IM 025: Increasing Sales by Answering Customers' Questions | Marcus Sheridan

Inbound marketing saved Marcus Sheridan's business, his family's finances, and brought him to the place where he is today -- a successful business owner, keynote speaker, and author. We dig into the mindset it takes to be successful in marketing/sales and more.

Guest Biography

Called a “web marketing guru” by the New York Times, the Story of how Marcus Sheridan was able to save his swimming pool company, River Pools, from the economic crash of 2008 has been featured in multiple books, publications, and stories around the world—and is also the inspiration for his newest book, “They Ask, You Answer,” which was dubbed the #1 marketing book to read in 2017 by Mashable.

Known for his incredibly unique ability to engage live audiences, Sheridan has become a highly sought after global speaker and consultant in the digital sales and marketing space, working with hundreds of business and brands alike to become the most trusted voice of their industry while navigating the ultra-fast rate of change occurring within consumers and buyers today.

No one ever says, “When I grow up, I want to be a pool guy.”

Neither did Marcus Sheridan when he was a youth being raised in the small town of Callao, Virginia.

But that’s exactly what he was for 10 years of his life—a decade that would go on to become the foundation of his incredible “They Ask, You Answer” story, one where his swimming pool company would go from near bankruptcy to one of the most successful pool builders in the entire country while being featured in multiple best-selling books, the New York Times, and many other publications.

For Sheridan though, one can trace his success as a business and communications thought-leader today back to his time spent as a missionary for his church, when he lived in Chile for two years from 1997-1999. During this time there, Sheridan, who had never spoken Spanish and up to that point had a fear of public speaking, was constantly put in positions to speak to and teach large audiences.

Eventually, Sheridan’s fear for public speaking would turn into a strength. By the end of his mission, he realized he had a knack for explaining complex subjects in a way audiences could easily understand and relate to them.

Furthermore, he could see that audiences seemed to resonate with his unique, interactive speaking style, something he would end up using full time as a professional speaker 15 years later.

After his mission, Sheridan married his high school sweetheart, Nikki, and finished his degree at West Virginia University. While looking for his first post-college job, Sheridan was approached by two close friends from home who had just started a swimming pool company—River Pools and Spas. Upon asking him to be the first employee of their fledgling company, Sheridan responded:

“Sure, at least until I find my ‘real’ job.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Sheridan’s two friends invited him to join them as owners 6 months later, and for the next decade, he would help River Pools and Spas find the ultimate success it did.

With such success, Sheridan started his personal blog, The Sales Lion in 2009. By focusing on an array of sales, marketing, and personal development issues—Sheridan developed a large following and eventually, the site was recognized as one of the top 10 Social Media sites on the web.

The momentum with The Sales Lion naturally led to speaking and business opportunities for Sheridan, where today, he and his team are internationally known for keynotes, workshops, sales/marketing coaching, and HubSpot training.

But outside of all this, the thing that means most to Sheridan remains the marriage he has to his wife (Nikki) of 15 years and their 4 children: Danielle, JT, Larsen, and Casey. In fact, if you happen to run into Marcus at a conference or event, there is a very good chance one of these 5 is right there with him.

Show notes:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Whether you’re a business owner or trying to build your personal brand, learn the mindset that can bring you success.
  • Elements of effective business blogging.
  • Why it’s important to become a world class communicator and how that can positively impact your life.


INBOUND Bold Talks: Marcus Sheridan

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Special thanks to Jim Kimo West for the music.

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About the Author: Andrew Wang

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