marketing Josh, right, where we spend a lot of time unlike the customer avatar, and we try to get really specific with the demographics and the psychographics of who our ideal customers, but we don't spend that same amount of time with who our ideal candidate could be. Right? So really thinking about right, who do I want? Do I want someone who's like Wolf of Wall Street, right? And we're throwing people at a target or do I need someone that's more consultative and he's going to be able to take more of a longer term approach. So I think identifying what that is first, right. So I think that's kind of the first thing of what do we need to look like who's our ideal candidate when it comes to When it comes to the compensation aspect of sales, that's a tricky ballgame, right? There's so many different components, and there's so many different books on it. But what I've really tried to do is I mean, I tried to make it equitable for all parties involved, right? And you don't go in 100% Commission. That's, you know, there's people out there that are willing to do it. But person, I don't know if I want them on my sales team, right. I like someone that has a little bit of skin in the game, when it comes to where we're going from a company. Same I like having sales people that are hungry, right, so I see a good mix with a lot of the companies that I work with, they're starting base salaries anywhere from 30 to $50,000. And then they're getting a commissionable base or I'm sorry a commission based off of like first year sales something like that, and that's typically what we see.
So it's like you want to come up with a high I mean me again this this could be different for every person and every company but you know, make sure that you know their their basics are covered. Yes, you're not going to sink here is you know, in terms of sink or swim. You're not going to sink here. Yeah. It's probably going to be uncomfortable. If you're only making 30 $50,000 a year, you're probably not going to want to stay there, which is why there's so much upside potential. And we've really stacked the deck to make success inevitable for you, if you just follow the system. And I guess that gets to my next question is, how much of this sales system does the founder need to work out? Before they bring somebody in? Or I mean, I guess the other side of it is they'd have to bring somebody in who has a lot of experience in developing sale systems. And they have that that experience. I mean, that's kind of it right?
Yeah, it can be or there's kind of a third option where you work on it together. And I've seen with companies where the founder has to develop the sale system with someone who's maybe less, less experienced when it comes to sales. So they don't bring maybe the bad habits that you would write what works at one company doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to work for your company, right? There's a lot of really good rules and procedures in place, but you really got to know your buyer and so is that founder is that entrepreneur, you have to become steadfast to a point to say like Hey, no This is how we sell this is what our ideal customer wants out of this situation. So that's kind of a situation, I would say. But But then, you know, what I see a lot of sales companies and a lot of entrepreneurs Miss is that they're just not adapting fast enough, like, hey, we've got this sale system. And that's it like it's never changing. And man, I just you know, as well as I do that, you gotta constantly be improving these guy constantly be tweaking how you're doing sales.
You speaking of that, Mark, one thing that I've done over the past 12 years is I've served as a consumer advocate and consumer expert like I've studied consumer behavior, and I've led consumer behavior and helping consumers to be much more skeptical and analytical and thoughtful about their decisions. Well, it's my experience. I'd love your perspective on this because you've been in the sales training world for so long. Have you seen evolutions in consumer behavior, particularly as more of us just live on the internet and mobile and social media and how have you seen that impact consumers By the way, I need to point out the consumers are everybody so it doesn't matter if you're selling b2b b2c btg bita alien I don't like everybody is a consumer. So we've all learned these skills.
Oh yeah, the internet has rapidly disrupted so many sales organizations. And I think that's where sales first got a bad rap right is that used car salesman that you typically think of right in the plaid like jacket, and hey, you want two doors or four with that, Josh? Right. That's where really a lot of sales people got a bad rap. And the Internet has massively disrupted that because there's more transparency than ever. But on that flip side, Josh is buyers are busier than ever before. So I think now and what I preach to a lot of sales teams is that the money is in the follow up. And I know I'm going to go off on a little tangent here, but I think it's important for the audience to understand that your buyer is now more busy arms are busier than ever before. The average executive Josh gets like 250 to 400 different emails every single day. So specifically, if you're selling a b2b product You think like your one email and that like dark, right? Like, hey, like one tell you about my great product is going to cut it. Like, it ain't like that just ain't happening. So what I really think and I think how the internet has really changed this is that we need a variety of different approaches when it comes to sales. So whether you're b2c or b2b, right, you can't just send one email and cross your fingers and hope that this goes through. You got to be sending emails, you gotta be sending video emails like you so awesomely said, you got to be using direct mail, you got to be using the phone, you got to be using text message, you got to be using social media, you know, like a LinkedIn message, something like that. Because you need to grab your buyer by the collar and shake them and say, Hey, I'm not going away. I'm not like those salespeople, you know that leave your one voicemail then you never hear from again, that's the type of thing that we need to break people out of their apathy. Because that's the biggest objection to sales right now. It's that I just don't know what to do, right? There's so much information. There's so many things. I need someone to help shake me out of my own apathy and lethargic to get me going in the right direction.
You know, Mark, I gotta tell you how excited I am. Here you share what you're sharing. And again, a little bit of insider baseball, like what what we've been experiencing. Is that up until and, and, and I'm going to tell you this, and some people like as I explain what we've been doing over the past four and a half years, they're probably going to feel a pit in their stomach and they're like, what, how, how is this possible here, but you're probably gonna be like, Josh, totally normal. We've had, we've had very like next to no, like CRM work at all. Like, I'll have a call with somebody, they'll express a buying intent. I'll send them an email. You know, thankfully, we started doing video emails toward the beginning of this year. And then that's pretty much it, I send them one email and I just I get busy, they're busy. And so you know, our close rate is fairly minimal, but certainly enough that we've been able to grow and scale our business. I mean, we've been lucky in that regard that we've survived based on our product being so darn Good see, we've gotten lots of word of mouth recommendations. But so, So up until this literally within a couple of weeks ago, my follow up was just so horrible. It was non existent basically. Okay, one got one email, personal email from me and that was pretty much it, which is terrible. And so we've since really adopted what you just said to our follow up cadence is now every single day, they get a touch where, you know, we're connecting with them and commenting and liking and retweeting and leaving reviews and we're saying nice things about them with video emails, and we're delivering them value, we're acting as if we're actually going out and doing small assignments for them to act in preparation. If they've expressed a buying intent. We just start getting to work with them. And, you know, to someone who's listening to our conversation, I mean, if you're otherwise like inner market, even if you're like, I am never gonna buy a product from Josh. That That's okay. Join our sales cycle just so you can see what our follow up system is. I feel like it's really good. And I really take a lot of what we do now from a lot of Bob Burg philosophy of just, you just just give give, give give away value. Don't worry about it. You'll make it up in the backend from people who choose to engage with you. But man, I so I gotta tell you, I'm just so so grateful that's so reaffirming to hear what you just shared right there.
Oh, yeah. Yours is awesome. I love your video. And for those that don't have this, you definitely got to get on Josh and stuff. Because the one of the first emails that you send is a video of you in front of the FBI building. And it's awesome. It's like nobody's doing that. And it's so so cool. I love that. Yeah, it was great. It was really really good. So you guys are doing great.
Speaking of which you've been you've mentioned this a couple times and I am such an advocate for it is there's a couple of platforms you can use a we use Bomb Bomb to send video emails and I can tell you if you want to check this out, and you want to You know, you want to express some gratitude will give giveaway any commission to charity but if you use our link, I think it's up my influence com slash Bomb Bomb B O M B B O M B and but we're big big fans and I know there's a couple of other video email platforms you can use. But I could tell you from experience i'd love your impression on this easily four to 10 x engagement easier
easily. Well imagine you're scrolling through like you're one of those busy people Josh right where you get 100 emails in a day. They're all text based, right? You get a bunch of text messages, you get social notifications, maybe get a call or two mentioned going through your actual email inbox. text message, text message, text message. Listen, there's this video of like this smiling guy in front of the FBI building like waving to me like what which video Do you think I'm going over? Like which email Do you think I'm going to open like I'm a human. I'm going to open up this one. This one's
Yeah, I think Yeah, video email is the place to be. It's definitely where you want to go.
When somebody when a company or a founder brings you in Mark, and they're like, okay, Mark, I need your help. What are your options that you offer them? Yeah,
so I've got an online program that's called the 90 day Sales Blueprint. And so that's giving the finishing touches on it right now and be ready by the first of the year. And so that's a 90 day blueprint where you're going to go through every single one of my modules, I've got five modules that take you from basically zero, hey, I have no sales person, I've got no sales anything to we're going to find you a salesperson, you're going to know exactly how to recruit for a salesperson, you're going to know exactly what to compensate them and I'm going to coach you through every step of the way. And then I work with coaching, right? And so I've got a monthly coaching package in which we do zoom meetings with the sales team, where I'm actively in the trenches with the sales team, helping them overcome objections that they're going through helping them work on these outbound proactive sales strategies, kind of like what we talked about
earlier. What price point Mark, do you mind sharing? Like, I mean, what does it cost to work with you because I know that there's people that are listening, they're like, I need this guy.
Yeah, no problem. So my, the 90 day Sales Blueprint is $2,000, or just a shade under $2,000. And that also gets you the 90 days of coaching as well, as well as the virtual package or the virtual learning. And then my monthly coaching packages are anywhere from 15 to $3,000. a month 1500 to $3,000. Yeah,
obviously, the idea that is ROI can help you
make more money and yes, yes. And for a lot of my clients, we've been able to do that one company, that I was just that today, we added an additional 1.3 million in sales over this past year, which has been just awesome. Very, very exciting, because I've been No kidding.
Mark, how do you find your business
primarily. So right now, it's a lot of word of mouth. It's a lot of entrepreneurs talking to other entrepreneurs. I also do a lot of speaking engagements as well. So selling from stage is something I'm getting better at. And then I've got a book that came out over the past couple weeks and that's been a great tool that people are sharing, and I'm getting a lot of business and other speaking engagements from that as well.
Yeah, that's how do you when you say speaking engagements, what works Do you do to attract more engagements?
Yeah, so typically what's worked the best for me. And I don't know if this is any approach, but it's the one that's really working for me is I'll reach out to a lot of people in my network who are entrepreneurs. They'll say, Hey, how about you invite 15 to 20 people that are either in your space or fellow entrepreneurs, I'll bring the books, you buy the lunch and provide the space, I'm going to give a 45 minute presentation will do 15 minutes of q&a. And that's a great it's been really good because that individual who's sending out those invites is supplying value to their, to their network, right. So for example, I had a commercial realtor do this a couple weeks ago. And she gained I think, like two or three deals just from that meeting, because he's he knows a connector. He's the guy that's bringing people in, right? He's providing value to people's life. And so that's a strategy that's worked really well for me just over the past couple months.
Mark, you're a cool guy, Mark Evans, you're the Founder and CEO of Standard Sales Co. and you're on the web at standardsalesco that's co.com and you're also the author of Raise Your Standards: The Definitive Guide to Building Seven Figure Sales. Now is that book available where Amazon now Amazon. So you could just search Mark Evans, you could search for Raise Your Standards: The Definitive Guide to Building Seven Figure Sales. Mark, it sounds pretty enticing. I love your message. And, you know, I'm just so grateful. Actually, I've gotten some affirmation from you today that has been, you know, just based on the fact that we've just implemented some of this stuff. It's it's really, really great to hear, you know, kind of a voice of support note, Josh doing the right thing. CRM is the right thing to do.
help with people. I encourage this.
That is all good things, all good
things. Yeah. Excellent. Well, Mark, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you, Josh, for having me.
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