It was 8pm at night and as we boarded the plane at La Guardia Airport in New York, Maikayla (#24yrold), our 24 year old President of US Operations, started a conversation about the things we are not doing as a business to get clients.

Marketing Eye Atlanta has gone from startup to multi-million dollar company in over a year of operations. The company provides SMB's with an ability to have a qualified outsourced marketing department for an investment that any business that has opened their doors can afford.

The goal post has changed from the original business plan of 1,000 clients over 5 years. Our sales targets have been moved by 2 years and now the entire team is in a spin working out how they will achieve this goal in 3 years. 

It's an ambitious task, but one that is doable and if something is too easy, then it won't be as rewarding. Stretching ourselves and pushing limits, dreaming big and opening doors, is something that will keep everyone in the game.

Maikayla's thoughts:
How to get non-sales people to bring in leads


  • Untapped market of startup and early stage businesses are falling to the wayside as our typical client has revenues of $2 million plus - yet we can easily provide services at a reduced cost to this target audience.
  • We are not presenting what we do to the people who influence SMB's - namely Accounting and Legal firms.
  • Employees all need to take initiative and bring in clients - not just the people who are hired to do so. 
  • We have the best brand in the market, with the highest level of service and delivery - and everyone should know about it. We need to do PR. 

The reason we have not done much PR in the US operations is because as a founder and business owner, I wanted to wait for Maikayla (#24yrold) to settle in to the role and as I travel so much, it should not just be about me. Our brand has evolved and its about the new kids on the block. 

"How do I get everyone to think like me and go out there and bring in new clients," said #24yrold.

My answer: Empower them to reach their full potential and give them incentive to grow the business.

Don't get me wrong - our business in Atlanta is exceeding all expectations, but the fire in #24yrold's belly and my own ambitions are pushing us to another level and no matter what we do, we want more. This hunger, which I have never experienced before, supercedes and sales or marketing forecasts. 

Today, #24yrold had a chat to me and said, "you know that thing I was talking to you about last night?". 

I said, "yes."

#24yrold said, "Alphonso did it today without me even asking or having that motivational conversation I was going to have with them."

Quietly chuffed that her team was on board, #24yrold is kicking goals, delivering and creating a culture of proactive, dynamic young people who together make a formidable team.

Alphonso is incredibly bright. Possibly the smartest person we have ever employed. He dresses each day for success, and is a wordsmith - ensuring that all of our clients communications are on-point.

It's great to see the team working together, making decisions as a group rather than as individuals and picking up the slack for their fellow employees. 

When was the last time you had a non-sales person bring in a hot lead?
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

7 comments

  • Geoff Miller
    Geoff Miller
    15/03/14

    It is common practice for businesses to reach new customers through incentivized referrals from existing customers. A variation of that approach can be used to encourage non-sales employees to engage their own business network connections to reach potential new clients. The trick is to be very clear about what outcomes constitute a real referral and exactly what has to happen for that incentive to be rewarded. What is the bar-- contact name that leads to making a presentation? ... "finders fee" commission on value of an actual contract?... Making sure everyone knows that the incentive is tied to a specific outcome is very important and can avoid misunderstandings and hard feelings.

  • Michael Scrnaton
    Michael Scrnaton
    13/03/14

    @Melissa - You hit the nail on the head with the word empower. If you have a culture where employees feel empowered, they will love what they do and feel like a part of the team and part of the company's success. If you don't, as in you sit them in a cubicle and expect them to do X process in a set and specific way, you can't expect them to feel like "an important member of the business" because you are sending them the message from the get-go that they are "a replaceable cog in the machine" a "resource" instead of a human whose involvement in the company is important.

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