Decision Makers Archives - The Sales Evangelist

Category Archives for Decision Makers

Sam Mallikarjunan, Hubspot

TSE 1136: How HubSpot Grew From 150-1500 Individuals!

Sam Mallikarjunan, Hubspot

Whether you’re a sales rep or a sales leader, a sales manager or a business owner, we can learn valuable lessons from the study of how Hubspot grew from 50-1500 individuals.

Sam Mallikarjunan has sold for a variety of organizations, from the five-person startup to the Fortune 500 company, so he has seen the sales story at a couple of stages. He’s a fellow at Hubspot and he teaches digital marketing at Harvard University.

New revenue

Sam loves the idea that whoever chases two rabbits catches neither because it’s a reminder to him to focus. He has spent the last year focused on teaching, speaking, and research. He points to doing one thing at a time and doing it really well before moving on.

A weird pivot exists for startups that are growing from “we’ll take anybody’s money” to losing cash faster than you can acquire new cash. The core pivot occurs when you reach the point where you’re struggling for customer retention, because the economics of your model will break down.

It’s a matter of sales reps making time to ensure that they are bringing in new revenue.

One new customer was upset because she couldn’t access her email after signing on with Hubspot. She had cancelled her Internet provider because she thought that’s what Hubspot was.

It cost the company money because they had to service the issue. The problem didn’t arise because the seller was a bad person. He just didn’t verify that the customer was going to be successful.

Healthy revenue

The company implemented clawbacks which withdraw commissions from sellers if the customer cancels their account within a certain window. Sellers are heavily incentivized to ensure that the person they are bringing on will result in healthy revenue.

Because Hubspot is a SAS, a recurring revenue model, the company loses money acquiring customers. The company doesn’t break even for some months. If the customer cancels too quickly, the business loses money.

Cashflow is more important than your mother.

Keeping customers

Many companies miss the core principle, which is that you can’t spend money to get customers unless you’re good at keeping them. If you’re selling iPad covers that are cheap, people will likely only buy from you once. But if you’re really good at keeping customers, it’s not necessarily how much they pay in the first transaction, but rather the lifetime value.

If you’re good at keeping those customers, you can pay your sales reps really well. You can give them lots of collateral to help them close deals. You can also spend a lot of money on marketing to tee them up for good conversations or on training for their reps.

Sales sequence

Sam recalls being a cell phone salesman in a mall. He asked his customers questions about cell phones, but he didn’t listen to their answers because it didn’t matter what they said. He was going to ask the next question in his sequence. Either they would sign on the dotted line or walk away. It didn’t matter to him.

The company had more than 50 percent cancellation rate coming out of the kiosks, but the sellers never missed quota. He got big bonuses for his teams because they always met their quota. It cost the company a lot of money in support costs, lost device costs, and refunds, so they shut down the entire unit and retrained the reps.

The company was designed as a subscription model, which meant they would lose a little bit of money to acquire customers.

Platinum rule

The platinum rule goes a step farther than the golden rule, which only requires that you treat people the way you want to be treated. The platinum mindset demands that you treat people the way they want to be treated.

Trust is core to the sales process, and trust begins by taking the time to ask questions and understand who you’re selling to. People like to be personalized.

Sam points to Netflix’s business model as an ideal one because it has motivated him to rate more than 800 movies. He said he does it because he knows that Netflix will use the information to improve his experience. He points to the fact that prospects will volunteer their information when they know it’s being used to help them make better decisions.

Negative reviews

When Jeff Bezos of Amazon first added negative reviews to the Amazon website, his investors thought he was crazy to include information that would discourage people from buying things. His response was that you don’t make money when you sell things, but rather when you help people make purchase decisions.

He said that sellers often lose sight of the fact that it’s more important to help people make the decision that’s best rather than making the decision the seller wants them to make. It’s sometimes powerful to not sell to a buyer when you can’t find the value proposition. They may figure it out themselves because you’ve built that trust and then buy from you anyway.

You aren’t costing the company money and you’ll improve your retention.

Talking least

He points to the fact that he always thought if he talked the most, he would leave with the most. He discovered, though, that when he asked meaningful questions, he talked the least, and he did well.

Sam discovered that holding his meetings at a cigar lounge helped him monitor how much he talked, because if his cigar went out, it meant he talked too much and didn’t listen enough.

Candle problem

A famous psychology study challenges people to fix a candle to a way in a way that it doesn’t drop any wax when it’s lit. People try melting the candle to the wall but nothing works. The right answer, he said, is to dump out the box of tacks, tack the box to the wall, and then add the candle.

If you give people the right incentive, you fire up the part of your brain that excites them. If you need someone to turn a wheel, the best way to accomplish that is to give them a dollar for every revolution they make.

The hardest thing to do is to convince people to give something a fair shake. When what you’re doing isn’t working, you tend to do more of the same with greater intensity.

When you shift your conversation and slow down your sales cycle and ask more questions and give more answers, you’ll make it easy for people to reach out to you.

“Hubspot Grew” episode resources

Connect with Sam Mallikarjunan on his website or on LinkedIn.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1046: You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSometimes sales professionals get it backward, and they fail to understand the need to worry more about your champion than your decision maker.

Today Garrett Mehrguth talks to us about the importance of your champion in your sales deals, and why we shouldn’t lose sight of his importance.

Sometimes there’s great value in changing the defaults we learn as salespeople. We tend to become so obsessed with the decision makers that we overlook the champions, who are arguably the most important person in the whole scenario.

How decisions are made

Salespeople sometimes focus so greatly on getting a close that we neglect the fundamental truths involved in selling. In fact, we alienate people and we become our own worst enemy.

It isn’t price; it’s me. Most often, we are the reason that deals don’t close. It’s a direct result of who we speak to, who we don’t speak to, the way we end a conversation, the way we treat people, how well we prepare.

We must have transparency and honesty to admit that often we’re the reason we don’t close a deal.

Salespeople are quick to take credit for successes and slow to take responsibility for failures. #SalesTruth

Garrett believes that if we would build our resources and our marketing toward decision makers, we would drastically improve our conversion rates.

How deals emerge

Once a decision-maker recognizes he has a need, he might send a subordinate to a conference to talk to vendors. He might instruct the person to get three quotes and then bring his two favorites to the decision-maker. Once that’s done, the two will make a decision together.

He might suggest filling out 10 forms on the way to finding three good options. The pair will whittle those to two good options before making a decision.

The problem is that if you speak over the champion or speak through the champion or speak around the champion, you alienate your greatest ally.

Why you need the champion

The champion is your greatest asset while you’re not in the room, so if you alienate that person, you’re losing an important ally. You alienate the person who could potentially go to bat for you once you hang up the phone.

Good decision-makers make decisions by asking the champion whether or not he could work with that agency. So who truly puts their butt on the line?

It isn’t the decision-maker, because he has a fall guy.

The champion is the one who needs the information, the emotional support, and the resources to make a good decision. If you honor the champion with amazing intro calls, lots of sales resources, and well-prepared meetings, you give him the ammo to pitch you internally.

Why the decision-maker shouldn’t be your focus

In five years of working with marketing teams, Garrett has never heard anyone mention targeting the champion. Instead, we treat decision-makers as though they have some kind of supernatural power.

The decision-maker is never the point of contact. If he isn’t the point of contact, and he isn’t the one who will be working with the agency you choose, he isn’t the one to target.

Remember that everyone is selling to the decision-maker, including the champion. The decision-maker’s job is to discern the best fit for his champion. So even if he likes a certain agency better, if that agency can’t work with his champion, it won’t matter.

Deal retention is far more important than closing deals. Even if you manage to close a deal, if you don’t treat the champion well, you won’t renew it. You won’t get referrals from it.

In Garrett’s mind, there isn’t a single aspect of the process where the decision-maker is more important than the champion.

Avoiding absolutes

He acknowledges, too, that absolutes are dangerous. It’s certainly not true that the decision-maker should never, ever be considered.

Instead, let’s work to change the fundamental hypothesis that we as marketers and sales reps enter relationships with.

If we spend more time building rapport with the point of contact, you will drastically improve your close rate because you are building confidence and comfort with the most important voice in the room.

You need a champion who will give you a voice during moments when you aren’t in the room because that’s often when deals are decided. You won’t close $150,000 contracts while you’re in the room. It happens behind closed doors, and you won’t likely be there when it does.

Shifting focus to champions

Give your champions resources to bolster their confidence. Make that your primary goal.

Your champion is likely scared to death of going to his boss with a recommendation. His discernment and character will be judged by the referral he makes. Anytime you give a referral to someone, your own judgment is on the line.

Challenge things that other people won’t do. Put your neck on the line by offering evidence and claims that protect the champion when he goes to his boss. You take the risk so your champion doesn’t have to.

It will give him the confidence to recommend your agency and it will differentiate you from the competition.

In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Building confidence

Garrett’s company operates on annual contracts, and they give the point of contact room to act if he doesn’t feel completely comfortable in the relationship. By backing up their claims, it gives the champion room to cover himself if he makes a bad choice in hiring them.

If you create alignment with the champion, you’ll create alignment with the decision-maker. At the end of the day, the decision-makers just have to make more money than you’re charging them.

The champion has to have a day-to-day relationship with you. You can’t neglect that relationship.

It’s why you must develop resources that speak directly to your champion.

Even when it’s time to renew, the champion will get to decide whether to continue working with your agency. Regardless of the data, if the relationship isn’t there, the deal won’t renew.

Change your perspective to focus on champions, and your volume will drastically improve. There are far more champions looking for vendors than there are decision-makers.

You’ll also increase your deal retention and reduce churn.

Change your prospecting and marketing to focus on the champions, you’ll increase your at-bats and your close rate.

“You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker” episode resources

You can connect with Garrett on LinkedIn @garrettmehrguth, email him at gmehrguth@directiveconsulting.com, or connect with him on Twitter @gmehrguth.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, TSE Certified Sales Program, Sales Training, New Sellers

TSE 970: TSE Hustler’s League – “You Are Too Late”

Donald Kelly, TSE Certified Sales Program, Sales Training, New SellersOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we’re talking about how you can exert influence into the buying process even when you are too late.

TSE Hustler’s League is our online group coaching program that brings together sellers from all industries and all abilities to share ideas.

Executives

I’m reading a book called Selling to the C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You To Know About Successfully Selling To the Top, which suggests that executives often find themselves unable to get access to the information they need to solve problems.

When executives recognize a problem, they usually begin by doing research. Unfortunately, marketers and salespeople often focus their solutions on their product instead of on the challenges their prospects are facing.

Addressing their challenges requires a deeper level of understanding and thinking, and a deeper level of research.

We must share the content the executives want.

What and why

One executive in the book suggested getting involved in the what and the why rather than the how.

Most executives are focused on the future of the business. They are looking for partners who can help them do the same.

It’s difficult to accurately predict the future of a company on your own, but with the help of industry partners, it becomes easier.

Help those in your industry by being a forward thinker. Build a relationship with executives by connecting with them and helping them focus on the future of their businesses.

Decision makers

Studies show that 80 percent of decision makers get involved in the buying process early.

When they recognize a problem, they often hand the issue off to a lower-level teammate to help research it. That person will read blogs, search the Internet, listen to podcasts, and look for answers to the problem.

That means that many times, you’ll be interacting with a team member who isn’t a decision maker. He won’t be able to sign off on the deal; he’ll just want you to provide a demonstration so he can gather information.

Your job is to share your demonstration and your expertise as well as your current customers with that person.

You can best do that by providing information that will be helpful to the company during the research stage.

  • Create a video about the top three things holding small tech companies back from increasing revenue.
  • Offer a download addressing the five things every executive needs to know about growing a small tech company.

Help executives think of challenges they weren’t even aware of. When you do, you bring more to the table than just a product or service.

RFP

When you reply to an RFP, your request may be a formality. In many cases, a customer already has a vendor in mind that he’d like to work with. Your bid is simply an effort to see if any cheaper bids exist.

In many cases, the competitor may have helped create the RFP, giving the customer feedback about what information to include in it.

Uncovering challenges

Begin by talking with your current customers to find out what their concerns are. Ask what they’d most like to learn about over the next 5-10 years.

Once you have an idea, go to LinkedIn and create articles or videos answering some of those questions.

Since these are the challenges executives in our industry will be focused on, we’ll create content that will help them during the research stage. As we do, we’re aligning ourselves as trusted advisors and forward thinkers who can help the decision makers get where they want to be.

“You Are Too Late” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting and give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. We’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit. We’re introducing some changes in our January semester, and we’d love for you to be part of it.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Buyers Journey, Martyn R. Lewis, Donald Kelly

TSE 938: How Today’s Buying Journey Has Drastically Changed And Why It Matters To You!

Martyn Lewis, The Sales Evangelist, Buyer's JourneyThe buying journey has changed, and sellers must change with it. Sellers must address the gap between how people buy and how people sell. We must uncover why it matters that today’s buying journey has changed.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Martyn Lewis, founder of Market Partners, about how today’s buying journey has drastically changed and why it matters to you.

Martyn is a seasoned veteran of the sales industry, and he founded Market Partners when he discovered that many sellers were selling their products and services according to the way buyers used to buy.

He’s an entrepreneur, and authority on business strategy. We’re talking about closing this month, and the buyer’s journey is an important part of that process.

Changing the buyers’ journey

Selling was much easier prior to the 1940s. People sold to each other and they had limited choices. Buyers knew what they wanted and they knew where to get it. Purchases were local.

Beginning in the 1940s, people had more choices. More people were involved in buying and more were involved in selling.

Communication, radio, television, fax changed the face of selling. They made the world smaller.

Buyers had the freedom to find sellers outside of their buying market. They could go to the next town or city or country to find something they needed.

Large companies saw the change coming and they introduced sales process.

Three generations

Today, in the third generation of sales since then, buyers have an abundance of choice. They can Google and find all sorts of things.

They have countless alternatives and no shortage of things they can do, and probably too much information.

That means you’re not the only one who’s selling. You’re not the only one competing for your buyer’s attention.

Today’s buyers are very busy. Technology has caused a huge disruption for buyers.

Previous buying stages

Every buyer’s market is different but the macro journey looks like this:

  • awareness
  • interest
  • commitments
  • acquisition
  • adoption

In the first stages, buyers had to really connect with the companies they buy from. They sought information from salespeople and brochures and phone calls.

Today, though, buyers can find their information on the Internet. The first two stages of that buyer’s journey can now be done without talking to a salesperson.

Data suggests, too, that more than 50 percent of the buyer’s journey happens before the buyer ever talks to a salesperson.

Prepared clients

Sellers have to go well beyond being a conduit of information for the buyers.

We have to discover what is on the buyer’s mind. We’ve got to manage the entire buying journey. So the role of the salesperson now isn’t to position and promote the product.

What does it take for an organization to commit to your product or service once they are truly interested?

Are they looking to test the equipment or are they simply window-shopping? They might worry about how to implement your product or service. Perhaps they’ll worry about training their people to use your goods.

Salespeople must manage that journey. Who all will be involved? What are their concerns and how do I handle them?

You’ve got to reduce that friction.

Falling short

The days of the single decision-maker are over. Today’s buying journey has changed so that networks of dynamic people make buying decisions today.

Very often the buyers themselves aren’t even sure after the fact who made the decision to go with a certain product.

Sellers must always look at everyone who is involved in the process and manage all the key players. Don’t ever assume a champion will do all the work for you.

Recognize the difference between interest and commitment. Never think because you’ve got someone who is sincerely interested in your offering that they will automatically buy it.

Think outside in. Start with the customer and their world.

How many things are on the customer’s mind? Always start with their world?

“Today’s Buying Journey Has Changed” episode resources

Grab a copy of Martyn’s book, How Customers Buy and Why They Don’t.

Email Lewis at mlewis@market-partners.com. He loves hearing from people about the work they are doing and the projects they are working on.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Tim Riesterer, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Podcast

TSE 234: The Three Value Conversations

Tim Riesterer, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales PodcastToday I have the opportunity of interviewing Tim Riesterer, one of the authors of  “The Three Value Conversations: How to Create, Elevate, and Capture Customer Value at Every Stage of the Long-Lead Sale“. Tim is the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Corporate Visions. Tim has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales. He was a co-founder of Customer Message Management.

He has also worked with LLC, where he was the CEO until it was acquired by Corporate Visions in 2008. Before CMM Group, Tim was CMO and VP of Strategic Services for Ventaso. Tim is also an author and has co-authored serval books. He brings a lot of great insights to a sales conversation and during this episode, he offers some great thoughts relative to his book.

Here are some of the takeaways:

“Value is created when a salesperson’s lips move.” – @TRiesterer  

Salespeople are still needed when a solution is complex and difficult to make a decision on. As a sales professional, it’s your responsibility to educate people and offer value to the prospect.

Most salespeople get stuck creating enough pipeline. They also get stuck at the proposal stages because they don’t establish enough value. Another place is getting caught up on margins and prices.

How to create enough pipeline:

  1. Your biggest enemy is status quo. Help your prospects recognize they need a change before you can get them to buy.
  2. Learn people’s situation.
  3. Help your customers create a buying vision
    • Why should I change?
    • Why should I do it now?
    • Why should I do it with you?
  4. Help the customer understand why they need to change NOW!
  5. Customers may think they are different, but many of them are the same. Sometimes you try to reinvent the wheel as a seller, but in actuality, you can lead with the same story.
  6. Known problems won’t kill people, it’s the unknown problems that you need to point out. When you can do this, you become unique.

Whiteboard vs. PowerPoint

People will follow the visual whiteboard stick figure story more than the clicker with a PowerPoint. This makes you have more credibility.

Learn How Your Prospects Make Money!

  • 80% of business deals need to be signed off by a CFO. However, only 10% of most opportunities have a CFO as a contact. Learn to speak the language of your CFO prospects. Become versed in their story.
  • If you can’t have a big boardroom conversation, you will get delegated to lower level folks.
  • Executive buyers value people who can bring value to a conversation above someone who has good relationships.

Pivotal Agreements

  • When the customers ask for something, have something for them to do in exchange.
  • If the prospect asks for pricing, references, pilot programs, etc. it doesn’t necessarily mean the deal is moving forward.

Major Takeaway:

Great conversations can purposely move people. It is way more science than we think.

Stay in Touch with Tim:

  1. Corporate Vision’s Website http://corporatevisions.com/
  2. Tim’s on Twitter @TRiesterer

Join Today!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Stuart Draper; Donald Kelly; The Sales Evangelist Podcast; Donald C Kelly

TSE 128: TSE Executive Suite “How to Get the Attention of and Sell to C Levels”

Stuart Draper, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, CEO

Stuart Draper is the CEO of Stukent

Want to learn more about how to get into talking to more executives and decision-makers?

This is another great episode where we invite entrepreneur and executive, Stu Draper. Stu is an entrepreneur at heart. He started getfoundfirst.com in 2008 and stukent.com in 2013. In over a year and a half, they went from helping one university to helping 225 universities. They have an astounding rate of 25 new universities a month with 40% close rate. Their company works to help teach internet marketing by providing a digital textbook each semester. They also take pride in the world’s first internet marketing simulation.

Stu is the perfect person for this episode because he shares advice on how we can better position ourselves to get connected with busy executives. It’s about being very strategic on how you approach an individual. It’s about taking time to build a relationship.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Stu:

What makes a great sales approach or sales pitch:

A great pitch depends on the:

  • Right moment
  • Right approach
  • Right product.

Calling a client at a bad time:

  • Acknowledge right away for calling out of the blue.
  • Help your client feel that you understand where they’re coming from.
  • Tell them you’re willing to set up a better time.
  • Tell them the reason for interruption is that you have something of value that is worth it!
  • Point out the pain of the client and how you can resolve it in a clear, concise way.

Should you ask the client if it’s a good time to call?

  • End it with “I know you’re busy right now…” (Don’t ask if they’re busy or if it’s a good time.)
  • Set up a time when you can talk more.

The importance of coming prepared for every call:

Take time to know things about and better understand your client.

First call should be:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • About their pain and how you solve it
  • About when you can talk next

How to best approach that, “I’m not friends with you” on LinkedIn:

  • Connect with the person on a higher level than just “add me to your professional network on LinkedIn.”
  • Don’t be “spammy.” It’s about relationship-building.

Example:  “I heard you speak at this conference. It touched me and changed the way I think. Thanks! I’d like to connect with you.”

On leaving voice mails:

Short and concise

On sending emails:

  • Short and concise
  • Spark their interest.
  • Do something different that they don’t read in every other sales email.
  • Make yourself stand out.
  • You have to have a product that’s going to make a difference and make it worth their time.

Strategies to grab their attention:

  • Interesting subject line
  • Thought-provoking question to solicit pain

Putting creativity in your approach:

  • Creativity gets you in the door.
  • The product matters and how you show it matters.
  • Creative approaches: Videos, Webinars
  • Being creative in your pricing model and promotion

What is pricing to an executive?

  • Pricing is secondary. Value comes first.

Stu’s main challenges with sales:

  • Getting them to take time to use the CRM correctly
  • Follow ups

Current projects Stu is working on:

  • Expanding their courseware
  • Recently launched five social media case studies
  • Connect with Stu on Twitter @stu_draper and LinkedIn (He’d be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn, just give him a good reason!)

Stu’s Major Takeaway:

“Creativity will get you in the door, but product and pricing will help you close the deal.”

Executives appreciate when you bug them a little bit. CEO’s are busy people and they juggle so many balls in the air at the same time. It’s not that they’re ignoring you, they just don’t have the time. When they do have time, they’re waiting for you to connect with them. When they can, they’re going to respond and take time for you.