— Perry Marshall
I was triggered to ask Perry Marshall to join the Exploring Forward-Thinking Workplaces conversation by a recent email he sent on a ’30-Minute MBA in Persuasion & Articulation.’
In the email, Perry described his interest in using marketing to SHIFT THE CULTURE and his fascination with the following question:
Shifting the culture and having bigger conversations that break down barriers are at the heart of the interviews we do at Exploring Forward-Thinking Workplaces. I’m delighted that Perry agreed to do this interview and share his remarkable insights on 80/20 and much more.
Perry Marshall is one of the most expensive and sought-after business consultants in the world. He is the author of the world’s most popular books on advertising, marketing, and sales including Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, 80/20 Sales & Marketing, Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, and Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing.
However, Perry’s expertise goes well beyond sales and marketing and spans engineering, art, and psychology. He founded the $10 million Evolution 2.0 Prize to solve one of the leading mysteries in science. He is also the author of Evolution 2.0.
How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally?
Perry Marshall: You do that by being very selective about who you hire. You do that by being willing to fire people that don’t match. I think that people have this idea that it’s their job to give everybody else a job and that is not true. That’s Marxism. It doesn’t work. It’s catastrophic. You should hire slow and fire fast.
People can say anything they want. A lot of times it’s not true. Sometimes because they’re lying. More often it’s not true because they don’t understand themselves, or they don’t know what they’re capable of. Sometimes they’re nervous, or they’re just trying to find a job, or they’re just trying to say what the interviewer thinks they want to hear.
If you wanted a bass player for your band, you would not invite them over to your house and spend two hours talking about Primus and Getty Lee. You would ask them to bring a bass and play. If you were doing a Shakespeare play or any kind of play, you would have them act. You wouldn’t sit there and talk about Shakespeare.
One of the mistakes people make when they hire people is they just get everybody together to talk. They hire the person who’s most fun to talk to. What you should do is devise a task and give it to them to do. You may even hire them for an hour or for a day to do the task. Or you may bring them on as a temporary person and say here, “Do this.” You don’t listen to what they say, you watch what they do. Now, when you do that, then you will get A players. If they’re an A player, then their voice matters. They thrive, and they find meaning. If they’re a B player or a C player – especially if they’re a C player – their voice doesn’t matter because your business is not a charity. Your business is a high-performance team.
What does it take to get an employee’s full attention and best performance?
Perry: One of the things that I realized the world needed was a way of testing how people communicate, persuade, market, and sell. We have the Myers Briggs test, which tells you if they’re an introvert, extrovert, sensing or judging. That’s useful. We have the Kolbe test, which lots of entrepreneurs refer to because it tells you how people work. For example, “Are they a quick start?” “Are they high follow through?” and stuff like that. Very useful.
Some people do it with numbers, facts, proof, and spreadsheets. Some people do it by telling stories. Some people do it with graphics. Some people do it by inventing something in the moment. Some people do it by proving how incredibly reliable and trustworthy something is. So, I created something called the Marketing DNA test. It comes as part of the 80/20 Sales and Marketing book, and we also sell it separately. Now I’m talking this test is particularly helpful in customer-facing employees. If they’re an engineer working in the back office, then this particular tool doesn’t really apply. Well, it doesn’t appear to apply, let’s put it that way.
If the person is actually talking to customers, then if they are a writer they should be answering or writing emails. If they’re a video person, then they should be live on webinars or Skype or making videos and be putting them on YouTube — or something like that. There are some people I call a hostage negotiator where you just throw them in a situation. They can maneuver their way through anything. You need to match the person to that test — to that profile.
There are some people who will sit in their cave and craft the perfect sales message in Microsoft Word. It will take three weeks. There are other people where you just give them a microphone and put them on a stage. They’re two completely different kinds of people. All of us know highly articulate people who are very good speakers and negotiators. They always send you these emails with no subject line in two sentences. It’s because their brain runs too fast for their fingers to type on the keyboard. That person should never be selling via text or copywriting.
There’s another kind of person. Their brains run a little of slower. They’re extremely thorough, and they’re very meticulous about their words. They make a great copywriter. That’s a very specific way to get full attention and best performance. Because if they’re communicating with customers through their best method, then they will like their job. They will be effective in their job. They’ll sell well. They’ll be persuasive, so you need to match that up. The bigger the company is, the more different kinds of selling modalities that you need in order to address the full needs of your audience.
Note: This is a preview of the full interview. The complete interview was selected by Apress for publication and continues in The Future of the Workplace.