In this episode, Shaheem Alam, the CEO of Five Rings Marketing, shares valuable lessons learned from his experience in door-to-door sales. From grit and resilience to adaptability and playing the player, Shaheem explains how these lessons continue to impact his sales and marketing strategies. The episode also touches on the highs and lows of starting a sales office and transitioning into a full-service agency, providing inspiration and insights for entrepreneurs.
Shaheem Alam is the Chief Executive Officer of FiveRings Marketing, where he leads as the go-to revenue partner for B2B tech companies. With a diverse background in roles such as Account Executive at RenoRun Inc., Founder of Triton Marketing LLC, and Direct Sales Executive at Eco Energy Home Services Inc., he brings a wealth of experience to his current role. Shaheem’s journey reflects his commitment to driving business growth and innovation in the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area and beyond. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Masters in Marketing Agency:
- Shaheem learned a five-step sales process during his door-to-door sales job, which he still uses today.
- Market differences can impact product-market fit and success, as seen in the contrast between selling in Toronto and Vancouver.
- Expanding services and becoming a full-service agency allows for growth and a more holistic approach to revenue generation.
- Shaheem is invested in the vision of Five Rings Marketing and enjoys the process of managing people and plans.
Connect with Shaheem Alam:
Connect with our host, Josh Hoffman:
- 01:12 – “Yeah, no, I learned a lot in door-to-door sales. So when I was doing door-to-door, I was selling like furnaces, air conditioners, water, water filters for homes, basically. And when I first got started, like I didn’t know anything about sales. Like, I sucked, you know, my first three weeks I didn’t make a single sale. So I think like that’s what it taught me, but then it taught me a lot of other principles too, which, you know, you could say are marketing related, sales related, but it’s really just being able to adapt to different personalities, different people. You meet all kinds of characters, right? When you’re knocking on doors, like behind air, like two neighbors can be completely different basically. And just adapting to those personalities is so important if you’re gonna actually, you know, be able to want to be able to sell to them.”
- 04:25 – “Yeah, so basically eventually I got like, pretty good at, at sales, but not just that I was, I found that I was really good at building teams, like in door-to-door, right? So I, I always have the biggest team, and this is like, and that’s tough, right? It’s commission only sales. So when we’re in Canada, so we’re knocking doors in like, you know, minus 20 degrees and snowstorms blizzards everything, and to keep people coming back when they literally made $0 last week, like it’s, they have to have a pretty good reason to want to come back. And that was the culture, that was the team that we built, the culture that we had in the office and all of that stuff. So eventually I started running a sales office.”
- 02:40 – “I say, play the player and not the game, right? Like, I think a lot, they learn how they want to do sales and, and when we’ll time marketing to that as well, and they say like, you know, I’m just going to rinse and repeat this over and over again. And I think that’s a really bad methodology because at the end of the day, like, you know, at least I’ll speak for myself. I’m a very fast energetic or fast speaking energetic person, but when I know that the person in front of me is just not that, like, I try to tone it down. I try not to be Josh. Like I always say, like, you don’t matter. I don’t matter at all, right? The person in front of the only person that matters. So that’s kind of the, the phrase that I used is, is like, play the player and not the game.”
- 18:22 – “To echo that, you know, where, where I think advisors help, and this is a phrase that I tend to use a lot is, is, you know, they help you work on the business, not just in the business ’cause Exactly. Starting a business, you know, like you’re just in the grind all day, every day and you can’t almost like take a thousand-foot view or whatever it is, 10,000, whatever the phrase is. So I think, you know, when you, when you almost put a pause or a benchmark or whatever it is, and you speak with advisors, that’s your time to work on the business.”
- 19:13 – Josh: “If you had to teach something to other marketers, what would it be?”
Shaheem: “Teach something to other marketers? Are you talking about like other marketing agencies or other like marketers within companies?”
Josh: “I guess both the marketing agencies.”
Shaheem: “Marketing agencies. I would say don’t put your eggs in one basket. Yeah, that’d be like the biggest advice. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Because things are always changing.”