Early in my career, one of my high school buddies, Keith Prowse, pulled up in a silver Porsche and said, “You should come sell laptop computers with me.”
How could I argue? I went into business with him and his brother in a little company called Knowledge Unlimited.
Laptop computers were really cool. But I spent about the first three weeks designing my first business card and never sold a darn thing. When I realized my first efforts were high on design strategy and low on results, it became a huge lesson to me.
In fact, the first thing I told Dave Elkington when we started XANT was that I didn’t even want to have business cards until we generated our first million dollars in sales.
A fancy business card doesn’t bring results. Most branding doesn’t bring results. Most PR doesn’t bring results. Most social media doesn’t bring results. Collateral at a trade show doesn’t bring results.
At the end of the day, results are the only thing that matters.
Dave, our CEO, is one of the best I’ve ever seen at being able to get things done and produce tangible results. That’s been a huge reason for our success.
I remember when I first came to work with Dave 12 years ago, I agreed to do something that needed to be done by a deadline or it would put everyone behind. I had come from a company where it didn’t really matter if you didn’t get stuff done on time so I got distracted by other pressing matters and missed the deadline.
Dave picked up the task and got it done without me. He didn’t make a big deal about it, but it
got done. At first I was very frustrated, then humbled. I realized that when you commit to get a result, you need to follow through. That is a lesson I have never forgotten, even to this day.
We’ve been ranked No. 2 in the world in social selling and XANT has been ranked No. 1 in social currency because we use social media to drive results. That’s been a theme that we’ve folded into everything we do around the inside sales space. Our first motto in the early days at InsideSales was: “Results … Not Software!”
I still have the shirt with the logo.
When in doubt, go sell something.