My name is Stephen Michael. Like many of you reading this, I am in pursuit of excellence. I am an Inbound Sales Solutions Specialist with five years of experience in sales. I would like to share with you an integral part of my sales journey in the pursuit of excellence.
We’ve all heard someone boast of their salesmanship, exclaiming: "I could sell ice to the Eskimos, religion to the Pope, and I could even sell a cage to a lion!" However, have you stopped to think about the people or animals on the other side of that sale? Is selling a cage to a lion in the lion’s best interest? If you’re like most of us and want to see that majestic creature be the fearsome king of the jungle it’s created to be, the answer is no. So, let’s do things differently.
Fortune smiled favorably upon me when I was accepted into the Lions Club, an elite group of sales professionals at HubSpot who study the Inbound Sales Methodology, craft best practice, and share them with others.
My first training session was the HubSpot’s Pipeline Generation Bootcamp, where we learned about this philosophy of not selling cages to lions. During this eight-week program, we started from scratch and worked to develop our perfect prospecting recipe. This revolved around taking a holistic, customer-centric focus that allows us to truly understand prospects’ challenges and determine the best solutions.
I learned a ton thanks to Dan Tyre, and I want to share my top three takeaways from the camp.
1. How to Turn a Cold Call Into a Warm Call
No one wants to make a cold call because no one wants to be on the receiving end of a cold call, period. You can literally hear the misery jumping out of the phone as the sales rep drones on and on, repeating the same words off the same script yet again.
Buyers are fed up with this bland, uninspired dog and pony show. They’re demanding more these days if you wish to hold their attention. You need to show them you’ve taken time out of your day to do your research. No one likes the party guest that shows up empty-handed, but they greet the guest bearing food and drinks with open arms and a cheerful smile.
Consider bringing food and drinks to your next cold call in the form of research and information that you can give willingly and generously to your prospect. Even if it’s not their brand of tortilla chips or pop, the effort goes a long way in establishing a relationship.
2. Stop Selling, Start Helping
Truly understanding the market you work in makes all the difference. This allows you to both be an expert in your field and find the right customers for you. It’s important to find your niche. The more you narrow in your scope, the more you can find the perfect customer that you can impact. Gone are the days of pushy salesmen who succeed through shotgun approaches. Success in the modern world calls for surgical precision.
Along with knowing your product or service inside and out you must stop selling and start helping. At the end of the day no one wants to be sold. However, (almost) everyone wants to be helped. Making this transition will allow you to uncover underlying issues your prospect may have but may not be aware of. This is similar to how specialized doctors can diagnose diseases before symptoms present themselves. Leaving the patient or in this case the prospect wishing for only one thing. That they had met you sooner, but are happy you are there now.
3. The Importance of Personalized Video Prospecting
Raise your hand if someone has ever sent you a personalized prospecting video. Now raise your hand if someone you know or love has ever been sent a personalized prospecting video. If you are anything like me or the other 99% of the world, then you probably have both of your hands down. This is the untold secret of prospecting. Once you master the art of personalized videos, there is no end to the fruit that it will bear.
As I started sending my videos out, I noticed my open rates skyrocket to 55%. This more than doubled my typical email open rate of 25%. When I saw the data my jaw dropped. If you think about it, though, it makes a lot of sense. Who doesn’t want a personalized video? Who doesn’t want to feel special? Who doesn’t want to feel like someone else took the time out of their day to do something nice for them? Try including personalized videos in your prospecting and just see if you don’t double your harvest.
The HubSpot Partner Pipeline Generation Boot Camp has been an awesome experience for me. I am looking forward to improving my sales craft and the next Lions Club training adventure.
For more information about the Secrets of Sales Prospecting and my experience reach out to me on LinkedIn or use the link below to schedule a conversation.