Recently I received an email from someone wanting to pick my brain. They had read an article I had written about marketing an urgent care center, and they wanted to know my thoughts on something.
Their email had one simple, yet very complex, question.
“We are looking at adding a marketer to our team. What are the skills they need to have to be massively successful in this role?”
I instantly knew the answer.
There are five attributes anyone in marketing or sales must possess. Truthfully, no matter what position you are hiring for at your company, if you only want to hire “A-Players”, they must meet the following five criteria.
Requirement #1: Has the Right Attitude
It may sound cliche, but the first thing you need to be successful in marketing or sales is the right attitude. You represent your company be it through written or spoken words, in-person meetings with prospects, or interactions with your colleagues. You are the face and personality of your company. Having the right attitude is crucial to your success.
What does the right attitude mean?
- You focus on the positive in your life
- You make other people feel important
- You listen to constructive feedback and implement it when necessary
- You are willing to try new things
- You understand success doesn’t happen in silos
Having the right attitude is the first step towards success in life. It trumps everything else because a poor attitude not only kills your chance for success, it is cancerous. One poor attitude of one team member will spread faster and do more to destroy a great company culture than hiring five people with great attitudes.
Tip #1: Your attitude will determine your success and failure rate. Be the person others want to be around and you’ll attract success.
Requirement #2: Possesses Discipline
But attitude alone is not enough. There are a lot of people out there who have the right attitude about life and their career, but they miss the second attribute they need to be successful … discipline.
Discipline is the internal drive to stay focused on doing only the things that drive success, instead of getting sidetracked in the whirlwind of things that do nothing to grow a business or a career. It is about recognizing the difference between “being busy” and “being busy on the right thing”.
What does it mean to have discipline?
- You write goals and develop a plan to achieve them
- You plan out your week and day ahead of time and work your plan
- You excuse yourself from activities that prevent you from achieving your goals (small talk, interruptions, and meetings you’re not needed in)
- You complete the hard projects and activities (making the next sales call or developing the next account strategy) instead of working on the mundane (checking emails every 15 minutes)
There is a time in every day for fun, but the truly successful people have the discipline to stay focused on completing the important tasks that drive their careers forward.
Tip #2: Many people can talk a good game but few have the drive to see it though. Success is achieved when the discipline to do what it takes trumps the desire to do what everyone else is doing.
Requirement #3: Has a Sense of Urgency
If you possess a great attitude and discipline, you’re a solid B-Player. You will achieve your goals, but you may not achieve them quickly. No matter what role you play on a team, other people are depending on you. Understanding that time is of the essence to business success is imperative.
What does it mean to have a sense of urgency?
- You take a later lunch on days when you’re close to finishing project or closing a deal
- You stay late when you didn’t meet a deadline you promised someone you would meet
- You understand the speed at which you accomplish your goals impacts your entire team
- You are committed to improving your conversion rates as quickly as possible
Developing a sense of urgency is important to not only your success but also to the success of your company. It doesn’t matter how great your intentions are if you cannot figure out a way to quickly achieve your goals and set new ones.
Tip 3: Success does not come to those who patiently wait. Success comes to those who wake up with a plan and feverishly work it to fruition.
Requirement #4: Is Committed to Success
If you want to move from a B-player to an A-Player, you must have the first three attributes. But A-Players have something more. They recognize the need to be committed to the goals of the team or the company. Many B-Players never advance to A-Players because they lack commitment to the team. Instead, they have personal commitments that come before the goals of the company. We all have the right to personal lives and goals, but A-Players are all-in on working on the company.
What does it mean to be committed to success?
- You burn your ship. You have stopped looking for other career opportunities and are 100% on board with growing your role and your company.
- You do whatever it takes to make sure the team succeeds.
- You support the decisions of the team, even if your decision wasn’t the final one, and you work hard to make the decision effective.
- You don’t have a hidden agenda.
At the end of the day, an A-player is driven to achieve success for the entire team. A B-player is focused on achieving personal success. Hire wisely.
Tip #4: Only teams win championships. Be the team player who ensures the company outperforms its goals, not the team player looking to shine solo in the spotlight.
Requirement #5: Practices CAN-I
Finally, you must hire people who are committed to being a life long learner. Most people are content living life day-to-day doing the bare minimum. Sadly, this includes improving their knowledge and skill set. Look for people who practice Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CAN-I).
What does it mean to practice CAN-I?
- You read at least one new book a month on a topic designed to improve your trade.
- You subscribe to at least one weekly newsletter (or podcast) and one daily newsletter designed to improve your skill set.
- You attend at least one webinar a month to teach you new things related to your industry.
- You attend at least one conference a year to grow your network of mentors and to stay abreast of new ideas.
Hiring people who never stop learning is critical to the growth of your company. Many employees complain about the quarterly or annual training you require them to do. The best employees are so excited about learning that they’re bringing you new ideas to train the entire company.
The Ideal Candidate
Adding a new person to your marketing or sales team is often like trying to find a unicorn. We spend so much time looking at the past track record and skills that we stop short of looking at character.
In the perfect world, you’ll be inundated with candidates who have all the skills you desire. Find the perfect candidate by ensuring they have the five attributes for success: Attitude, Urgency, Commitment, Discipline, & CAN-I.
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