Sales training with HubSpot
I was incredibly nervous. I'm not a sales person but as the agency has grown I've transitioned more from delivering the marketing into consulting new businesses on the benefits of inbound marketing and our services. So when the opportunity arose to join an 8 week bootcamp with one of the best sales trainers in HubSpot it was with trepidation that I leapt at the opportunity.
David Weinhaus was hosting and with 8-10 other agencies we spent 8 weeks going through how to run a world-class sales process.
I wanted to use this as a chance to filter through the dozens of super-valuable lessons and pass on the main takeaway I took which any business could use to improve their sales process.
Approach each sale with an open mind
Going into an initial chat with a prospect with an idea of what you're going to sell them can be a massive hinderance to you achieving the best results. Many sales people do this, wither because they have a favourite product/service or because they need to hit a sales target and you're trying to get this opportunity to close at a certain level to achieve this.
The reason you should empty your mind of an end goal during the early discussions is two-fold.
- You are not a sales person, you are a solutions finder. You need to identify the main challenge the business is facing and then you can consult them on how your business can help them fix this problem.
- You may miss a bigger opportunity! If you go in with a sale in mind you might under-sell to the prospect because you haven't taken the time to understand their situation properly.
During the training the above was highlighted through the simple concept. You should approach each prospect's situation with natural curiosity.
By keeping the above in mind you will be ready to identify the prospects that aren't a great fit, you'll position yourself as an authority on solutions and you can be objective in the end product or service that the prospect ends up going with.
Most sales people love it when a prospect comes to them with a solution already in mind and with how accessible information is for them to self-select a solution, this is becoming common.
This can also be a trap. By allowing the customer to come to you with a solution most salespeople take the order and clip the ticket and miss the opportunity to become a great sales person. By being naturally curios on how a customer came to that decision you might identify new opportunities that would have been otherwise missed. You might be able to stop them from making a mistake by buying the wrong solution and that builds you as an authority figure and instills trust.
New Zealand especially has a culture of being a 'good sort', I've had people do business with me just because they like the fact that we're not that salesy, and because we're not afraid to tell people that they'd be wasting their time and money on us. Someone once signed us because (and I quote) they "like the cut of your jib", that was helped, in part, by me caring more about their business than ours.
So how can you become a better sales person? The trick, as I've learned over the past 8 weeks with HubSpot, is to not be a sales person at all.
Here are ten key takeaways sure to help you grow your closed opportunities as learned from one of HubSpot's best:
- Be naturally curious
- Identify their business challenges
- Don't limit your interest to just your solution
- Identify a gap between what they want to achieve and where they are now
- Show how you close that gap
- Try and find a personal challenge they face that you can help fix
- Consult on solutions, don't sell
- Get their SMART goals
- Use a BANT matrix to identify if they are a good fit
- An objection isn't a rejection, go back to being curious
some of the above come more naturally to some than others and the more pressure there is in a business to perform the further you can get from achieving some of these core activities.
We've all been there, you're under the pump so you take less time over a prospect than before. You rush to the enquiries that seem the hottest and clip the ticket and move on. What you don't do is build trust or a relationship and that, ultimately, makes the situation worse.
Remember, if it was easy for you to get their business, it will probably be easy for you to lose it too.
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