Are you a super seller? A magician of sales success? A lean, mean sales machine? No, that's OK either am I or at least not naturally anyway.
Let's get real, sales is daunting and you are truly exposing yourself when you step out from behind your comfortable desk and say, "listen to me."
I hate to say it, but the number one roadblock to sales success is ourselves. As an entrepreneur you've done a ton of work behind the scenes to get your business up and running, your product developed, your skills honed, but when it comes time for the ask, many of us never leave our desk.
Why do we do this after putting in all of the blood, sweat, and tears? Actually, you have your ancestors to blame. It's their fault that your inner safety alarm is blaring, "I FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE!" It's our way of naturally protecting ourselves from danger; yes it's very caveman of us.
So now take a deep breath and remind yourself that it's only natural and then kick your own ass! You heard me, it's time to shut it down and knock it off.
Are you really going to settle for being your own biggest obstacle? Are you going to be the reason for your failure? NO!
Here's the plan:
1. Create your prospecting list.
Let's begin with at least eight prospects. You should be able to easily identify your prospects through Buyer Personas you created. If you have not created Buyer Personas then back it up and get it done.
These are your current contacts, connections on LinkedIn, people you meet at Chamber of Commerce networking events. You can ask friends for introductions to decision makers. Now is the time to feel uncomfortable and use it to your advantage. Remind yourself that feeling means you are moving forward in the right direction.
Here are a few qualifying questions you can use to identify prospects worth pursuing:
- What's the business problem you're seeking to fix with this offering?
- Do you have a budget allocated for this project? If not, when do you expect that you will?
- What are you currently spending on this issue?
- Has your company ever considered/used a product like this before? If so, what happened?
- What does success look like to you, both in terms of qualitative and quantitative results?
- Based on what you've seen so far, do you think our offering could be a viable solution for your problem?
Read the full list of questions and advice here: "18 Sales Qualification Questions to Identify Prospects Worth Pursuing" (source: HubSpot Sales Blog)
Image Credit: Tom Abbott, ACC
2. Create your prospecting emails.
These should be one or two personalized emails that offer help to your prospective client. These emails are not for selling, they are for offering value. The HubSpot sales blog is a great resource for all things prospecting emails.
Successful prospecting is a three-part process in which you need to establish who you are and how you can help your prospect. The message you're delivering should address:
- Why you're contacting the prospect (this needs to be focused on them and include the trigger event or data that says you should reach out to this person).
- Why you're contacting the prospect now (in other words, why your call is so timely).
- A request for something you want from them that is easy and quick to complete.
The final point should advance the sales process, such as qualifying their need or the timing of your outreach. The simpler and clearer your request, the more likely your prospects are to respond to you.
As you'll see in the example below, this can be accomplished by providing them with tips that would only be relevant if they have a real need or informing them of a trend or piece of information that would influence their interest in you.
Here's a HubSpot-tested example:
Hi [lead’s first name],
Some [their company’s name] folks have been looking at our internet marketing resources and I wanted to reach out to you.
I'm touching base because I've done a preliminary assessment of your website and would like to offer you some feedback specifically related to the (their company’s name) website.
HubSpot has a software platform that helps companies do three things:
1. Get found online
2. Convert qualified traffic into more leads to help lower CPL and Cost Per Customer Acquisition
3. Measure their activities to understand what is working best and what they are wasting their time and money on
If you'd like, I'm happy to set up a time to provide you with some tips, and we can discuss whether HubSpot would be a helpful addition to your online strategy.
I look forward to hearing from you.
This email subtly uses all three points and establishes a simple ask. If they're interested in some tips that could improve their web marketing presence, they simply need to engage with this email.
People who reply positively to this message are demonstrating some of the qualities of a good opportunity. The tips about their website act as a lure to encourage responses. If you haven't already checked it out, HubSpot CRM is free, easy to use, and eliminates manual data entry like logging emails and calls. But the best part for prospecting is that you can track the open and click-through rates of each template, and share the ones that work best with your entire team.
3. Create a script.
This is for your follow-up phone call. This may sound corny but it's the best way to have your ducks in a row. You don't want to be a tongue-tied ding-dong during your phone call. Write the script for the right impression.
Incorporate the following six elements:
- Build rapport
- Establish credibility
- Provide your reason for calling
- Gain commitment
Image Credit: Tom Abbott, ACC
4. Kick your own ass and pick up the phone.
A good goal to set is 3 phone calls per day to various prospects. If you get them on the phone respect their time and keep the call to 10 minutes or less. The purpose of this call is to schedule a 30-minute call or meeting to explore their needs even further and how you can solve their problems.
Introduce yourself and try to get a feel for if they recognize your name. Ask if they have a few minutes to talk. If now is not a good time, ask when you may call back. Don't wimp out on the callback. Your prospect will respect you more for your follow through.
For the next 30 days call 3 prospects per day. All the while keeping up with the email routine and looking for new prospects. At the end of this 30 days, you will be impressed with how much you have improved your comfort level, your ease of sales conversations, and your success. If you truly believe in what you are selling then these steps should bring you sales success.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and we have to give ourselves some tough love. So next time you get that uncomfortable feeling, push it aside and know that you are moving in toward success!