Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 29: Q & A with Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter talks about High Profit Prospecting


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By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

Late in 2015 we started producing a bi-weekly radio program called Sales Pipeline Radio, which currently runs every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific.  It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.

We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests into 2016. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg.  Next we had Mike Weinberg, incredible writer, speaker, author, followed by Conrad Bayer, CEO & Founder of Tellwise.  Recent Guests: Jim KeenanJoanne BlackAaron RossJosiane FeigonMeagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.

We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes.  You can listen to full recordings of past shows at and subscribe on iTunes.

This week, Mark Hunter AKA The Sales Hunter, keynote speaker, and sales trainer joins us this week.  See why he likes to tweet #social media without social community is social stupidity” and why you are not going to make a Walmart shopper a Nordstrom customer.  You may know Mark from his book “High Profit Selling“.  Join us as we talk about his latest book, “High Profit Prospecting“.


Paul: Well it’s time to grab your board and catch a wave. We are riding the pipeline today, the sales pipeline with Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing! Hey Matt!

Matt: Thank you Paul, how are we doing?

Paul: I’m good. Where are you surfing today?

Matt: We are surfing in Boston Massachusetts. If you are listening on the East Coast in the upper Eastern seaboard I hope you are inside air conditioning. It is so hot here, it’s like 96° and 1000% humidity.

Paul: Oh wow!

Matt: Literally, this morning the mayor announced a heat warning. I figured here in Boston it’s hot and it’s humid all the time, it’s kind of like you are in Minneapolis and if they cancel school in Minneapolis there’s got to be a lot of snow.

Paul: That’s bad. I was born in Minneapolis; I know they don’t do that very often.

Matt: No, it’s a big deal but we are here. I spoke this morning at a conference on account based marketing, I don’t think we talk a lot about that on Sales Pipeline Radio but interesting topic.

For those of you that are focused on selling into large accounts and focused on strategic accounts, account based marketing or ABM as it’s called might be something you want to check out. I think what is interesting is that it’s beyond just simply coming up with a list of your most important prospects. I think what I like about ABM is that it’s riding really on account orientation to a coordinated effort between sales and marketing to have a consistent story, a consistent message and then coordinate actions within your sales and marketing activity across different stakeholders and decision-makers in your larger more strategic sales targets.

So conference here put on by a company called Terminus. If you are on the online you might check out #flipmyfunnel; it’s the hashtag they have been using today. A lot of great speakers, lots of good content so definitely check that out.

We are excited today. We’ve got a great guest, very, very excited and honored to have Mark Hunter here with us today to talk about sales, about sales and marketing working together but also talk about his new book – High Profit Prospecting. He is the previous author of the best-seller High Profit Selling and really excited about what he’s doing now with High Profit Prospecting so we will get into that. But Mark thanks so much for joining us today.

Mark: Hey thanks for having me on today, looking forward to it.

Matt: Absolutely! Well I think I would love to just dive right in and talk about the book. I mean I got to know you I think through sort of the content you create on your blog and by reading High Profit Selling myself and so I am excited to see you coming out with a new book. Tell us a little bit more about High Profit Prospecting and what it’s about.

Mark: Well, High Profit Prospecting is really about the problem that a lot of people have in terms of they have their discounted price to close the deal. I mean think about this, we wind up with this too often because really what we are doing is we’re prospecting the wrong people. I kind of equated it to you can’t take a Walmart shopper and make them in Nordstrom customer; it’s just not going to happen.

So what I did is I wrote the book High Profit Prospecting to say hey let me show you a step-by-step roadmap as to how you can tie social media prospecting including the older prospecting tools which a lot of people have forgotten to use, into really getting better prospects that you can close at full price.

Matt: Now you brought up old prospecting tools and tactics. I mean we are living in an age of social media; we are living in the age of social selling Mark where apparently you don’t have to use the phone anymore. Apparently sending emails passé all we do is find our prospects on social – I jest of course. But I am curious how do you think about “traditional prospecting” in an age of social media; is there a differentiation? Do they blend together? How are you seeing that?

Mark: Well, let’s start this off with a tweet that I love to send out – #Socialmedia without social community is social stupidity. We will just get that off the table right now.

Matt: That’s good.

Mark: What you really have to do is you have to integrate. Social media in and of itself is media and people don’t want to receive media; they want to receive individual messages. So in the book I really talk about hey, using the telephone, gee, there is a novel idea! Use the telephone! The telephone does work when it’s used right.

And you know what’s interesting? Is that more people are giving up on the telephone – oh, the telephone doesn’t work, nobody takes my calls. Well maybe they don’t take your calls because you are so pathetic. So again, one of the things I walked through in the book is how to leave an 11 to 14 second voicemail message, now think about that.

How many times have you received that voicemail message that goes on and on and on forever?

Matt: Yeah.

Mark: There is no way! So what I show people is how do we take some of these traditional tools like the telephone, like email – oh man come on! How many bad prospecting emails have you received today alone? It’s embarrassing!

Matt: It’s so funny. We are talking to Mark Hunter here who is the author of High Profit Prospecting – I’m getting my books mixed up – who is also the previous author of High Profit Selling. And it’s funny you bring up the idea of those follow-ups is emails. Not only do we all get them and we all hate them and make fun of them, my presentation this morning at this conference was specifically on Sales Development Email: Best and Worst Practices. And I started by showing actual examples of some of the emails that we get.

I think people like to say that the phone is dead, cold calling is dead, email is dead. I think you typically find those that say things are dead are usually trying to pitch you what they think is alternative. But when people ask me what’s the most important piece of technology I have, I tell them it’s the phone. Your ability to make a connection to forward a conversation, to forward a relationship, I think it’s not fair to talk about these traditional or new tools; it’s just find the right way to get in front of your customer, bring value into that conversation.

I love your comment about social media just being a conduit and if you are sharing crap, it doesn’t matter how good the channel is, you have to have something of value. So is this one of the reasons why people struggle with prospecting? Is it in part because they don’t know what to say?

Mark: Oh yeah! I mean people of the think of any excuse in the world as to why they don’t have the prospect. Oh, I’ve got to spend all of my time taking care of existing customers. Or we do such a good job or we do this. But really what it is is they are too embarrassed, they are too afraid to prospect. So what they do is they default to well I will go spend some time out on Facebook and I will just put some really nice happy faces out on Facebook or out on Instagram or tweet or LinkedIn or whatever and oh, this will be so wonderful. Well I am sorry but you can’t eat likes, you can’t eat connections. It just doesn’t work!

I mean so you’ve got to pick up the telephone. The telephone, the telephone is really an amazing tool when it’s used right. It works, it works!

Matt: Yeah, I don’t care what channel you are already using, if you don’t have a good message or not going to get very far. And that message usually isn’t about you and your product and service, it’s got to be about something that the prospect cares about. And you know I would imagine that most of the people listening to this program, not only are they B2B but are probably selling products that aren’t one call closes.

And so if you’re selling a complex product that is a multiple inside month sale, even if it’s a multi-week sale, there are likely multiple touch points. And so when you are prospecting you don’t have to jump from step A to step D do you? I mean you can treat each step a little more in a segmented way, put less focus and less pressure on how far you need to take that conversation. And in many cases I found that takes, for those that have call reluctance or call prospecting reluctance, it takes a little pressure off of them to say oh, I don’t have to, for every live call I don’t have to convert that into qualified opportunity, I can simply move the ball forward a little.

Mark: Oh, you raised a good point there and it is so key. What I tell people, if you are B2B or B2C, it’s a multiple call close – this thing goes on. Your objective is to just earn the right, the privilege, the honor and respect to be able to contact that person again. Think about that for a moment, that’s all your objective is. What I tell people, when you’re making that initial prospecting call. And first of all, let’s get an elephant, there’s an elephant lurking in the room even in Boston there, even in the humidity there is an elephant outside your window and it’s the elephant of cold calling – okay. Let’s put this to bed. Cold is dead okay.

In this era of the Internet, in the era of all this information out there, there is no reason, there is no need to have to make a cold call, I can make an informed call. What that means is that when I call you I know something about you; I know something about your business, I know something about your industry okay.

And all I am doing is I am trying to do two things; one – I am trying to earn the right, the privilege, honor and respect to be able to connect with you again and B – I want to learn one piece of information about you. Because if I learn one piece of information about you from this initial call and I’ve earned the right, the honor, the privilege and respect guess what? I can contact you again.

Now I can begin to engage you. And when I begin to engage you, what happens is I am able to do two things; I am able to create a level of confidence. And oh by the way the confidence goes both ways. You have confidence in me; I have confidence in you and a level of competence. You begin to see that I am competent because I am really caring about what you want for an outcome. And see, that’s the other big problem with a lot of prospecting methods.

It borders on hey, look at this we’ve got these great widgets at $9.99 isn’t this cool? Isn’t this cool? No I’m sorry, it’s not about the product, it’s about the outcome. I have to be focused on the outcome of what the customers looking for. If I focus on the outcome, it changes the whole dynamics of what my conversation is regardless of whether or not I am on the telephone with you, regardless of whether or not it’s an email or it’s a one to one social media message. Because think about this; social platforms whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever, those work best when I use them one-to-one.

I just hung up the phone. Before I did this show with you, I was dealing with a company where we first connected by one-to-one messaging on LinkedIn and I love it, I love it! Think about it; social media is really nothing more than a communication tool and what I want to do is I want to use it as a one-to-one communication tool the same way I use the telephone.

Matt: We are talking with Mark Hunter today on Sales Pipeline Radio. Mark is the author of High Profit Selling also the new book High Profit Prospecting. I definitely encourage you to check out his website The Sales Hunter. He’s got a great blog, lots of great information and also a big fan of the report you’ve got on the page there as well. So it’s a free download, The 10 Reasons Most Prospecting Plans Fail.

And I often times Mark, will find I love best practices but sometimes I like worst practices. I mean sometimes seeing what not to do will sometimes be like looking into a mirror. When I talked this morning about sales development email and showed the worst practices; I told people I said listen, I know you want to train people on the good stuff but show them the bad of so they can recognize it. Not only can they recognize it when they see it but sometimes recognize it when they write it because if we don’t explicitly show people what doesn’t work, they might go and give that a shot as if it’s something that might work for them as well.

Mark: Well and then when they begin to hold up what they’ve been doing against that mirror, what you probably showed this morning, I bet probably every person in that audience could go back into their Outlook or whatever, their system and find an email that probably came pretty close to being the pathetic ones you were sharing.

Hey, let’s not kid ourselves. At one time or another we’ve all been on the dark side of emailing.

Matt: Yeah, we’ve certainly all done it and I think that Trish Bertuzzi from The Bridge Group, I was once with her in a conference and they were doing a live coaching of a recorded sales call. And whoever the sponsor was bravely put a couple of their sales reps on stage as well and played their reported calls and there was mistakes and there was nervous laughs there in the audience. And Trish literally stopped and say listen if you think that this stuff isn’t going on your sales floor you are kidding yourselves. Your best sales reps can fall into bad habits, your best to sales reps can do things that are nervous ticks, things that they think are going well.

I mean I firmly believe that some of the worst practices we see in these prospecting emails, people think work; things like saying “hey, haven’t heard back from you. Did an alligator eat you?” That’s really kind of dumb, right? There’s a lot of worst practices that I think are well-intentioned but if you put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, I mean literally look at it from the other side of the table and is this something I would respond to?

And as Jill Konrath says, she talks about crazy busy prospects, don’t just think about the message but think about the context into which it’s being sent. You send that email, you send that voicemail, your prospect doesn’t have much time, they’ve got seconds if that to be able to grock whether or not they care about you or not.

Mark: That whole piece you just said about context is so critical and that’s why I walk people through in the book how to leave an 11 to 14 second voice message because the whole thing that you are doing here is that you are being tight and concise and you are showing the prospect that you value their time. Because again, if you know somebody is going to waste your time, do you want to get on the phone with them? No way!

Matt: Yeah, we have a rule when we do this with our clients; the earlier the relationship you have with a prospect the shorter your message should be. You earned the right to say more as you build the relationship and the prospect is more likely to actually pay attention to you but if you are just prospecting, that 11 to 14 seconds, I love it. I mean I think in terms of 100 words or less ideally a lot less in an email as well.

We’ve got Mark Hunter here with us today; he’s the author of High Profit Prospecting. You can learn more about him at We will be back with a lot more with Mark; we will talk about what’s coming up on future shows and talk about how you can catch up on everything we’ve been doing so far online. This is Sales Pipeline Radio.


Paul:   And now back to Matt and his guest!

Matt: Awesome Paul, thank you. I’m having a lot of fun today on Sales Pipeline Radio with Mark Hunter the author of High Profit Prospecting, got a lot more with Mark here coming up in future episodes of Sales Pipeline Radio. Remember, you can catch a live every Thursday at 2:30 Eastern, 11:30 Pacific.

We’ve got a number of great guests coming up including Arden Clise who unfortunately we’ve had to move the schedule around a little bit. So you’ve probably heard me talking about her a bit but it’s really she’s fantastic; she’s an expert at business etiquette and her new book is called Spinach in Your Boss’s Teeth so she’s got some very specific ideas to help sales and marketing professionals increase their etiquette; email etiquette, phone etiquette, she has some very, very good tips. So I’m excited about that.

Also next week we’re going to feature Marylou Tyler who is the co-author of Predictable Revenue. If you’ve read that book, Aaron Ross who was one of the key executives at Sales Force during their early-stage growth, she, Marylou and Aaron wrote the book Predictable Revenue and she has got a new book coming up as well so lots of great guests coming up on Sales Pipeline Radio. You can check out past episodes at, you can also get the podcast as well on Google play or the iTunes Store.

And Mark, let’s talk about marketing a little bit. We’ve been talking a lot about prospecting and talking a lot about the sales teams’ role but what are the best scenarios you’ve seen where sales and marketing are working together to create and execute a more successful prospecting plan?

Mark: Yeah, well let’s call out another, maybe not an elephant but at least a wolf or two running around out there. And that is who really owns the prospecting process? And I’m going to call it out right now, sales owns the prospecting process, they own the lead generation process. Now that does not excuse marketing from that because marketing has really got to set the tone of the message. But if you think about it, I’m tired – because I came from marketing and I’ve been on both sides, sales and marketing. I am tired of marketing people being blamed for bad leads – no, no I am sorry; it’s sales, you just can’t close okay. So let’s just take it and let’s just give it to them right off the bat okay so that’s that.

One of the best practices that marketing can do is first of all, let’s get rid of the whole idea of the capabilities presentation. And I still see that in too much messaging going on out there where we are doing whether it be a marketing campaign, whether it be banner ads whatever and what we are doing is we’re talking about the product and we want to be focused on is what is the outcome.

My objective in sales and marketing is the same. I want to help my customers see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. All of my messaging needs to be focused around that. When I focus around that, it changes the dynamics of what I am talking about. And then what I have to do is I have to make sure that whatever marketing is doing, sales mirrors because I want to make sure the messaging is uniform all the way through.

I am tired of seeing marketing developing campaigns that are very good campaigns but marketing or sales failed to embrace them in their messaging. In other words, if I’ve got a marketing campaign in this industry okay and maybe I’m doing some tradeshow stuff and so forth, I want to make sure that sales in their emails and so forth and follow-ups is mirroring – what was the messaging of the tradeshow? You get it? It’s consistency all the way through.

I did some time with consumer packaged goods and brands and one of the things we always had to make sure of was that the brand messaging was uniform all the way through to the shelf where the consumer picked up the product. It’s the same thing in B2B marketing.

Matt: It’s so interesting to hear you talk about this because I think a lot of modern organizations and part of the reason you call this, I don’t know what you call it; the elephant or the donkey or the manatee or whatever the smaller version is. I think a lot of modern organizations consider prospecting the role of marketing. They say marketing needs to go out and generate demand and generate qualified opportunities and the sales team can then close them.

I mentioned the book Predictable Revenue; one of the things there and Marylou talks about segmentation of roles and then in their book it’s focused on segmentation of sales roles. But I really like what you are talking about in terms of coordination of efforts; not only coordination between sales and marketing, not only coordination of message but thinking about all the different touch points you have with your prospects, right? Not just on the phone, not just an email but in the real world as well for the events that you go to together for trade shows, for customer dinners et cetera.

Do you find that those same rules apply for companies that that are doing volume selling, that are selling to SMB as opposed to those that are really focused on more targeted account enterprise sales?

Mark: Yes! It does because we live in such a cluttered chaotic world and this is why again, you know the argument as well. “I’ve got to email them everyday because they are going to forget about me.” No I am sorry they want to forget about you, that’s a separate piece. If we are not clear with our message and I don’t care who you are if you think about it, how many times have you seen a Coca-Cola sign? How many times have you seen a Budweiser beer sign? I mean you’ve seen them time and time again and why? – Because it’s got to come back into your point of reference.

This morning I was at a conference and heard Alan speak, he came from Boeing and went to Ford and he reinforced the word Boeing, Boeing, Boeing – now there is a pretty complex sale, he’s selling airplanes. But he talks about how they had to completely always be reinforcing that message of Boeing, Boeing, Boeing. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, we must reinforce a uniform message at every step along the way; the prospecting, the entire marketing and sales process.

Matt: No doubt. Wise words from or guest today Mark Hunter who is the author of High Profit Prospecting. If you haven’t read his previous book High Profit Selling, highly encourage you to check that out. You can learn more about both of those books at He’s got lots of great blog posts as well, there’s tons of great resources, many of them free to all at but check out the new book High Profit Prospecting.

Where do you see all this going? As this continues to evolve are we going to continue to move in a direction of diversifying channels and shorter attention spans for prospects? And if so like I was that evolved moving forward, the world of sales leaders and sales executives have in meeting their number?

Mark: Well yeah, I mean without a doubt channels are going to continue the subsegment. I mean they are going to continue to diversify and as a result messaging has to get that much more targeted, that much more specific. But now if you stop and think about this for a moment, what does it allow me to do? It allows me to bring added value to my customer.

Because the salesperson who only brings to their customer the same information they can find on the Internet is not going to be in sales very long; I mean they are gone. Look at the travel agent; that thing used to be a sales role. That industry doesn’t even exist anymore.

I have to be able to bring my customer all along the way which means even in the prospecting process, I’ve got to be posting questions to my prospects that get them thinking because why do I want to get them thinking? Because I want to get them thinking as to why they need to engage with me otherwise all I’m doing is sharing information. Well also they will go buy it off the Internet because they don’t need you.

Matt: Well alright we thank or guest today Mark Hunter who is the author of High Profit Prospecting. Definitely pick up that book, his previous book High Profit Selling, you can find out more on both of those at Check out more from Sales Pipeline Radio, you can get all of our past guests as well as a replay of this episode with Mark Hunter at You can also download every new episode through our podcast version that’s up on iTunes store and Google play.

We will look forward to seeing you next week with Mary Lou Tyler, the co-author of Predictable Revenue and we will see you each week Thursdays at 2:30 Pacific, 11:30 Eastern. Thanks again Mark Hunter and for Paul, this has been Sales Pipeline Radio!

Paul: Yes indeed you’ve been riding the surf, catching a wave and riding the sales surf pipeline with Matt Heinz.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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