The Forecast

Hiring Champagne Clubs


💸 Hire the buyer:

I was talking to Ewing Gillaspy at IBM and he has some pretty convincing thoughts on why sales is broken. 

Somewhere along the way, we lost ourselves in sales/marketing tactics + strategy.  Ironically, many of those things I write about in this very newsletter. 

Sales simplified: we get paid to solve challenges. 

When I want a challenge solved in my life, I go to an expert. 

So 90% of our time as sellers & marketers, should be spent learning how to be an expert in whatever problem we’re solving.  Not simply perfecting our craft. 

To truly master our craft, you have to first master our buyer’s world. 

I’ve often thought about what would happen if we hired our buyers to become sellers?  

Sell to product managers? HR professionals? Plumbers? Poach one and I’d bet money that they’d dominate the leaderboard with little to no sales experience. 

So maybe the next time you’re thinking about sales training, think about skipping the “experts” and instead hire 5 of your buyers to come in.

No holding back. They could explain exactly what gets their attention, why it gets their attention, the 5 things they always think about, what makes them look good in front of their boss, their best/worst buying experience, etc.  The more raw, the better. 

More on this to come in future editions...

🍾 Champagne Connections: 

Is there such a thing as “Champagne Birthday” on LinkedIn? 

A few days after my 29th birthday I hit 29k LinkedIn followers. Does that mean I pop a bottle? 

I kid, it’s all a Fugazi. A vanity metric. 

We should all be measuring the quality of our relationships rather than the quality. 

In fact, here are 12 reasons why building a personal brand sucks that I wrote a little while back: 

1. You have a voluntary second job that doesn’t pay nearly as well.

2. People who don’t know you assume you’re a self-promoting dbag.

3. Colleagues will snigger behind your back (especially at the beginning).

4. You’ll be labelled internally as the “LinkedIn/personal brand” guy/gal, even if it’s a small fraction of what you do.

5. You’ll get anxiety when posts don’t perform well.

6. You have to learn how to manage thousands of relationships which is not natural.

7. People will try to tear you down all the time.

8. You’ll realize that you don’t have time to help everybody and that sucks.

9. Your brain will quite literally get chemically addicted to the little hits of “notification dopamine.”

10. Some days you won’t feel up to it and you’ll carry guilt for that all day.

11. Occasionally you’ll confuse visibility with productivity or credibility.

12. Echo-chambers will trick you into thinking that you are better than you actually are.

Of course, I’m incredibly grateful to LinkedIn for giving me a platform to share my voice and I wouldn’t change a thing.

But when you’re given a voice, you have a duty to speak the truth.

There is a little truth.


“I want to be you in five years, how can I make that happen?” 

Early in my career, that was one of my favorite lines. 

It led to many, life-changing mentor relationships. 

So now I try to carve out as much time as possible to give back and mentor others.  No preaching, just give them a roadmap of what worked for me and what didn’t. 

Mistakes I made and shortcuts that worked out for me.

I’m far from having everything figured out but I’ve picked up a few things here and there. 

Last week, I said that we were thinking of building GTMclub. 

An intimate, cohort based course for aspiring GTM leaders who want to go further in their career, faster. 

And I’ve been humbled at the response. 

We received enough application to not just fill the first cohort, but the one after that.. and the one after that. 

We’re going through each applications to try to tease out the most driven individuals to take part in the first beta cohort.

If you’ve already applied, thank you.  We’ll be responding to applicants late next week. 

And if you haven't had a chance to yet and it sounds like something that would be up your alley, the application can be found HERE.

Let’s build together. 

🧠 What’s rattling around my brain: 

“Life throws out all kinds of reasons for supposing that we are faced with something serious instead of something playful.” - Alan Watts 

Look around. 

We have a dog meme digital currency that has a 600M dollar market cap.  

We’re rapidly building technologies (AR/VR, Deepfakes, Neuralink) that we have no clue about the broader implications on society.

We’re only a few years from sending a human to mars.

You thought 2020 was weird? 

I predict that every single year from here on out will just get weirder. 

Much weirder. 

And if we take it all too seriously, we’re going to have a tough time. 

We’re just a bunch of apes running around playing and creating things on a rock rotating in space living out some odd cosmic comedy. 

And either we figure some of the great challenges of our lifetime out and it becomes a light, airy comedy or…

It becomes a dark comedy real fast. 

Either way, I’m confident that the next decade will give us plenty of reasons to take a very serious attitude towards life. 

But personally, I’m trying to find ways to laugh at the absurdity of it all and approach the vast changes with a playful, curious attitude. 

I think it’s the only way. 

What a time to be alive...

👂 More for your eardrums:    

Last week I jumped on The PartnerUp Podcast to talk through how to leverage community and media in your partner ecosystem.  Have a listen HERE.

👁 More for your eyeballs: 

This speech is where I pulled the quote from. It’s worth taking an hour this weekend, going for a solo walk and losing yourself to this wisdom: 

📈 Start-ups to watch: will change the game for support teams.  It’s an AI platform that supercharges your Zendesk and Salesforce by automating mundane tasks. 

⁉️ Random fact about me: 

I’m moving this weekend into a new, larger live/work loft with my girlfriend and we’re turning the bottom floor into a co-working space of sorts for friends (post Covid of course). So if you’re ever in Vancouver, come through and hang out.

Question: I’ve had a few people send me notes about starting a Forecast Clubhouse where I talk about some of the things I write about every week. Does that sound like a good idea?

I don’t want to add extra complexity to this but if ya’ll think it would make it more valuable then I’ll make it happen.

Let me know your thought on that.

Thank, as always, for making it all the way to the end.

Appreciate you.

All love,

Scott Barker