[24] Scaling Sales & Growing an Empire w/ Robert Hartline

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Today I’m talking to my friend Robert Hartline. I first met Rob at Big Snow Tiny Conf which is the ski/snowboard and business mastermind getaway that I co-organize up in Vermont. Robert built an amazing business that has grown far beyond what most of us from online spaces can really imagine.

Beyond growing a massive chain of Wireless stores, from 1 up to 51 stores, he runs a successful SaaS company called CallProof for sales teams, a ride-sharing app, and so many projects while being able to balance time with family and keep doing the things he’s good at.

Sales. That’s probably the superpower Rob brings to the table. First as a sales person himself, then also training and hiring sales people as to truly scale a business. We dug into comparing B2B vs selling to consumers, also on-the-floor vs online vs on-the-phone. Rob shares many personal anecdotes that shaped the way he approach sales and business.

Enjoy!

Episode Notes

[5:05] Rob talks about his successful app, CallProof, a software to track sales activity and support sales people. Also, how Rob manages his time, and the concept of time-shifting.

  • “In long cycle sales, the question you should ask yourself is: what is the activity you did today to warrant a sale tomorrow?”
  • “I do not commute, I’m allergic to traffic. I create time through time-shifting. Because the only thing we have control over, is our time.”

[11:30] Rob’s funny story on how he got into sales because of a peephole. Then how he evolved from there, and how he turned a problem into an opportunity solving phone problems.

  • “In retail, it’s all about your location. If you are 100% B2B, it’s about your sales people.”
  • “People is still buying in retail and the shopping experience is not replaced by online.”

[22:40] Comparison between selling phone accessories vs online products like SaaS apps. Techniques to get customers on-board.

  • “CallProof is an easy sale if I’m with an owner with the same pain I had in the past.”
  • “Online nor offline, in sales, all that matters is your rapport building process.”

[30:02] Hiring sales people, and teaching the sales process. Rob shares a personal story on how he learned to delegate the sales the hard way.

  • “There’s no possible freaking way to ever scale your business if you are the sales guy. While you’re selling, your company needs leadership.”
  • “Video is the most underutilized tool that we have.”

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