As you build your sales team, look for people like Angie Thacker who, first, enjoy selling and, second, like the product. Avoid hiring salespeople who come from professional services companies; they will likely want to reinvent your product or service for every customer. If at all possible, hire at least two people to do sales, not just one. For one thing, sales careers typically attract competitive people, and a little healthy competition between these employees will work in your favor; for another, an acquirer will want to see that you have a product or service that can be sold by salespeople in general and not just one superstar salesperson.
A note on client meeting
At the meeting when you make your presentation, don’t sit the client’s team on one side of the table and your team opposite, like adversaries. Mix everybody up. Rehearse before the meeting, but never speak from a prepared text; it locks you into a position which may become irrelevant during the meeting. Above all, listen. The more you get the prospective client to talk, the easier it will be to decide whether you really want his account. A former head of Magnavox treated me to a two-hour lecture on advertising, about which he knew nothing. I gave him a cup of tea and showed him out. Tell your prospective client what your weak points are, before he notices them. This will make you more credible when you boast about your strong points. Don’t get bogged down in case histories or research numbers. They put prospects to sleep. No manufacturer ever hired an agency because it increased market-share for somebody else. The day after a new business presentation, send the prospect a three-page letter summarizing the reasons why he should pick your agency. This will help him make the right decision.