Questions! Kathy’s Mailbag…”Hey Kathy!” May 9th


What a week full of questions!   I received over 110 questions this week…a new benchmark!  We are answering a few here, and the rest have been answered personally…so read on!

“Hey Kathy!

(This one I received in different ways 8 different times, so obviously it is a sore spot that needs to be addressed…I will combine all 8 into one…)

We had a group event come out.  They were nominal spenders, about 50, and it was their first time. We have a fulfillment area for groups and our fulfillment are didn’t fulfill.  This groups experience was less than stellar. When discussed in our next day game recap meeting, it was brought up that those that spend more/bring more should be serviced more.  What if they were test driving us? What should we be doing?  Is this the norm? (One team member stated their boss told them:  ‘if they bring 500 out, let’s talk.  Otherwise, it’s a group. Tell them to get over it.’  ”  Many, all over

Hey Many,

This question really saddens me and I take it personally.  I had a situation with JCPenney in which I ordered a headboard 9 months ago and it was delivered damaged.  I spent 9 months calling their ‘service’ center, being hung up on, getting a different person every time, being put on hold for 45 minutes at a time, etc.  I finally wrote to the CEO of JCP 3 different times to get him to understand a very important point:  WE LOOK FOR CUSTOMERS. WE LOOK FOR PROSPECTS.  THEY ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.  TAKE CARE OF THEM AND THEY WILL COME BACK….BIGGER, STRONGER.  THEY WILL BE OUR CONSISTENCY.  BUT WE HAVE TO DO OUR JOB! Treat them poorly and not only will they not come back (Me with JCP), but they will tell hundreds of others (I just did). 

How sad that the attitude is they needed to spend more or bring more.  EVERY customer is important.  EVERY person entering our facility should be treated with the same level of respect, concern and fulfillment.  No one is better than another.  The El Paso Chihuahuas have a tremendous sign they’ve had hanging in their office for … well, since they opened.


What does the commitment of this organization to their clients tell us?  Treat everyone with the same respect, concern and fulfillment.

My recommendation:  address the elephant on the table. Call them. Let them know that they may not have told you, but you know in your heart we failed them. This is not how we want to do business. We want to make it up. We want to give them an experience they can rave about.  Then do it.

Let me know how it goes…and let’s make sure we treat all our people with the respect and service they deserve. They are our paycheck. Without them, we have nothing.

By the way, I’m sorry when you work for people who don’t realize this.


“Hey Kathy,

Someone who took your training told me that when you work on supersizing, you have a draft for the groups they create and then there’s a second person so you work together.  Why is that? Don’t people get mad that their commission is shared?”  S, east coast

Hi S,

I suppose if you want to look at it that way you could.  However, how many personal groups of 2K or more have you cultivated?  How much work does it take? I’m not talking about a company that does an employee outing, but a real creative group you had to work from scratch? How much bigger could it have become with time…or another person?
I have found that working in pairs does a couple of things:  it brings different strengths to the table, so there is constant energy focused on that group.  It also gives you the opportunity to focus and go after far more ‘who else’ that can be added to it.  You also are the support system for each other and the follow up system.

I haven’t had anyone complain to me about the fact they are working together, actually the teams that knock it out of the park are those who put the timeline in place, have their supersized calls and meeting within the month I’m there, work together to host the meeting, then hold each other accountable. At the end of the day, how do you measure success?  If you did it on your own, which I’ve seen some do, they may get 350-500.  Together they are getting 1500-3K.  Half of that is far better.

Not sure why sports feels they need to be islands in selling.  The team on the court/rink/pitch/field is a TEAM.  They can’t rely on one person to hit the goal. Others have to be contributing.  There is  a common goal, all hands in, and everyone doing their part.  Why do we do the opposite in the office? We are the opposite of teamwork on the field.  Our coaching needs to start with a true team effort.

Besides which, look at is and making friends 🙂


“Hey Kathy,

Do you believe in mentoring programs for new staff members?  If so, how would you work it?”  L, southeast

Hi L,

I am a huge believer that, if done correctly, a new employee mentoring program can be tremendous.  There are a few keys to success:

  • training the mentors, just don’t assign them
  • make sure the mentor is a good fit for the mentee
  • clearly communicate expectations
  • have check ins with the mentor
  • have check ins with the mentee
  • ask for continued input from mentors and mentees as to how to improve the program

It’s hard enough joining a new organization.  Generally there are already friendships made, people are often ignored for lunch, and we are way too quick to judge.  Having a mentor that can help break the ice, have lunch with occasionally and have a ‘sales buddy’ to ask questions to and get help from is crucial to a quicker adjustment for the new hire and a sample of leadership development for the mentor.


“Hey Kathy,

What do you do when you (or your teammates) never get acknowledged for hitting goals and leadership is forever telling us we’re not working hard enough? We’ve exceeded the revenue goal in place and are still selling, but we get negativity and nothing positive. How do we motivate ourselves?”  D, West

Oh D,

I feel for you.  There is nothing worse than never doing good enough.  Unfortunately this is some people’s leadership style, and it generally stems from inadequacies of their own in leading.  Intimidation is a rough way to lead.

Until you get another job or leader, I would say control what you can control.  What is it you can control? Your own sanity and your teammates can control theirs.  Set your own goals.  Have a celebration planned when you hit it.  Dinner? Drinks? A fun event for everybody after work? Talk to the local bar and see if they would do specials for you all if you came out to celebrate.

If leadership doesn’t want to celebrate successes, don’t let it deter you from making it happen.  Selling is hard enough without having negativity from leadership added to it. In the meantime, let’s hope leadership gets a great job leading phone book deliveries  or something similar.


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Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, SOS…Sold Out Seating

Sales and Leadership training for ‘2020 vision and beyond’! 

Contact me at:

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