Tech Sales is for Hustlers Podcast

Episode 01: Matt Crush

Episode 01: Matt Crush – The Value of a $20K Pay Cut

Would you have the courage to take a $20,000 pay cut to change careers and chart a course for a brighter professional future? That’s precisely what Matt Crush did in order to launch his tech sales career back in 2016. Today he serves as a highly successful Director of Business Development at Resonate and he’s never looking back.

In this inaugural Tech Sales is for Hustlers podcast episode, you’ll hear how (and why) Matt bet on himself, what transpired when he went a whole year without closing a sale, and glean insight from a range of valuable lessons he learned from working with two clients during his tenure at memoryBlue.

Full Episode Transcript

Name: Matt Crush
Title: Director, Business Development
Company: Resonate
Exit Year from memoryBlue: 2016
Months at memoryBlue: 4
Alumni Path: Hired Out

***Introduction***

Matt Crush:
So deal sizes, do you want to know what my average deal size was?

Chris Corcoran:
What’s that?

Matt Crush:
$0. I spent a year in that job and I didn’t sell a single penny.

Marc Gonyea:
You just heard Matt Crush, Director of Business Development at Resonate. Matt took a $20,000 pay cut to come work for us. He had a year in the desert without closing a single deal and is still crushing it at Resonate, pun intended. Thanks for listening to the first ever episode of Tech Sales for Hustlers. Hi, I’m Mark Gonyea.

Chris Corcoran:
and I’m Chris Corcoran, and you’re listening to Tech Sales is for Hustlers. Tech Sales is for Hustlers is a podcast where we catch up with memoryBlue alums and reminisce about their start in high tech sales with us.

Marc Gonyea:
Let’s go get some Corcoran!

Chris Corcoran:
Gonyea. You know, I’m ready.

***Episode 01: Matt Crush***

Marc Gonyea:
Welcome Matt.

Matt Crush:
Hey, thanks for having me.

Marc Gonyea:
Great. I know we’re very glad you’re here and I’m super excited.

Matt Crush:
Me too.

Marc Gonyea:
So just to kind of reacquaint Matt and the audience, for those who know him and those who don’t, Matt worked at memoryBlue starting May 2nd, 2016, and had a kind of short tenure. Matt left August 31st, 2016, four months later. And that was primarily because he did a phenomenal job working for Resonate, your client, and they converted you and you’re still working there today.

Matt Crush:
Very true.

Marc Gonyea:
All right. So one of the things we want to do is just kind of give a little background, offer a little color about you. So let’s talk about that. So where are you from?

Matt Crush:
I’m from Southwest Virginia, a small town called Troutville, kind of near  Virginia Tech. I went to George Mason for school. My mom said I could go anywhere I wanted, as long as it was in state and public. So George Mason was the farthest away I could get.

Marc Gonyea:
So let’s go back to that. So Troutville, born and raised.

Matt Crush:
The Roanoke area. But my mom was a principal at Troutville. She was my principal at Troutville Elementary.

Marc Gonyea:
Ok, one of those kids.

Matt Crush:
Yes.

Marc Gonyea:
No Southwest Virginia accent.

Matt Crush:
I appreciate that.

Marc Gonyea:
Okay. That’s a compliment. Chris has got one. Chris will be insulted. It comes in every now and then. What’d you do in high school? Were you a sports person? A job person? A club person?

Matt Crush:
Musical theater and musical choir. In the small town of Troutville, I was like the only guy doing that. It was a lot of fun. Do you want to go to a musical sometime? Let me know.

Chris Corcoran:
At triple threat.

Matt Crush:
No, I can’t dance. I tried. I tried to tap dance. It was a disaster.

Marc Gonyea:
Okay, so let’s talk. So Mason. How’d you end up at Mason?

Matt Crush:
I visited all the public schools. I really liked the diversity. It was close to DC. At the time, I kind of thought it was on the Metro and I’d be in DC all the time. Little did I know, Fairfax isn’t really in DC. But I lived there and now I’ve been migrating slowly since graduating.

Marc Gonyea:
We almost missed this, Matt. In addition to being a triple threat, he was also a Boy Scout. So you are officially a triple threat.

Matt Crush:
I was very cool in high school if you can’t tell, between Boy Scouts and musical theater.

Marc Gonyea:
Can we end the podcast now just knowing your mom was the principal at your school growing up?

Chris Corcoran:
That’s radioactive.

Marc Gonyea:
The good goody two shoes. But this is serious. Let’s talk about the Eagle Scout because Chris and I are interviewing people. We’re always looking for people who are sort of committed to something bigger than themselves. It could be an Eagle Scout. I wasn’t focused enough to be an Eagle Scout growing up, but it could be something else. But what did that mean to you?

Matt Crush:
I think that’s something that definitely still affects me to this day, just in terms of everything from, you know, being raised by a single mother. So having those male figures in my life was really great being outdoors and  roughing it.

But specifically the Eagle Scout project where it was an undertaking and a half and I was, you know, nights, weekends, everything from rallying people who are volunteers, they don’t have to show up. And learning how to direct them and making those mistakes at a really young age, to managing budgets and making sure that when you say you’re going to do something, you do it all the way through to the end.

Marc Gonyea:
What was your project?

Matt Crush:
For the church that hosted my Boy Scout troop, I did landscaping of like 120 bushes and trees and shrubs. And then for awhile after that, there was no, and this is partially on me, but there was no succession plan of who’s going to take care of that? And so that continued for a year after school, going and watering plants. So I was like, guys, I’m graduating. I’m going to get out of here.

Chris Corcoran:
When was the last time you were by that by that church and saw that the landscaping?

Matt Crush:
Years ago. So my mom has since moved to Germany, so I really have no reason to go back.

Marc Gonyea:
Man, I just want to meet your mom. She did a phenomenal job. Great work. Pass it on to her in Deutschland.

So Mason, all those things, all those great reasons why you went to Mason all make a lot of sense. Let’s talk about what you decided to major in.

Matt Crush:
So I studied public administration. I minored in economics because I love politics. I love government, but I didn’t want to be in elected office. I wanted to be a city manager, which in the state of Virginia is not an elected office, but in other states it is. My thought process was be an executive of a city, basically the CEO of a town, right? Maybe go effect change, build a park, whatever. I graduated and went to work for the Fairfax County government.

And I can’t say enough good things about the opportunities they gave me there at a really young age, they definitely took a risk on me. However, I quickly found that government was not the career path I wanted to go down. It was very much that nine to five, “Hey, the work will be here tomorrow.” I was looking for something faster paced. Something that like I didn’t want to leave work at home. When I went home, I wanted something that was engaging and, and a big part of my life.

Marc Gonyea:
Got it.

Chris Corcoran:
And so back to Mason, so you were, uh, I guess we could talk a little bit about the fraternity. Yeah. Greek life. Yeah. So, uh, what fraternity did you join? When did you join? What inspires you to do so?

Matt Crush:
I joined SAE, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. They didn’t call it that at Mason, but I’ve heard it referred to as such. I joined first semester freshman year. The guy who was my orientation leader, we ran into each other at the bookstore and he’s like, “Hey man, you wanna go to a party?” And I was like, yeah, I want to go to a party. And you know, we started hanging out and he actually became my big brother. I was in his wedding earlier this year.

Chris Corcoran:
Did you want to join a fraternity when you were in high school or?

Matt Crush:
Definitely not, no. I thought that they were elitist social clubs for like rich dudes, not guys whose mom was a principal.

Chris Corcoran:
So you had a connection with the orientation leader?

Matt Crush:
I did, yeah. We, we hit it off and it turns out, you know, they were just cool, normal dudes like hanging out and, you know, there was a service aspect to it. They had the best GPA on campus, which once again makes me sound a little cool, but like, I wanted to make sure I didn’t go to college and like flunk out.

Chris Corcoran:
Of course. So then within your fraternity, Greek life, you ended up becoming the president of SAE?

Matt Crush:
I did, which was, you know, I found a way to take something that’s supposed to be about fun and partying and I turned it into work, but that’s pretty typical me.

Chris Corcoran:
That’s great. Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. Excellent. Excellent. So post college, you ended up going to work for Fairfax County and how long did you work there?

Matt Crush:
So between my internship and my full time, I want to say like two years. Yeah. Yeah. So I was, uh, an intern and then I, I worked there full time my last semester of college. And then I went and worked,  I graduated in 2015. I came to work for you guys in ’16, so almost a year and a half full time actually.

Chris Corcoran:
And so how did memoryBlue into your life?

Matt Crush:
So I knew that I wanted to leave. I was unhappy. I had a midlife crisis at like 22, a quarter life crisis. Anyway, I reached out to a lot of family, friends, mentors. I bugged my friends to let me talk to their parents who had cool jobs, who were executives at companies like Coke and Amazon and like, “Hey, I don’t know what they do.” Let me see if I can figure it out. And explored everything from, you know, being a lobbyist to work in tech sales and ultimately through the advice of others and reading books that they recommended about their jobs and industries to try and get a sense of things: is this interesting or am I like halfway through the book and I just don’t care anymore?

I decided that tech sales was something I wanted, you know, that challenging piece that it’s not nine to five problem solving.  I explored a few things. I almost took a job in Omaha selling insurance to insurers. Thank God I didn’t take that. Eventually a friend of mine, Natalie, who had worked with Kristen Wisdorf at some campus publication sales organization suggested I should check (you) guys out. She connected me with Kristin and I interviewed and the rest is history.

Chris Corcoran:
So tell me more about Natalie.

Matt Crush:
She went to George Mason University.

Chris Corcoran:
A friend of yours?

Matt Crush:
Yeah, she’s just a friend actually. We were at a networking happy hour last night.

Chris Corcoran:
And she knows Kristen somehow?

Matt Crush:
She does. Yeah. Her Around Campus work?

Chris Corcoran:
Around Campus.

Matt Crush:
Yeah.

Marc Gonyea:
This would be the interesting thing when we come back to what he’s doing now, he had this initial interest in going to Mason and government and, and serving the greater good. And you’re involved in that now, ironically enough, which we’ll get to just a little preview.

Chris Corcoran:
So Natalie introduces you to Kristen or she told you about memoryBlue.

Matt Crush:
She told me about memoryBlue. I watched it like a video on your website on your website. I was kind of skeptical at first. She did an email intro to Kristen kind of after I decided not to take that job in Omaha. I was like, all right, let me take another look at this.

Chris Corcoran:
I see.

Matt Crush:
As I learned about it more you know, it sounds scary, right? And your business model isn’t typical. Right.

Marc Gonyea:
What’s scary about it? Because I agree.

Matt Crush:
I think that there’s that aspect of, okay, they hire people but they hire them but they don’t want to keep them.

Matt Crush:
I was thinking, what’s the catch?

Chris Corcoran:
Catch and release!

Matt Crush:
But I don’t know, there’s, I almost worried is it a sweatshop? What is it like? I don’t know, there’s that level of, come on, what’s really going on with these guys? Yeah. So I think that, you know, hearing Natalie having that person who’s says, no, Kristen’s cool. This is a real thing. Check it out at least.

Marc Gonyea:
So play that out. What was it like then? So you interviewed and did it? Yeah, I don’t remember anything about that. It’s okay if you don’t.

Matt Crush:
I’m trying to think. I remember I took an aptitude test that I later found out that I barely passed from Matt Miller. So I don’t know if that is, that is truth or him just pulling my leg, but yeah.

Marc Gonyea:
That “do gooder” in you might hold you back a little?

Matt Crush:
Yeah, I think he said I was overly conformist. I like to take direction from authority. I think so. Do you guys still use that test?

Chris Corcoran:
We’ve been using that for 17 years. 18 years. Okay. Absolutely. So, my recollection was Tiana was your recruiter.

Matt Crush:
Yup.

Chris Corcoran:
She, she gave me a call. She could literally read my mind. She would always, whenever she would call me and say, “Hey Chris, I got someone you’re going to love.” She was right 100% of the time.

So she, I remember very vividly, she called me up and said, “Hey Chris, I got someone you’re really, really gonna love. He’s working in local government. He wants to get into high tech sales, but he needs to take a pay cut, a pretty substantial one. And so I need you to go have breakfast with them. Silver diner out in Fair Lakes.”

Matt Crush:
I was there are a few weeks ago, and I was like, Oh my God this is the place.

Chris Corcoran:
Like that’s actually where Mark and I interviewed our very first employee.

Marc Gonyea:
I was praying those guys were going to take the job. I was so nervous about having an employee for the first time.

Chris Corcoran:
I guess remind me a little bit about your situation that you had to take a substantial pay cut.

Matt Crush:
$20,000.

Chris Corcoran:
A $20,000 pay cut. That’s substantial. This is a, this is at the age of 22, 23?

Matt Crush:
Yes, I was 22 and I started May 2nd, my 23rd birthday was May 29th.

Chris Corcoran:
So you take a $20,000 pay cut.

Matt Crush:
Yes.

Marc Gonyea:
Took a $20,000 pay cut to come work for some guys with a catch and release program.

Matt Crush:
Yes. Yes.

Chris Corcoran:
So did you, did you ask your mom about this?

Matt Crush:
I asked everybody about it. Okay.

Chris Corcoran:
Oh, and what were some of the things you heard? Did people think you were crazy?

Matt Crush:
Oh, especially at the County,  I think that most people were supportive, but I think that the people at the County, once again, like out of pure concern for me and people who I had worked with and endeared myself to not wanting me to go to a, I don’t know, sweatshop. You look at some of the reviews online, not every single one of them is positive. And so I think that there’s that, that fear that can come along.

Chris Corcoran:
There’s no pension.

Matt Crush:
No pension. Well look, everybody said things like, “Oh my God, you’re starting so early, you’re going to be able to retire at like 50,” which is cool. But lat 22, I didn’t want to work for 30 years and every year being like, but I get to retire 28 more years.

Chris Corcoran:
Those are my brothers boys, if you’re listening.

Matt Crush:
But once again, I have a lot of friends that work in that space who love it. It just didn’t match my personality.

Chris Corcoran:
Sure, great career, not for me.

Marc Gonyea:
So you went through with it. Chris did his thing. He did the Silver Diner, which is great. I’m sure he was super excited about you coming potentially work here.

Matt Crush:
Yeah. I was trying to really push, I was really hoping that Chris is going to have some sort of counter offer. Like I was going to get a little bit more money.

Marc Gonyea:
We don’t do that.

Matt Crush:
That was made very apparent.

Chris Corcoran:
We gave everyone the same deal and it’s what you make of it in reality.  Through the years we’ve hired over a thousand people. And some people capitalize on the opportunity and take it and run with it, people like you. And then some people don’t. So it really is a testament of you and the people like you who are able to capitalize on it, on the opportunity. One question I have for you is what ultimately inspires you to take that $20,000 pay cut and come and work at memoryBlue?

Matt Crush:
I was unhappy. But I also saw it as an investment in two ways.

One is a career in sales is infinitely more lucrative than a career in government. Right. So there’s that piece, right? Take a step down to ultimately make more money long term.

But the other piece, and I think the more important piece, was I was really unhappy. This was an investment in me, I can’t do this (the government job) all my life. I want to do something else. I think this other thing would make me happier. $20,000 in the short term, because it is a catch and release program, is not forever. $20,000 seemed like, you know, what’s the worst that happens? It is a lot of money, but 20 years down the road, it isn’t at all.

Chris Corcoran:
Correct. That’s an unbelievably mature decision to make at a very young age.

Marc Gonyea:
I will tell you, since you’ve left, we’ve have a lot of people who stay. So, you know, we probably would have some of those opportunities when you were here or we would try our darnedest to have kept you. But the model is you can leave, but you don’t necessarily have to leave if you don’t want to.

Matt Crush:
Well, when I got the offer from Resonate, Chris and I had a conversation. He said, “Look, you can stay if you want to. I’m telling you don’t stay, but you can stay if you want to.” So even at that time there was that offer.

Marc Gonyea:
You had two offers.

Matt Crush:
I did . Oh my God, that was so stressful.

Marc Gonyea:
It got pretty intense. We’ll come back to that. This is a good story.

Chris Corcoran:
So looking back, what advice would you give to yourself the night before you started at memoryBlue?

Matt Crush:
I mean, not that I didn’t necessarily do this, but you know, you can always do it better. It’s mainly show up ready to learn. I think a big part of that is take notes, right? Ask questions, ask stupid questions, ask them again. I think that there is, when you’re doing something completely new for the first time, no shame and looking stupid and like you’ve taken this big risk, this big pay cut, right? Don’t look cool while you’re not being successful, look stupid, but figure it out.

Chris Corcoran:
Right, right, right. I got you. Don’t worry about the cool points. That was a great bet on yourself doing that. And I know for myself, every time that I do something for the first time I had expectations and it’s very rare if ever that it happens that it’s exactly what I thought it was going to be. It’s always different.

So what was different about the memory blue opportunity, what you thought it was going to be when Tiana told you about it? When I told you about it?

Matt Crush:
I think that you guys did a really good job at level setting. Here’s what it is, here’s what it’s not. With that said, I think that it’s pretty hard to envision what your life looks like coming in at 8:30 and making an hour and a half of cold calls, writing cold emails, you know, following up on other things, having meetings.

And then at the end of the day, doing an hour and a half of cold calls and then after that, you can leave or you can stay and find more names and get lists ready so that you can then come in early the next morning and make cold calls. That level of rejection sucks and getting used to that, and working that muscle, is just something that you have to do to kind of understand what it feels like.

Chris Corcoran:
We can tell you what it’s going to feel like, but until it actually happens, you don’t know.

Marc Gonyea:
Did you have any memories of folks you worked with on the campaign or your delivery manager or anyone in the office to kind of help you or broke some things down or like an aha moment?

Matt Crush:
I wouldn’t say that there was one particular person or aha moment, I think that it takes a village and I think that that’s something that memoryBlue’s really good at. It’s like everything from the mentor that you have when you come in, who’s your equal but has been there and knows what’s up. And it’s not going to your boss to ask a question, like a big brother or big sister, exactly to your delivery manager, to you guys, right?

Marc, you were very involved on the Resonate campaign and saying here’s what’s working, here’s what’s not and dude, you’ve got to be curious. You’ve got to be doing this, you’ve got to be doing that and like, “Hey, are you asking these questions?” I think that there’s that learning through osmosis to a certain extent.

Marc Gonyea:
Yeah. And you also had, you had a look at, so you were on two clients. So the most anyone can be, most people will have one, but every now and then we have some clients who opt to work with someone half time. And you were on two.  They can remain unnamed, they were the runner up in the Matt Crush sweepstakes, and at the time they weren’t too happy about it.

But you’re only with us for four months, you know, the kitchen sink drinking from a fire hose. You went through all of that, but then you also got to experience working with two clients. Do you remember anything about that? Can you share any of that with us or even we can talk about the fact where they wanted to hire you and maybe how you made that decision.

Matt Crush:
Yeah. I mean in terms of working with two clients, I think it was a boon to me. I was selling to two very different types of buyers. One was selling to small businesses in the like Cyber Security space. One was in the MarTech space selling to Fortune 500 companies. So very different strategies that work. Very, very different messaging.

I think that it kind of, it’s easy to do one thing and be like, “Oh, this works and it’s infinitely applicable to other things.” And then the moment you try and apply that to something else, you’re like, “Oh wow, this does not apply to everything else.” It was actually just only good in this one case. But finding out which things are, you know, applicable across the board.

Chris Corcoran:
So would you recommend one client or two clients if you had a choice?

Matt Crush:
I think your life is easier if you have one client to a certain level, right? There’s only one thing to learn. You can, you don’t have to worry about things such as multiple list building, multiple pauses to consider what am I talking about today? To whom? I think that it’s harder. But I think with difficulty, there is benefit.

Chris Corcoran:
Sure. Staying at Fairfax County government would’ve been easy.

Matt Crush:
It certainly would have. Although, I don’t know, I think if you’re unhappy long enough, like at what point does it become, that’s not an easy lifestyle to live, just being unhappy all the time. Right?

Chris Corcoran:
Yeah. I always say I want to work on two clients. Okay. You have twice the opportunity to get hired. You make twice the connections, you get twice the experience and typically what’s harder or more challenging is what’s better. And so that’s why I was encouraged. I would, that’s what I would do.

Matt Crush:
I think part of my negotiation with you is I tried to have an option to pick my own clients.

Chris Corcoran:
Everybody tries that. Yeah.

Matt Crush:
I was trying for something. You were like, “Look, we used to.” There was, I forget what the technology was, like film disc services or something that has been outdated for a bit and you said if you can figure out how to sell that, you can figure out how to sell almost anything, right? Yeah.

Chris Corcoran:
I was talking about this exact same thing yesterday with our controller who used to work at Deloitte. And I was asking her, I was like, “Do these new hires at Deloitte think that they can pick what project they go on?” And we were laughing about it. Like that’s not how it works. Right?

And so because everyone like you and new hires all the time, they come barging into my office wanting to demand which client they go on or have a say. And that’s not how professional services works. And to the point I was making with you originally,  you could sell whatever you’re selling that’s going to be beneficial to you. You’re here to learn the skill set and apply it to any client and it should be transferable to whatever you do and so, but it’s fine. Everyone wants to pick what client.

Marc Gonyea:
I remember, so one of his clients was an alum, a memoryBlue alum worked at the client.

Chris Corcoran:
Who is that?

Marc Gonyea:
I want to say Lauren Sexton. That was a, that’s double jeopardy right there. And then the other client was a returning client, Jason Snyder. Yeah. So he, you know, clients won’t get bell rings, just the alums, a podcast for alums and people talking about coming to work here.

I think that’s unique and that’s part of the benefit. So you get to work with who was a smaller company, like you said, cyber. Who knew the job and knew what you should be doing and how you should be executing. And then you get to work for a client, a former client, who’s a believer in the program and leaving the type of people that we bring on board and the type of development we offer.

And, that was bigger markets. I definitely remember us looking at LinkedIn and looking at some of those people in this big brands for sure. And figuring out how in the hell are we going to be able to get their attention. And everybody, you know, if you’re some guy, brand manager at Yeti or customer analytics or customer experience, that Yeti cooler that everybody’s trying to sell to you.

Matt Crush:
Think about how many people call the CMO at Proctor and Gamble, right? Everybody’s trying to talk to that guy because his budgets are hundreds of millions of dollars. Right?

Marc Gonyea:
So during the duration of your tenure, it came down to two clients wanted to hire you.

Chris Corcoran:
Yeah. In very short order, you showcase your skills so much that both of your clients are interested, this is the reason why I suggest two clients. They pay more, right? Both of your clients wanting to hire you. Yeah. So what was that like?

Matt Crush:
I would say it was really emotional. I had no idea. I was so stressed. So one client offered me a job, and I had gone back and forth and negotiated and verbally accepted an offer over the course of like a week or so.

And then maybe two days, three days after accepting that offer, found out that the other client was looking to hire me. There was that feeling, I had made a verbal contract in my mind, I’d made a commitment. But also as you know, I don’t even know if it’s about that so much.  I think your reputation is really important and it’s very much like you guys asked me back because you trust me to show up.

You trusted me not to come on around and say a bunch of crazy stuff. Right. So there was that aspect of it, but I did see a greater opportunity at Resonate, which are, you know, still there. So I think I did choose well. That was, so that was the first one that offered, you know, it wasn’t Resonate. It was the second one.

Chris Corcoran:
Interesting, so you verbally committed to the other one.

Matt Crush:
I verbally committed to one. And then the one I preferred, you know.

Marc Gonyea:
We were in a tight spot. I remember I was talking about it because you know we had an alum. Lauren worked there and they really want to shoot. You’re infinity talented. They want you to come work there. And the way it works is if a client wants to hire someone, we have to let the other client know of what’s going on. So they don’t feel like they were ambushed or they weren’t in the know.

And I think there was some rumblings of that maybe potentially happening with your other client, but nothing was sure. And so when we approached them, they were highly interested and well, we want to build the business and make sure we’re around for the people to come work here.

Well we also have this operating model where we want to do what’s best for the employee. That’s how the whole catch release model, which I don’t really like that term, but that’s how the whole model was developed because we want to do what’s the best interest of the client and the employee and we take, that’ll serve two purposes. It’ll serve you and serve the client, but also you’re going to have some winners and some losers and you know, they lost out and they weren’t exactly thrilled about it. But you didn’t do anything unethical.

You were always clear and transparent in your communication and you kind of do what’s best for you at the end of the day. And they kind of know the risks, but you know, it was an emotional process.

Matt Crush:
Sure. And I appreciate you guys for helping me through that because I think that, I don’t think I would’ve been able to navigate that on my own. I think I probably would have avoided conflict out of like a sense of duty. But how I ultimately made that decision was,  I got some great advice once again from one of the people whose parents I’d met when I was reaching out at the start of this journey. They gave some great advice suggesting there was a difference in the roles, and to take money completely out of it. Yeah.

I put the companies on paper and said where do you see yourself growing? Who is better for your professional development? What market do you want to see it? And because once again, you’re 23, right. The money will come. You need to focus on the development piece and picking the path you want to be on. Right. I think that was great advice ultimately.

Chris Corcoran:
What a ride. So your old friends, the County, you end up leaving and then in four months you have a job and then you have two other offers. Four months. Yes. That’s good. That’s a fast start, right? So you ultimately ended up going in picking the second client and you ended up going to work at Resonate.

So my question for you is what advice would you give yourself on your final day of memoryBlue before you kind of go out into the wild?

Matt Crush:
Oh my God. All you guys give a lot of training materials and, you know, I think that there’s a lot of preparation and making sure that you’re there to be successful, steal all of it and take it with you!

Chris Corcoran:
Take it all with you. Yes. That’s great. Yes. That’s a great one. Okay. So,  let’s talk about working on what two clients. What’s the best thing about working on two clients and what’s the worst thing about working on two clients?

Matt Crush:
I think the best thing, like I said before, is just exposure to multiple markets. You can see what you get. I think that the difference between selling in the SMB space to selling in the enterprise space is night and day.

I think certainly getting to learn multiple technologies, in terms of networking, is good, right? Getting to work with multiple professionals, I think all that’s great. Plus, most of the time if you’re half time or at least I was, there were other people on that same client and so there was somebody to strategize with, commiserate with, and succeed alongside for sure.

I’m convinced that I did not out talent anyone. Any of the other people who I worked on those clients with, I just stayed later than they did. I think that’s the only difference. You know, Mike Ward, who’s a friend of mine to this day, and we text at least once a week, he was also working on both those clients and ended up coming to Resonate with me. But he’d been here for a year and everything I was doing, it was on his advice. I was just here till eight o’clock most nights.

Chris Corcoran:
So, what about the worst thing you saw?

Matt Crush:
I think it’s just the, you know,  if you are able to completely lean into one client, right, you can become that expert. And really, get to a point where you are, you know, if somebody throws a question at you and you’re like, “Oh, not only do I know what this weird acronym means of some obscure technology that like is tangential to what I sell,” but I can talk about it with confidence and  make that person think, “Okay, this guy knows what he’s talking about.” Yes. I’ll continue that conversation. I’ll take that meeting.

Chris Corcoran:
So you develop more fluency?

Matt Crush:
I think so. Yeah.

Marc Gonyea:
Okay. We’ve even talked about how great of a sales name Matt Crush is. His last name is Crush!

Matt Crush:
I think it’s a fun name. You know, I meet people in bars and they say, “Is that your real name?”

Marc Gonyea:
That’s a great name. So I wanted to transition into Resonate. So you know, you had four glory filled months with us and then you know, you’ve been at Resonate for three and a half years almost. So it’s crazy how time flies. What did you do? Keep going back into your memory bank.  When you transition from us to go work for Resonate, what was that like?

Matt Crush:
Luckily it was pretty simple to go there after working with them as a client. All of the processes that we were using here, some of them had to be adopted a little bit. Things like working in their CRM and some of their tech stack, that was a little bit different than yours.

But for the most part, we were using the same messaging. We were using the same outreach strategies in the early days. And then I think as that evolved you get to a point where, this is the level we’re performing on, this is the level the organization needs us to be at. That’s when we started changing and moving up market with the types of companies we were reaching out to.

Basically changing some of our outreach strategies. But early on, I mean it was super easy. Like I said, Mike Ward came with me, so I had a friend day one, but we were the only two and the first two inside sales guys there. The rest of the company didn’t really know why we were there or what we did.

Chris Corcoran:
When you were hired by them, were you an SDR?

Matt Crush:
I was, yes. With a cooler title. I was an inside sales executive, but nothing changed about my day to day responsibilities.

Marc Gonyea:
Let me jump real quick on that. So how does your ambition change? So you know, you did it, you went from not knowing what we were doing or what the hell we were about to figuring out, okay, this was sales development work for these clients. Okay, now I’m going to go to Resonate. I want to make this choice and then I’m going to go, I’m coming over as an SDR. But did your ambition evolve?.

Matt Crush:
I mean, I certainly didn’t come to memoryBlue because I wanted to be an SDR for the rest of my life. And I knew that before I started. I think that is the case for most people.

Chris Corcoran:
Anyone who wants to be an SDR for the rest of his or her life is in the wrong spot.

Matt Crush:
I would almost argue that most companies don’t want somebody who wants to be an SDR, right? They want somebody who wants to come in, work hard, learn the business, you know, prove their competence. And then slowly, you know, move into a full sales cycle role and different companies do it very different ways.

Marc Gonyea:
And let me just disclaim that for people who are listening who maybe are thinking about coming to work here and coming to get into high tech sales. There’s a lot of honor in the SDR job and it’s a job you learn a ton in for sure, but it’s not a job you want to aspire to be in for a long time and that’s okay. It doesn’t make the job any less important or that less significant in your development as a sales professional. But it’s a step along the way, which is fine.

Matt Crush:
And I think that is true in most industries. You go into consulting and you start as an analyst, no one gets into consulting because they want to be an analyst for the rest of their lives. They want to move up and be a partner and a managing director, etc.

Marc Gonyea:
Talk about that ambition. When did you kind say, I want to be in field sales?

Matt Crush:
I wanted a job from the get go where I got to travel for work, where I got to get out from behind my desk and move and talk to people and sales certainly checks those boxes if you are in field sales. And at Resonate, that is how their sales team is structured.

So the only inside sales people that were on the phone full time were us like the SDRs. Everybody else was out getting on planes, going to meet with clients, taking people to dinners, doing the cool sales stuff. So that was the goal. That was one of the reasons I went to Resonate was they, you know, Jason, who had used you guys when he was at Clarabridge, who still is at Resonate today, I love Jason. I think I owe him a life debt career-wise to this day. At any rate, he had hired people from you guys at Clarabridge and promoted them up from being SDRs into full sales cycle roles. And so that was a path that he had envisioned for me and for Mike and for other people that he ended up hiring from memoryBlue later on.

Chris Corcoran:
That’s great. When you were an SDR, what exactly were you uncovering as opportunities? Give us a sense as to how big are these opportunities?

Matt Crush:
At the time the, the lowest deal size was maybe $50K. That has since changed into the six figures range, but it was a startup, right? So your pricing strategy changes, your market strategy changes. But that was the case at the time.

Chris Corcoran:
Okay. So $50K and now it’s going to $100K+ deals. What sort of sales cycle are guys experiencing over there?  Just in terms of length?

Matt Crush:
So they had three different markets, and without getting too granular, this is mostly focused on the brand direct marketing. The sales cycle was anywhere from nine months to a year. And once again, as the company’s matured, those sales cycles have started to shorten as you’re starting to understand things like: What are we selling? How do we sell it? What’s the right way to package this?

Marc Gonyea:
Let’s go back. So then you took the team lead role. How did you evolve into that?

Matt Crush:
Well, it didn’t exist. So first it was just me and the first two SDRs, and then they hired on one more. I believe that was Steve Stubbs from you guys. Steve today is the team lead there.

Chris Corcoran:
Brother. He dressed up as Hulk Hogan for a memoryBlue Halloween Party. Yes, brother.

Matt Crush:
We were all reporting directly to Jason, the CRO and it got to a point where, he would say, “Hey, you guys go do something.” And there was no one to make sure it actually got done. He decided that he needed one person to lead that team. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for that role. Maybe because of the Eagle scout background? I think probably for a couple of reasons, right. My numbers, but also because there was no team and no structure.

I was going in like reading books and being like, “Hey, could we try this thing and could we do this?” I think that he kind of saw my desire to do that. So we took the team from, you know, in seven months we tripled the revenue coming out of that team.

Chris Corcoran:
Wow. This was when you were the team lead. How many SDRs were part of this?

Matt Crush:
It was just me, Mike and Steve Stubbs. Very small team. But, I think it was once again a great opportunity to learn management on a really small scale with guys that I was already comfortable with. And also, kind of figure out how to foster that collaboration and present ideas like, “Hey guys, I think we should do this. What do you think we should do? Okay. Let’s move forward with this path.”

There was opportunity because the revenue coming out of the team was not at the velocity that Jason wanted it to be. We eventually made a lot of changes in that seven month period that I would say completely altered what we were doing from a memoryBlue process to the processes that we were using.

The fundamentals were the same in terms of outreach and cold calling and strategies, but because of the market we had to shift from kind of a “spray and pray” to getting really personalized. For example, we recognized the CMO of Proctor and Gamble gets a thousand outreaches today. So this generic email is not going to work, but I see that you went to this university. Well that university is actually a client and here’s a gift card to Starbucks, you know, whatever it is that is going to engage that person on an individual level.

Marc Gonyea:
Solid gold. This is why clients, you know we believe clients should work with us, but we believe they should do it in house at a certain point in time and this is a prime example of when it’s ready to be done in house.

Get a Chief Revenue Officer who understands the value or the significance of the function. You get some team with some proven bad asses in there who understand the craft. This is not a “Let me just send in a bunch of email cadences and set it and forget it and wait and hope and pray” thing and hope somebody emails me back.

But you can only do that with time and experience, so we ask that the clients as companies, have management that are patient. For sure. You, there’s no way that you would, you wouldn’t be able to do that when you started with us. Whenever the hell it was in May 2016.

Matt Crush:
And even candidly looking back, I had no business running that team. I had no idea how to lead a team. But I read, like everything I could read, like sales and about inside sales. And we tried everything.

Marc Gonyea:
That’s why you were the team lead though, because those things show the burning desire to succeed. Let’s keep going.

Chris Corcoran:
How long were you the team lead?

Matt Crush:
I was a team lead for nine months. Just under a year.

Marc Gonyea:
LinkedIn says 11 months but they’re always wrong, maybe it is 11 months. Anyways, so a few months. And then what happened?

Matt Crush:
We got another round of funding. They were expanding the brand sales team. At that time I had made it pretty clear of my desire to be given an opportunity and to move onto that team.

I felt like I had proven myself to a level of like, I did this job, I mastered it. You gave me the team lead role. I increased revenue, I built a repeatable, sustainable process for that to continue. Now that can be handed off without worrying like, “Hey, is this gonna still keep working?”

Chris Corcoran:
So you learned that from your Eagle Scout project, that you need to have a succession plan.

Matt Crush:
I mean, there was definitely a conversation. Something like, “Oh, maybe you could go and take one of those brand sales roles and also manage the team.” And I said I don’t think that is doable to do two jobs.

Chris Corcoran:
Chase two rabbits, catch none?

Matt Crush:
Exactly. So I moved on to the brand sales team. And that was my first taste of that full sales cycle.

Chris Corcoran:
What size deals were those?

Matt Crush:
That was those $100K+ deals.

Marc Gonyea:
Let’s talk about that. We are talking about lessons learned.

Matt Crush:
For sure. So on deal sizes, do you want to know what my average deal size was?

Chris Corcoran:
What’s that?

Matt Crush:
$o. So I spent a year in that job and I didn’t sell a single penny. It was not a great experience.

Chris Corcoran:
Right. Learn a lot. Failure is a great teacher.

Matt Crush:
It certainly was.

Marc Gonyea:
Let’s talk about for any audience for this podcast or for current memoryBlue employees who want to move other roles. If you look at the time you spent  in sales development for a few months here, it’s about two years before you got bumped up in that two year run. But that’s still not that long of a time, but that is a long time from an SDR tenure.

Matt Crush:
Absolutely.

Marc Gonyea:
But then you got bumped up into a role, which you earned, and then nothing sold the first year, let’s talk about that learning experience because that’s probably the most valuable year of your life professionally.

Matt Crush:
Yeah. And once again, full credit to Resonate for giving me the opportunity and giving me that place to fail, So I think that it’s really easy from that SDR seat to say, “Okay, I know this technology, right? I see what those guys are doing out there. I can do that.”

I think that there was this level of immaturity for me on multiple levels. I think that there was a lot of what I was trying to do with what I thought a sales guy was, what I really was, was almost like a kid who has a picture of what a businessman is. I was very much that with what I thought a sales guy was.

And so I was going in and I had a chip on my shoulder for being like 23, 24 years old, thinking no one’s going to give me credit. I’m going to pretend to be older. And, you know, saying things like, “Oh yeah, how was the game?” I don’t care about football at all. But I think people see through that. Everybody’s had that experience where you meet somebody and they’re nice enough and you maybe even have something in common with them, but you don’t like them.

And the reason is you’re thinking that guy seems phony, right? You pick that up immediately. And so I think that that was a big thing for me. People could tell that I was trying to be a character of what I thought a salesperson was. I think I recognized that I wasn’t being successful. I was afraid.

You know, I talked earlier about the need to come in, ask stupid questions, ask them again. I was afraid to ask those questions and to really say, “Hey, somebody please help me.” I thought, oh if I just work harder, if I keep my nose down and it’ll be great. But you’re never going to build a pyramid if all you have is one hammer, right? You can work as hard as you want, you’re not going to build that pyramid.

And then I think that the last big piece of learning is in sales. You’ve got to be able to ask tough questions. But I think that I was so, so scared of the answers I’d get that there was a lot of unknown.

Just say something like, “Hey Chris, you know, it sounds like you’re pretty interested. Is there any reason that we wouldn’t work together and that we wouldn’t do this?” No one’s going to be offended by that question. You’re probably going to give me a pretty candid answer of, “Wow, I need to go talk to Marc, and there’s this, and Kevin’s involved.”

Okay, well now I just learned a ton of information where I thought I was done and that you were, you were sold and you’re sold, but I’m not done selling. So I think that those were just things I didn’t know. And that year of failure taught me and was great for me. It really helped lead to my success since then.

Chris Corcoran:
So during that time, it was obviously a great learning experience. Were you ever at any point worried for your job?

Matt Crush:
Yes, absolutely. Oh, 100% yes.

Chris Corcoran:
What was your expectation? Was it to make 10 sales?

Matt Crush:
$10 million dollars, yeah.

Chris Corcoran:
The goal was 10 sales. And you had zero.

Matt Crush:
Sure. You have a million dollar deal. You’re halfway there, etc. But yeah, mine was zero, which, you know, salespeople are supposed to be a profit center and I was a cost center, which is not a good situation right then. I was definitely scared for my job.

Maybe not in the first six months, not so much because I had a good relationship with the people that I was working for. And there was that understanding like, okay, Matt’s learning. But, I think the second six months it got to the point where at the end, where I was like, any day was the day that I was going to get called in and they’re going to be like, “All right, Matt, buddy. We gave it a try. But, the door is over there.”

Chris Corcoran:
So did you ever have any heart to hearts?

Matt Crush:
Yeah. Oh yeah. We were working and reporting to Jason. So that was definitely another challenge I faced. I was reporting to a sales manager who had reported to Jason, who was the guy who had hired me to that brand sales team and about three months in, he left. So Jason was managing that team, but as the CRO, he was also managing other teams.

So, you know, Jason definitely did the best he could to give me all the attention and guidance he could. But I mean he was a Chief Revenue Officer.

He only had so much time. Very busy guy and yeah, a guy who works really hard. So it’s not for lack of like him trying.

Chris Corcoran:
So, the heart to heart, who are the heart to hearts with? Were they with Jason or other people?

Matt Crush:
I mean, yes. Everybody, right? Like from my mom on the weekends, oh my God. There’s that feeling I’m going to get fired, which is terrifying. But I think beyond that, not succeeding and actively failing for a year’s period sucks. What that does to your ego? It is beyond work. Because you go home feeling crappy. My friends could tell. They were like, “Dude, you are miserable to be around,” because you were miserable. So that affected every aspect of my life.

Chris Corcoran:
Did you ever say, man, I wish I was still at the County?

Matt Crush:
Oh God, no.

Chris Corcoran:
Tell us about the first deal, like how a boy became a man.

Matt Crush:
Well, yeah, so it wasn’t on the brand team. So to be clear, I never sold anything on that team. I was getting to the point that my rope was running out. And fortuitously, there was an opening on the political team and my now boss Gary said, “I need like a Matt Crush type. Wonder if I could just get Matt Crush.”

It’s a different market. I’m selling a different type of product and can get into that a little bit, but they had had success in the past with kind of bringing on younger guys with less experience and training them up. That was something that Gary was interested in doing.

I love politics. I get to read the Wall Street Journal for this? Oh, I’m working guys, don’t worry.

Marc Gonyea:
But the beautiful thing about that transition you made is this is all part of the experience. You learn so much in those 12 months prior that that’s set you up for success when the opportunity presented itself.

Matt Crush:
And I think that’s the reason I had been hired in. I don’t think I would have been given a year and I certainly wouldn’t have been given another job at Resonate. They would’ve fired me. I get that. I probably would’ve fired me had I not known me, but I’m very glad they didn’t.

I think that they saw how hard I was working. I think that they saw that I had been able to be successful in other roles. And I think that there’s the aspect of, “We gave this guy this thing and let’s give him one more shot.” I think many organizations maybe wouldn’t have done that.

I once again very much appreciate Resonate for giving me that shot and fast forward a little bit now. Last year I hit 126% of my quota. And then this year, you know, it’s January is not over yet, but, I am certainly on a good path. I’m not worried about my quarter this year.

Chris Corcoran:
So you ended up moving on to this new team. And then how quickly did you close your first deal?

Matt Crush:
The political market is very seasonal. People spend around election days. Last year was an off year, so I moved in March and I closed my first deal in July, and it was, “Oh my God!” I was ready to rip my shirt off and just start doing shots in the office for very obvious reasons. Jason called me who, you know, I still have a great relationship with. It was fantastic. Even in closing, you know, I got to a point where I closed a very, very large deal right at the end of last year. And I started feeling like selling is fun and success feels great.

Chris Corcoran:
Particularly when you had to go a year of goosing, questioning yourself, lots of people would quit. Did you ever think about quitting?

Matt Crush:
Not really, but I think my ego was so damaged. I didn’t have that same feeling of I can go succeed elsewhere. Like, I failed. I have no worth on the marketplace, which is like looking back, it was totally not true.

And you get in your own head. I was very down on myself and on my ability to go elsewhere.

Marc Gonyea:
One of the things you and I were talking about too, so to change gears a little bit, you got some success, closed some work, had a great year, but what else did you learn is important to you about life?

You know, we get to the tech stuff that we talk about in the podcast, but also we’re talking about kind of what you learn about you, so zoom out more, and what is important for you as an individual or life like perspective?

Matt Crush:
I think that it’s really easy, especially at 22, being in sales or you know, being a consultant, really being anywhere in business and being like, “Oh, you know, Jeff Bezos is cool.” And you know, you see all these founders and say I’m going to do that. And maybe looking at your parents or looking at other adults and minimizing the level of success they’ve achieved, whatever that may be.

I think that as I have gotten older and as I have started to achieve some modest success, and I certainly have a long way to go you know, you can invest in anything you want. And so I made a choice to invest in myself taking a $20,000 pay cut and coming to work for you guys.

But I think that there are other things to invest in. Right? And I think that  friendships, family,  it’s so easy just to work all the time and say, “Oh, I’m going to make a lot of money.” But, you know, I don’t think that I would have been able to get through some of the hard times and certainly wouldn’t enjoy celebrating the success I’m having now if I hadn’t invested in friendships and family who are there to support me through the losses. And also, those who support me if I’m winning and will be there to celebrate with me.

And so to me, you get out what you invest in. Anything that’s true, the stock market, that’s true of kind of working at memoryBlue. But I think that’s true of your personal life and your family.

And there’s that whole idea that work isn’t everything. I think that a new evolution for me is asking how do you holistically invest? Diversify your portfolio.

Chris Corcoran:
How long have you been closing and in a closing role?

Matt Crush:
Are you going to count the year I didn’t sell anything? I guess what, two, three, so yeah, two and a half years.

Chris Corcoran:
So two and a half years. In that time, what is your biggest or favorite win you’re ready to talk about? Is there an opportunity that you were like, this was definitely my favorite win?

Matt Crush:
I mean it was the one that was announced at an all hands. It was an account that they hadn’t worked with us before and other people had tried to break into.Being able to do that when other people had tried and failed, people who were wildly successful. To build that relationship and become that trusted partner for them, where they were able to put that level of confidence in us was great.

Chris Corcoran:
Was it an outbound call or, or was it a cold email?

Matt Crush:
Yeah. Cold email. In this role, they very much did not give me established accounts. It wasn’t here’s a list of accounts in Salesforce. Here’s your laptop, here’s your phone. Good luck. It’s a lot more than that, right? My manager, Gary is phenomenal. And I could not sing his praises enough in terms of  the support and training and all that I’ve learned from him.

And so I certainly don’t want to minimize that, but it was, you know, start prospecting, right? I still prospect all the time and that is how I’ve built my book of business. Cold call, cold email, and every once in a while marketing will really give me a nice treat, but that’s not what I’m counting on.

Marc Gonyea:
It goes back to what we were talking about earlier. You don’t get into the sales development profession or game to do it forever in that role, but those skills will stay with you and many, many people. And if you move on to  management, if you want to do that one day, maybe you do, maybe get out. But for some people that’s not for them either, you know, that’s the beautiful thing about sales.

You can be a strong carrying rep for your entire career and do great and have a very fulfilling career professionally, financially, certainly. But you’re using those skills you developed here for only four months and then develop for the next 22 months leading the team, being an SDR at Resonate and they’re so applicable to you now. I mean the cold email and close the dead deal. It’s amazing.

Matt Crush:
I have clients who have asked me to help them setting up an inside sales team. They say, “Can you help me figure out what to do?” And we’re talking about email and call strategy. They just hired their first sales rep.

Chris Corcoran:
So that was your favorite win, right? What about the most painful loss?

Matt Crush:
Well, yeah, I had a year of pretty painful losses.

Chris Corcoran:
Is there one deal in particular that got close and then fell apart?

Matt Crush:
So I had had this theory that there are a lot of these direct to consumer brands out there, right? A lot of them are venture backed. They’re small, but they’ve got money. So I was like, look, maybe I could gain some velocity by reaching out to these firms, because it’s maybe there’s a hundred people working there, it’s going to be a lot faster decision cycle, a lot easier to navigate the organization than like a Proctor and Gamble.

But because they have that money, they can move forward with a product like this where other companies that size are not going to be able to afford it. So there was a mattress company and I talked to quite a few of those  mattress companies that you hear about that we got.

I mean it was so close. It was a deal, they had the paperwork, they said that they were going to sign the deal, the verbal. And it all fell apart and then my champion left the organization like a nightmare. I didn’t cry, but I definitely wanted to.

That one I think was definitely the hardest because it’s so long and it was the first company I talked to as the first company or first I went face to face with. And to get that close, it was heartbreaking.

Chris Corcoran:
Yeah. You never forget, those things haunt me to this day.

Marc Gonyea:
We had one of those, there’s a deal. We’re working now. Big deal. And the VP met with the CRO yesterday and apparently the email bounced back from one of the folks who, there was meeting with them, that we’re working with.

In the end, that deal’s probably dead, but it happens.

Chris Corcoran:
So in your sales career, you’ve had a variety of different roles. Which one was the hardest and which one was the easiest?

Matt Crush:
I think probably working for you guys is the easiest. But, if you’re looking for an easy coasting job, I would not recommend it. But look, once again, that was my experience. I think that you guys have this process where you come in and you’re taught how to do it and it’s not easy, by any means, but I think that you are really good at creating the structure. memoryBlue says, “Hey, like this is how you succeed, make of it what you will.”

But I think in other environments it’s been a lot more nebulous. Inside Sales actually might’ve been the easiest, because I had the knowledge then and it was kind of just like reusing it. Whereas, when I was team lead and I was like having to figure out what to do. I just know I have to do something else. And then it wasn’t those decisions for the first time.

Chris Corcoran:
What about the hardest role? Is that that one year?

Matt Crush:
I think, yeah, half a year in a desert. Well look, you know, I would say that team lead was very, very difficult, but I found a way through that and I was ultimately not able to find a way through the brand sales role.

Chris Corcoran:
So that brings up an interesting question. You’ve had exposure, most of your career you’ve been focusing on being an individual contributor, and then you had some opportunity to take on some leadership.

What path do you prefer – individual contributor or leadership – or what are your thoughts on those two paths?

Matt Crush:
I really enjoyed being a manager. I really enjoyed it, but maybe not every moment while I was in the role. From a broader perspective, what shifts can we make and kind of thinking more strategically across the organization.

I really enjoyed that. I think that eventually I’ll try and get back into that. With that said, I think I have enough self-awareness to realize that I’ve got a lot to learn about how to be a successful individual contributor.

I still think that while I’m leaps and bounds from where I was, even starting this role in the advocacy space, I’ll talk to my manager, and it’s like, “Oh, well are they doing this or that?” I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t even think to ask about that.” So I’m still learning, right? I’m still getting to a place and candidly, I’m still having a lot of fun being an individual contributor.

Selling can be a lot of fun. It’s a lot of hard work, but it can also be a lot of fun right now. You know, being in a political cycle, we’ve got a Super Tuesday just over a month away, which is keeping me busy. It will probably keep me working pretty late tonight, getting ready for that. And then obviously the general election is just going to be pandemonium.

Chris Corcoran:
Yeah. That’s good. You mentioned some books. How do you keep your skills sharp?

Matt Crush:
I read, I try to read between one and two books a month. I read pretty exclusively nonfiction, but that’s just because I can’t seem to latch onto fiction so if you have any recommendations.

Chris Corcoran:
What were some of your favorites?

Matt Crush:
So it depends, are you looking for sales books? Because I will say I don’t force myself just to read sales strategy books. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I’ll send you guys a copy. I picked it up at an airport on a whim in like Zurich during a layover. I was bored. And it is just fantastic. It’s a long story. But it’s I think beyond just like, “Oh, business blocking and tackling.” It’s a very human story about his life. And I think even some of his reflections on where he didn’t invest enough in kind of kids or family and you know, why he could have done better. It’s a great book.

Chris Corcoran:
What else?

Matt Crush:
I would say for people who are considering coming to work for you, I might consider the book, Selling the Wheel. It’s a quick, easy read. It’s like a parable about sales and the evolution of a product cycle. You get to this point where you’re doing the evangelical sale and you know, I think it’s like a magic carpet in the book where no one’s ever heard or seen any of this and they don’t even know why they need it or haven’t imagined it.

And you go through to something that’s been commoditized, where it’s really more relationship selling to the point that it’s being sold in retail stores. And the wheel is this thing throughout. And so then your talks about the different types of salespeople there are a lot of instances where you see yourself and, and I think it’s definitely something that you can kind of consider.

Something like do I want to be more of a relationship sales guy? Do I like that? You know? And of course once you get into it, your career path may direct you in different directions. But it was definitely helpful for me.

I think it really gives you an interesting mindset of this is what I’m getting into conversations. This is a book that I think is pretty transformative for me in terms of learning to ask those tough questions. And it really is about, I think it’s really good about getting into the blocking and tackling of how to ask specific questions. Intent is more important than execution in terms of limbo. You gotta be real with people. Ask them what do you think? What’s your gut say? Are you going to do this, Chris? Or, not so much. And when you do that, if you get real and honest and raw with people, people will in turn be the same way with you.

Chris Corcoran:
Reciprocate. Yeah. Very good. Well, one of the questions I have for you is looking back at your time here for four months, you met a lot of people along the way.

What would you say is the biggest mistake that you’ve seen your former memoryBlue contemporaries made?

Matt Crush:
I think that a lot of young people working here, it’s a really fun office environment, a great culture. I don’t know if you guys still have a keg here?

Marc Gonyea:
No, but we have a President’s Club trip now.

Matt Crush:
Okay. I’ve seen those. If you get an extra ticket, let me know. But it’s a really fun environment and I think that, you know, between the blitz times there is some of that temptation. Hey, do what you need to get done and get it done. And if you’re doing really well, you can go play foosball or ping pong.

I think that it’s really easy to kind of fall into a, I’m just going to hang out with my friends for four hours in the middle of the day and I’m going to come in at 8:30 and I’m going to leave at 5. And that’s great if you are killing your numbers. But I certainly saw a lot of people who maybe were not crushing the numbers yet. They were kind of doing that bare minimum.

And I mean, I think that some took a little bit longer to get hired out. You get out what you put in, do you want to put in 40 hours? You’ll get that. And if you want to put in 80 hours, I mean maybe, maybe pace yourself a little bit, but you’ll get that amount out, too. Right?

Marc Gonyea:
I will, I will. It’s a difficult job and it’s hard sometimes for people to stay focused on the end goal because of the psychological trauma you go through with all the rejection. And the great thing is we hire people like Mike Ward, the guy who you met working here who you text now on a weekly basis.

You meet these great people you want to develop these friendships with and you should, that should be part of the appeal of coming to work here. But also we don’t want to get too comfortable. That’s why there’s no keg, because you know, because it is about the bottom line and getting business. Clients, business for the clients and people are improving as sales professionals. They’re not going to go on to do great things.

Matt Crush:
My perception is probably the number one reason that people come here who want to get into sales is for your training and development programs. Right? And so leaning into that and really taking full advantage of that. Don’t get me wrong, I was certainly guilty of sitting in the back sometimes and be like, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Marc Gonyea:
Okay guys, you were in Boone.

Matt Crush:
I was, yeah. That was a wild, wild west. But, I think, you know, you came here for that reason. Like lean into it.

Chris Corcoran:
Remember that, use it. Good advice, Crush.

Marc Gonyea:
Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. It’s just great. Thanks for spending time with us, especially in the business here and now you’re in high, busy season for sure. Chris and I, and Sarah and Kevin, we really appreciate you coming by. And dropping some science and some wisdom with all of us. It’s great. And we’re all going to benefit from it.

Matt Crush:
Yeah. Anytime.