The Seven (New) Habits of Successful Marketers in 2021 with Matt Heinz
Reading Time: 15 minutes
Overview: Learn from Matt Heinz, the President of Heinz Marketing, seven habits of successful marketers. Become a more successful marketer with these habits including, empathy, diplomacy and radical curiosity and more!
About the speaker: More than 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations, vertical industries and company sizes. Career has focused on delivering measurable results for his employers and clients in the way of greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.
Held various positions at companies such as Microsoft, Weber Shandwick, Boeing, The Seattle Mariners, Market Leader and Verdiem. In 2007, began Heinz Marketing to help clients focus their business on market and customer opportunities, then execute a plan to scale revenue and customer growth.
Hi, this is Matt Heinz from Heinz marketing. Thanks so much for having me to another great ChatFunnels Summit, it was an honor to be part of this session. Last year, in the early fall of 2020, an excited to be part of this again, we are at the beginning of a new year. It’s a little odd to think about 12 months ago versus 10 months ago, 10 months ago feels very similar to what it is right now. 10 months ago, we shut down our offices many of us had, and I was working from this very basement. It is 10 months later, and I’m still working from this very basement. But 12 months ago was very different. 12 months ago, at the beginning of 2020, in late January of 2020, we definitely had some different ideas of what we might be facing for the year.
I was literally faced with this reality two days ago, building a fire in our fireplace. We get the newspaper on a daily basis. Sometimes I recycle it, I got a bin for our fireplace, I have a bin for our outside fire pit, I saved the newspaper, you know starters. We got a little low, it’s been a little cold here outside of Seattle. So we’ve been doing a fire most nights. I got a little low. I’d post some paper, a newspaper out of the bin. It was the 2020 outlook special edition of The Wall Street Journal is one of their special inserts, talking about what 2020 was going to be like, what the year was going to have in store what the what the market and the economy was gonna look like.
So it took me a while to start the fire because I literally sat down and read it again. It reminded me how much the world has changed. It reminded me how different our jobs are now. You may have the same job you did 10 months ago or 12 months ago, the same role, the same function, the same company, but think about how much has changed. If I would have sat here 12 months ago at the end of January 2020, and said, I’m going to describe for you the seven key areas of growth and success for marketers in 2020.
If I would have said here are the attributes, seven attributes of the most successful marketers in 2020, it probably would be little different than what it looks like now. Because even as we kind of see a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, even as we start to see vaccines roll out, and we start to see that there is a path towards getting out of the health situation we’re in right now. The Economics of where we are continuing even for those companies that were not as adversely affected by the pandemic, you still have a CFO in many cases, sorry, you have a CFO, who is still being very conservative with cash, rightfully so saying,
Listen, like we made it through 2020, we may have hit our number, we have exceeded our number. But do you really need all that extra money? Because we pulled back on field marketing in 2020, and everything turned out okay. So why do you need that money now? The playing field is changed. Field marketing, as we knew it 12 months ago, has not come back. Selling channels traditionally getting in front of doing traditional sales calls, has not come back. Now maybe that’s not that big a deal. For those that have been selling remotely for a while.
We have a lot of manufacturing clients who are used to going and sitting in front of their prospects with a box of samples, that has changed dramatically. It is accelerated certain trends in b2b sales and marketing as well. It’s not like all of a sudden, we went from a purely offline sale into purely digital selling. It’s not like all of a sudden we went from a more vibrant mix of in-infield, market events and digital events. And then all of a sudden went digital. These were trends that happened to suddenly and then see me slowly.
Then suddenly, these are all things that have had been happening for years and the pandemic accelerated. The pandemic also changed some of the rules of how we work together. And at least for the time being, some of those rules are still gonna stick around and I believe some of those are gonna maintain for a while. So look, no matter what you what you believe in terms of the longevity of our lockdowns and the continued impact of the pandemic and its impact suppression on doing field events, getting back to some level of traditional selling, getting back to some level of field marketing events.
There’s a lot of change that’s permanent. And I think that’s changing the attributes of what a successful marketer looks like in 2021 and beyond. So I want to spend just a couple minutes here talking about what I consider some of the most important attributes of marketers today.
If you’re sitting in a role today and you hear something that doesn’t sound familiar, I encourage you to spend some time looking into it. Don’t look at like marketers role for these things. Look at what it means to fundamentally be these things. Find out what successful people have done in history that have been good at these elements. I think these are not just marketer lessons. These are not just lessons. Hopefully, these are some life lessons that we can all use to become better professionals, to become better teammates to become better managers, and to become better leaders in the months and years ahead.
So my seven areas of focus my seven key attributes of successful marketing and sales professionals in 2021, number one, on that list is something that I used to I had a version of this that I used to present on. Then the last part of the presentation, the last attribute I would get to was empathy. I think empathy encompasses so much of what we do as sales and marketing professionals, your ability to have empathy for your customer, to understand what they care about to understand what makes them tick, to understand what problems they have in a way that they may not understand themselves.
To be empathetic about that, not to tell them what to do, but to help them reach discovery for themselves. On the nature of the problem, impact, the degree of the problem and what it takes us all for that. Empathy also applies to your peers across the aisle. Sales and Marketing, understanding that you each have a very hard job, you had a hard job before the pandemic, you know her job 1213 months ago, you have a harder job.
Now, let’s assume the best of intentions for the people we’re working with. It’s part of what empathy means. Assume that sales is doing their best to try to close opportunities that marketing gives them. Assume sales, that marketing is trying to give you qualified opportunities is trying to give you good leads. Look, this shit is hard, right? Doing this work is hard. And it’s getting harder, not only as opportunities, close the field, but as sales cycles lengthen, its buying committees get larger, as the marketplace is all of our competitive marketplaces get more crowded and more noisy. So having some empathy along the way, and exhibiting some empathy makes a really, really big difference along the way. So number one on list is empathy.
Number two, absolutely is a tolerance for complexity. Gone are the days when you could just say, listen, marketing is easy. I’m gonna get lists, I’m going to send emails to a list. I’m gonna send some message to a list. Some people are going to respond. Some people are going to fill out a form anybody that gets to that point. If they fill out a form, great, they’ve raised their hand. I’m throwing those to sales. That is a nice, clean, linear progression of demandgen that is no longer relevant. And may never have been particularly efficient. Unless you are selling a truly transactional product. Unless your sale is the equivalent of picking up People Magazine as you check out of the grocery store. I guarantee you, there’s complexity that you need to make sure you’re accounting for and your sales or marketing process.
Some of that complexity could be the nature of the buying committee. There may be one senior decision maker. But I bet you there are other people in the organization that have a vested interest in solving the problem. Of vested interest in reaching some kind of solution that points them towards a better outcome. I’ll bet you there are members of the buying committee that may be negative influencers. People that would prefer the status quo to stay the same. Let alone the procurement department. Which is the sales prevention department in many organizations.
So you’ve got complexity in the people involved, you call complexity in the stages, the different steps that go along. If you actually sort of forget your sales process, if you actually documented the stages that your prospect goes through every individual step a prospect goes through, from the time they exhibit a behavior of a problem, maybe even just start from the time they reach out to you or you reach out to them. Like if every action is a step. How many steps is that? I bet it’s a lot.
For those of you that have sales cycles that are not measured in weeks, maybe even months, but are measured in quarters. God help you if you’re selling into the federal government, and now you’re measuring your sales stages in Olympic cycles. It’s like, well, what’s this deal? Let’s deal with our better pipeline for a while. I’m hoping it closes by Tokyo, we’ll see. So that’s part of the complexity, let alone the complexity that we add in terms of how we execute all of this internally.
I’ve seen multiple studies now before 2020, but especially since last year, that indicate the biggest challenge. the biggest obstacle for many sellers is not navigating the buyers ecosystem but navigating their own ecosystem. Who’s doing what? Where does the data set? How do we know when someone is ready to hear from us? How do we get the right signals and intense signals and data to be able to determine when someone’s ready for a conversation? There are lots of great ad hoc agile ways to do that quickly.
How do we do that at scale? How do we do that in a way that is process driven? That is predictable, that is repeatable? Look, I wish sales and marketing was easier as well. I wish it was as easy as sending an email getting response and putting someone through a funnel and eventually something close. It’s not that easy. It’s not gonna get a lot simpler. The more you can embrace the complexity of the process internally and externally, the more likely you’re going to be successful at addressing it and creating systems processes messages to make it work. So that’s number two is the tolerance for complexity.
Number three, is diplomacy. And diplomacy is how you get things done inside your organization. It’s how you get the it’s how you negotiate resources within your own department and across departments. It’s how you reach mutual wins to make sure you’re not fighting for someone else’s resources. So you win they lose, you need to be in a situation where everybody wins. That might mean some compromise. It might also mean being really clear about what you want, and being really clear about what the outcomes look like and being really clear about what the process is going to be to get there.
This is a little bit of knowing how to negotiate. And knowing how to negotiate in a situation where you can address and be empathetic to the other side. But make no mistake as you’re negotiating for budget. As you’re negotiating to get the sales organization to adopt a particular process. As you’re negotiating and working with the catalyst inside the buying organization to help them build consensus amongst the internal buying Committee.
The language you use the approach you use, that is diplomacy. And this is one of those cases where I mentioned up front. The more you can learn about what great diplomats do. What diplomatic strategy looks like, a joke, go read about Kissinger. Go read about some of the great secretaries of state in the history of the United States. You’ll learn a lot about skills that are transferable into your roles and sales and marketing later. So number three, is diplomacy.
Number four is radical curiosity. your prospect doesn’t want to be told that they’re wrong. Your colleagues don’t want to be told that they’re wrong. Anytime I need to change as an individual, I’m more likely to pursue that change. I’m more likely to commit to that change if I come to the realization myself that change is needed. So instead of telling me what I need to know. Ask me questions that make me curious. Show that you are curious about their situation. Show that you are curious and interested in hearing more about their situation. Ask questions that get your prospect to think differently about the problems that they may or may not know that they have.
If you learn how to ask the right questions, and again, this is based on how well you know the prospect to begin with, the better you know your personas, the better you know that detail your buying committee, the more likely you know how to craft those questions in a way that helps the prospects see the future in a different way that helps them challenge their status quo. If you’re able to do that successfully, you’ve got a prospect that simply in evaluating and reflecting on your question is learning. There is value not in the answer, but in the process.
And if you do that, well, if you figure out how to ask those questions, if you exhibit radical curiosity, and this is honestly like, there’s a reason why I put this right after diplomacy, because great diplomats, great negotiators, don’t tell. They let the other side feel like they’re under control.
They let the other side come to a conclusion on their own. It feels like it’s their solution now not yours that you are shoehorning into that. So the better you can exhibit that level of curiosity, the better you can just continue to ask questions, not just about the situation about the status quo, but about the impact it has. What’s the motivation behind the change? What will the what will it feel like once that change happens? And how do you compare that feeling of the of achieving that outcome with the feeling that prospect has right now?
And the fear they have right now about the lack of confidence that they’re going to achieve that outcome? There’s a questions you could ask. These are questions you can address in your marketing. These are questions you can teach a junior BDR to ask. We hear people all the time say how can I expect my 22 year old recent college grad to understand their prospects industry? Well, well, maybe you can’t. But know your prospect well enough to teach your sales reps, even your junior sales reps, how to be curious and how to translate that curiosity into asking the right questions. So number four is radical Curiosity.
Number five is ethics. I debated whether I wanted to call these values you could address it as having a real strong company culture. But look everyone’s gonna have a different way of what that looks of how that looks. And to me it is comes down to just knowing what’s right and doing what’s right. Not doing what’s quick. Not doing what’s easy. You know, I think you know, for me just a little you know, my I grew up in Northern California. What my family’s I’m from the Midwest, and my grandpa and my dad. And really my mom and my dad, they taught me the the impact and the importance of humility and hard work. You put your hard hat on everyday, you just do the work, you get the work done.
You appreciate the impact that has you don’t seek glory, you don’t seek fame. It’s not about doing anything else, it’s about just doing work, and feeling good about that work. It’s not just being excited to go to work in the morning. And it’s about feeling good about yourself and being proud of yourself when you go home. I think that if you’re expecting to be in business longer than this month, longer than this quarter. You can’t afford to make the short cuts and take the short cuts when you start to feel desperate. This has been an interesting year for that. A lot of us a lot of people have suffered deeply with their jobs in their businesses with their health and their families.
A lot of people have been scared for businesses that have been successful for years. If not decades, and all of a sudden the pandemic makes people desperate. I believe that the way people have reacted in the last 10 months. The way people have reacted and treated their employees, their customers, their prospects. The generosity and grace that they have exhibited within their industries. That’s going to echo for a very long time. And I think that is based on a set of ethics that you determine. So whether you codify that in values or in your culture. Or you just write it down, say, this is what we believe this is how we act. Your lines, we don’t cross. That may sound like sort of senior leadership, CEO stuff.
But if you haven’t decided what your ethics are, if you haven’t decided where your lines are. Then it’s gonna be really hard to know whether you cross them or not. So I think for me, that’s why number five is is is ethics, and why that’s so important for marketers in this environment. We talked about a tolerance for complexity.
For me, number six is a tolerance for chaos. God help you like even last 10 months, you know, you know, caught him globally, we sort of been forced to operate in that environment, let’s not pretend all of a sudden, one day we’re gonna wake up at a switch is going to be it’s going to be gonna be switched, and all of a sudden, everything’s gonna be good. Like, you know, if you’re in a fast paced, growth based company, you’re used to, you’re used to both the complexity and the chaos to begin with, you’re used to things moving at a pace and changing at a pace that sometimes is uncomfortable. It’s part of the deal.
And I think as we continue to recalibrate, what’s working what’s not, as we continue to find the right balance between digital channels and non digital channels, we start to emerge back into the world. Today, it’s easy to say, well, we’re gonna completely be digital, we’ll just wait until your competitors go back to an event, just wait till one of your colleagues appears, shows up at your customers office, again, people are gonna start to change their mind again.
So knowing that the way you’re operating today is likely to change again, knowing that to begin with having a tolerance for chaos will make it easier for you to accept those uncertain times and uncertain situations, being willing to be the first to address it the first to announce it. The first is to, to, to be the first to say, Hey, listen, things are different, we need to make a change, if you’re willing to step up and make that and make that discovery and share that with your team. It gives you a little more control over the outcome, it gives you a little more control of the conditions and variables, you can now put into play to make a change, to put a little bit of management around that chaos.
And last before I run out of time, here is number seven for me is grace. I started with empathy. And I ended with grace. This is a really tough time. You know, we’ve been through a lot in the last 10 months. And we’ve got more to go through. And, you know, as I’m doing this presentation, I’m clearly not in my office. I’m clearly not on stage somewhere. I’m in my basement. As I record this, I can hear my kids running around upstairs, they should be in school, maybe they’re in a break, but like what are they doing right? You know, the geographic circumference I am in these last several months, probably not that different than many of you. We are not robots. We are not purely professionals. And we are full human beings.
I appreciate that we’ve been able to see a little more into each other’s lives. I appreciate that. That’s the reason why like I had a little background I could have put on behind there so you can see a little Heinz marketing logo on whatever now this is, this is me, this is my basement. This is where I am. This is where I’m working. I got my piano back here I got some baseball bats over here I got my daughter’s art that’s my wife and I when I was a lot skinnier and a lot younger. This is where we are. So understanding the full situation that your colleagues and your prospects and your customers are situated in having an empathy for that but also proactively exhibiting some grace for the moment and understanding and asking people, how are you doing?
And then especially people internally, especially your direct reports, okay no, really, no how are you doing? To get the real answer people will appreciate even if you don’t have something you can do about their answer. just continuing to ask that question, it doesn’t get old. Just because it’s been 10 months doesn’t people are getting used to this situation, I literally had someone this morning, tell me that they said they I don’t know, I don’t know that the treadmill can run any faster right now. I feel like we’re at max speed on the treadmill.
People are still facing all of this. And if you feel like your colleagues are facing that, if you feel like your peers are facing that, if you feel like your board is stressed out, your customers and prospects are feeling the same way. And asking them how they’re feeling and exhibiting some grace in the moment with them for them together with them, I think means a lot.
So I’m happy to talk more about conversion rates, more about mass marketing more by predictable pipeline, we get into all that. But in this moment, I thought it was important to step back and just talk about what some of the common components are, that I think are gonna make marketers and sales professionals successful throughout at least the remainder of 2021 and likely very beyond. It has been a pleasure to be here with you. Thank you so much for listening. And thank you for staying here till the end. Thank you so much to the ChatFunnels team, for letting me be part of this. It’s an honor to do this. And thank you very much for watching. Best of luck to all of you in the remainder of 2021 be well we’ll see you soon.