I would definitely consider myself a modern sales rep. I talk about sales reps needing to be "more human" and "more real" to be a good sales rep today.
I started at HubSpot almost 4 years ago as a Business Development Rep. I was one of the first BDRs here at HubSpot and worked my way up over the last few years to become a more senior sales rep. I managed BDRs at one point, and am now considered a Principal Sales Rep. Principal Sales Rep is one of the top spots or ranks you can have as a sales rep here outside of being a manager. I am proud of the work that I have done here and have learned a ton. That is one of the reasons I created and started this blog. I wanted to share the lessons I have learned along the way from when I was new to sales, not as new to sales, and growing through the ranks over the years in sales.
There are lots of sales blogs out there that target sales managers and sales directors. Most sales blogs are not targeting early stage sales reps or sole contributors like Sales Account Executives. I am not a sales manager and so the content I create on my blog is specific to people like myself. I write about lessons learned daily as a sales rep. The articles I write are real. They are thought up by me and they are usually real things that somehow stuck out to me that day so I wrote it down to share with others.
My experience as a sales rep is not going to be the same as your experience as a sales rep. The sales process is a similar thing. If you are finding yourself having the same sales process every time you talk to someone you need to stop thinking like a robot and start thinking like a human being. The sales process should be fluid and not set in stone. Not every conversation should go the same way. If you feel like your conversations are all the same, kick yourself, shake your arms up and down, wake yourself up. You are sleeping your way through your sales process. If you are not thinking on your feet and thinking with each prospect differently then you are not doing the best job that you could do.
Here are 5 simple ways that I make sure I come off as a more human sales person and as real in the sales process.
- I always write my own emails. I never use email templates in the sales process. I write my own follow up and write what I actually think from our conversations. Don't go on robot mode. Make sure your voice is coming off in the sales process because people don't like boring sales reps.
- If I am bored talking to someone it is probably for a reason. Maybe they aren't listening or maybe I am boring them. I should ask them. Don't just do things to do things. If you think someone is not listening then stop and ask.
- Say something funny. Did the prospect laugh? If they didn't I would ask why. Hello? Are you there Mr. Prospect? Why was that not funny to you? This will likely wake them up and get them to break their barriers or shells down a bit.
- Today I was on a demo with someone and I found myself realizing that the person didn't have approval on budget yet and didn't know their budget. Right there I need to be seeing red. STOP, STOP, don't keep going. If you get a clue from your prospect that the step in the sales process you are at at that moment doesn't seem right, don't keep going just for the heck of it. STOP, reassess where the prospect is at and then together come up with a plan of action from there.
- Ask them to explain the process back to you. At HubSpot, I sell marketing software that is built off of this concept of inbound marketing. I think a methodology is the cornerstone of selling anything. Until your prospect understands the concepts of what your product or service solves for why would they buy your product. Make sure that the prospect fully understands what your methodology to your product is before you start blabbing about the product. A simple way to do this is by asking them to explain the process back to you in their own words. Every now and then you should do a check of whether or not they are understanding what you are saying and how they would explain it.
How do you check in with yourself to make sure that you are coming off as human in the sales process? Do you have specific things that you check yourself to make sure you are coming off as real as you can in the sales process?