A year ago, I considered myself a great salesman and an expert marketer. Then I joined up with Xzito, a B2B marketing and technology agency based in Rhode Island. My world was flipped. There were new, more complex methods of selling and marketing.
To help overcome my steep learning curve, our company president recommended that I sign up for a HubSpot sales skills training program led by sales guru Dan Tyre. After taking the course, I came to the conclusion that sales and marketing are deep oceans that can only be conquered with the right effort, skills, and knowledge.
We sometimes confuse experience with knowledge. Bruce Lee said, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Having a ton of sales and marketing experience doesn't necessarily make you more effective. Thanks Master Bruce!
In an effort to help you avoid some common sales mistakes, here is my list of 6 sales skills you can implement to add value to your conversations and become a proud lion. The king of the sales jungle🦁.
Be a Psychologist
Stop talking so much. During my first week of sales training, the President of Xzito told me that I need to be a psychologist. Dan Tyre (Hubspot) gave me the same advice. It's not my job to tell people how great we are. It's my job to learn about people's problems and learn how we can best help them.
How does a Psychologist behave? They are masters at collecting information before recommending a diagnosis. They take their time before diving into a one size fits all solution. That's how the best salespeople behave. Be a psychologist.
Stand and Deliver
Your nervous weak energy is killing your chances of locking down a deal. Literally, stand up when you're on the phone. Body language has a lot to do with our mental output. Watch this Ted Talk on "power posing" to learn why body language and posture is so important.
Mirror Their Personality Type (DISC)
This is a deep topic, but to keep it simple, if they are direct, be direct. If they are casual and calm, be...... Yeah you guessed it. Casual and calm. Learn more about your personal DISC profile and how you can best interact with other personality types.
A Little Research Goes a Long Way
Take 5 to 10 minutes to actually research who you're about to call. The reason we HATE telemarketers is because they think of us as a number on a spreadsheet. I'm a person, not a number on a checklist! When I call someone, I know who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Use LinkedIn and visit their company website. It's not stalking it's just good service.
Tailor Your Approach
You should already know at least 3 ways your products and services could help a potential client. But don't be too quick to make suggestions. I was at a marketing conference last month, and I kept noticing one common issue with all of the vendors there. They told me about their product before learning who I was and why I might need it. One size doesn't fit all.
One software company with a little table in the corner stood out as a clear winner. Here is a quick breakdown of our conversation:
I walked up and said, "what does your software do?"
Instead of giving me a blanket elevator pitch. He stopped the conversation to ask me an important question. "Actually, before we get into that, can you tell me about your company?"
It was a basic question, but it made me think, "Wow! This guy wants to know about me! And he's going to customize his next answer based on what I tell him." This simple and powerful tactic allowed him to change his pitch and provide a unique solution for my needs. He took the time to learn about my challenges. He is a good psychologist.
Set Goals Before Closing Sales
An eager puppy wants to close a sale during their first conversation. Slow down proud lion. You might uncover additional needs that your customer is facing. Even if you don't end up working together, the time you spent providing value will put you in a good light the next time your prospect makes a recommendation to his colleagues and associates.
I love to discuss how to build brands and connect with customers, but it doesn't mean much unless we make a plan of action. I encourage you to reach out to learn how you can create a winning sales and marketing strategy. We'll go through the steps listed above, and provide you with access to sales and marketing tools and strategies that we use for our agency. By the way, I have at least 7 additional sales insights, call scripts, and winning sales strategies that I couldn't fit into this blog.