The Market Makers Story...

...As Told By Founder Bill Keeler.

Good stories come in 3 Acts…and that makes Our Story a good story!

Market Makers was born out of three illuminating, if not transformational, experiences across my early professional career.

Act 1 – Small Business.

My first job out of college was for my uncle’s contracting firm where I learned the cadence, rhythm, sensitivities, and passions that shape small business. Small businesses are not little versions of large corporations…the opportunities are fewer, the thresholds more sensitive, and timelines for success far shorter. And they don’t have access to the same resources.

It was witnessing my uncle and his team work tirelessly every day to make it happen in the face of these obstacles where I fell in love with small business and decided to be an advocate for the people willing to drive their stake into the ground.
Moments like that weren’t part of my sales training.

Act 2 – “Sales” vs Business Development.

I took my first Sales job at a family-owned radio station in Frederick, Maryland. The Sales training was totally conventional and traditional… I hated it from the start! The teachings and steps didn’t feel authentic. Authentic to me, to my clients, nor to their goals. Certainly not authentic to what we were supposed to be in together.

The moment that I realized that old methodology was insufficient for modern buyers was when my second-ever client, a local restaurant owner, gave me $500 for his first-ever ad campaign—a big spend for him back then. As he handed me the check, he kept holding on to it as I took the other end. There we were, both holding this check and staring at one another when he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Bill, this has to work.”

Moments like that weren’t part of my sales training.

Act 3 – The Lightning Strike.

In 1997, while working with Michael Corbett and his partner Dave Stilli (authors of the seminal “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising”), I was illuminated to a reflective truth about how poor the advertising Sales training I’d received was to date. A jarring, transformational, and career-altering truth: I had only been trained on how to sell my company’s inventory… not my clients’. Which should have been our only focus! For all the “training” I’d arduously suffered, none of it had been about knowing our clients’ businesses… only how to impress people about our business. Everything in the conversations I’d been having was going in the wrong direction. A new conversation was needed, and I became committed to hosting it.
I had been trained to sell my company’s inventory, not my clients’.
The cornerstones of Market Makers, specifically our Mindset and Methods, were laid on each of those days. Over the rest of my own career, I abandoned every traditional sales training step and trick I’d been taught and began having a vastly different conversation on a vastly different level with my clients. A relevant issues conversation. It took time to develop, but that new conversation reshaped the way I went about my work as a business developer and Sales Leader. It created a better, more authentic connection to my clients, and as they had better results, so did I.

Over the course of my management and coaching careers, I put this into practice until one day it became clear this was what I really needed to do. So, we opened Market Makers to serve companies with something to give and a culture to uphold—to bring authenticity back into business development and offer a different point of view that shapes a different conversation for all to enjoy. Our Purpose is to transform what’s possible for and with people in the act and art of Sales. We’d love for you to join us in this mission.— Bill Keeler, Owner & Founder of Market Makers
Bill Keeler has a BA in Business Economics from Randolph-Macon College and an MBA from Averett University. He’s a golfer, entrepreneur, musician, song writer, contrarian, seeker, step-dad, and budding author. 

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