Today’s guest on the Catapulting Commissions Podcast got his start selling Speedos–yes, you read that right. And now, he’s selling seven-figure contracts, and on a mission to help one million salespeople achieve their dreams. Marcus Chan is our founder and president of Venli Consulting Group, and this week, he’s breaking down what he does and how he does it.
Marcus got his start in sales selling Speedos. Growing up poor, his goal was to work enough at his family’s restaurant. In 2002, his family sold that restaurant. Immediately, he knew a normal job listing for a 9-5 wasn’t for him. So, he looked into sales and landed a job at a decent retail provider. What he did differently was taking that stock and driving 2 hours away to a swim meet to sling speedos on the weekends. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was really good at what he was doing.
Marcus wasn’t a born salesperson. The truth is, he went to college to become an architect but ended up going undeclared. The job he took out of graduation didn’t pay well, but it did give him an opportunity to build something from scratch. When he started in sales, he was the worst. It was easy selling speedos when people would come to him, but now the circumstances have changed. Eventually, he figured it out and ended up building multiple seven-figure teams. From there, he considered replicating his success elsewhere. When he made the jump, within months he was the youngest sales manager of a multi-seven figure group. At that point, it was time for him to make a move and start his own business.
It wasn’t all fun and awesome. When you’re experiencing success, it can be scary to rock the boat. Getting results can draw some attention–this lead Marcus to write a book and learn about digital marketing. When he started considering building an online course, he realized he could fill in gaps in sales training that he could’ve used when he was getting started. He learned that in order to scale, you have to find the sweet spot of pricing, audience, and timing.
So, what would Marcus do if he had to start over on LinkedIn? Number one is optimizing your profile. Your profile is your sales page. When people show up there, you want to establish credibility, trust, and demonstrate that you can help them. Change your banner. It’s a platform to showcase what you’re all about. Marcus put how he could help somebody. It’s also a call to action! Then, it’s all about your tagline. They need to know what you do, but you need to stand out. For example, Marcus has to go from speedos to seven figures. From there, it’s a story about you. There are links, credibility, personal stories, etc. These are things your target market will find of value. Include recommendations–these are reviews for your work.
When you start commenting, putting out content, and engaging, the first thing people are going to do is look at your profile. You want to make sure the house looks good before people come over. Remember to write simply. The easier your profile is to read, the more content they will consume, and the more they will like you.
Now that your profile is good to go, the next step is to understand what your content is doing. Ask yourself, does the audience you currently have the audience you are targeting? If you’re putting out content and it’s not getting to who you want it to, it’s wasted time and effort. Consider upgrading to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You can create a super targeting search for people you’re looking to reach. When you connect, leave the message blank unless you can HIGHLY customize it. Now your content strategy has to be just as specific. Text gets the most eyes, but you need a mix of mediums. Think about what your target market wants to see and how you can provide them with it. Know that your content should be easy to digest through a phone. Hook, Story or Value, Call to Action–every single time.
Next, think about hashtags, micro, and macro-influencers. Look at the hashtags that are trending and solve problems with posts that you can provide value in. When you do that consistently, people will see that and do some research. That gets people to your optimized profile. Include an outbound strategy to bring people in. Start DMing the people you’re adding to your profile–drop a video message! Most people get spammy messages, and video stands out among the noise. Offer something of VERY high value for free with a VERY soft call to action. It could be an ebook, a cheat sheet, whatever it is that is irresistible. Film within the app to minimize the effort to watch the video. It can be as short as 20 seconds! On top of that, type out what you said in the video in case they’re somewhere they can’t watch. Be consistent and over time, it will build up.
Connect with Marcus Chan on LinkedIn