Today, I got this email.
I thought to myself, "Oh, good! Another stalker." and went about my business.
A little while later, I get this email.
So, two things are making me think that maybe Nectafy is not a stalker. First, he mentions that Pete suggested that he follow me. Second, that he messaged me at all. This is not the normal 'follow and never think about it again' scenario.
We actually had two exchanges.
Here's the first.
Here's how it twisted into the second.
And this was the final exchange.
So, do you use Twitter to stalk or engage?
What else are you taking away from the exchange?Rick Roberge
I've actually written about the value of blog comments before.
Check this out.
On November 26, 2013 1:37 AM, Richard wrote:
I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
On 11/26/13 3:39 AM, I replied:
Do we know each other? Have we ever met or spoken?
On 11/26/13 3:44 AM, Richard wrote:
Hi Rick, No we don't, but I wanted to reach out to you have a conversation about your coaching and our needs. Would you be open for a quick introductory call at some point tomorrow morning (your time) as based in the UK? Regards Richard
On 11/26/13 3:51 AM, I replied:
OK. If you use this link to schedule the call, I will reply with a GoToMeeting link. May I ask how you know of me?
On 11/26/13 4:00 AM, Richard wrote:
Read about you on here; http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/qualifying-prospects-why-bant-isnt-enough-anymore-tl
Now, since then, Richard and I have spoken and have agreed that I am not what he's looking for, but I shared some content with him that could help, introduced him to Frank Belzer who could help and invited him to stay in touch. More importantly, I got another great story for my blog.
Now, think about this. Frank Belzer and I were both salespeople/consultants at Kurlan at the same time and we both had active blogs which we used to build our own reputation and following as well as to generate leads. It helped us and helped Kurlan. Richard has 162 salespeople. Imagine what happens if he gets all of them blogging, commenting, and being social to build their own personal brand as well as the company's?
I recently tripped over this article that Pete Caputa wrote in 2008 shortly after he started at Hubspot. Any wonder why he's as successful as he is?
Finally, you can ask questions about salespeople blogging, commenting and being social and get answers from Pete, Frank and myself as well as listen to the answers to other salespeople's questions. Click this link.Rick Roberge
Several months ago, some dopey expert suggested that a rep's initial conversation with an inbound lead might start with, "Hi name, I was notified that you came to our website and recently downloaded (reference the conversion event). Do you remember doing that? Great! What were you looking for help with?"
In October, I talked with a CEO that had a "stubborn salesman" that has been starting his sales conversations with, "How can I help you?" for a millenium and he's sure as hell not gonna change for some new fangled fad called inbound marketing that generates crappy leads anyway.
I hear this kind of thing every day, but these two examples were so quotable that I couldn't resist.
I wrote, What to say after "Hello"? for Sarah last October and it may begin to give you some answers.
I also got involved with a blogversation that got me remembering a conversation from 2007/8. I noticed a big name company doing a crappy job at a trade show. I knew somebody at the big name company and asked them who would be a good person to talk to about improving. I got referred to Charlie. I reached out to Charlie and I don't remember the exchange, but I do remember that Charlie accused me of using a stupid Sandler negative reverse on him. Don't worry about most of this. Focus on the fact that Charlie didn't like anyone making 'sales moves' on him.
I don't think Charlie's alone, as a matter of fact, I think that Charlie is the norm.
Add to that, the fact that over half of the buyer's journey is done by the time you're notified. Add to that, the fact that the average salesperson feels as though the buyer has all the power and knows what they want and will buy it when they see it. The average salesperson also may be a terrible buyer. Consequently, when they're shopping and dealing with a salesperson, the salesperson may try to use tricks, techniques and tactics to manipulate them into buying AND THEY DON'T LIKE IT. So, when the shoe's on the other foot, they don't want to use tricks, techniques and tactics to manipulate their prospect into buying, but it's all that they're taught. So, they feel helpless.
So, understanding all of that,
how do you sell an inbound
lead in 30 seconds?Rick Roberge
Pete Caputa once advised me to spend one third of my blogging time reading oth er blogs, one third of my blogging time commenting on other blogs and one third of my blogging time writing on my own blog. Lately, I've added another third. (Can I do that?) I've been writing for other blogs and publications. At first, it was seldom, but it's been happening so frequently lately, that it's cut into my writing for my own blog time. (I guess I couldn't add another third.) In case you're interested, this is where I've been in the past month.
Sales Qualification Improves Close Rates [New Data]
How to Handle Unexpected Rejection From Your Prospect
The Benefits of Blogging: Why Businesses Do It, and You Should Too
How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?
Small Business Networking - Keeping It Fun
Red Light – Green Light and Baby Steps
The Inbound Marketing Agency as a Change Agent
Ramblings, Paralysis By Analysis, Breaking The Rules
Your Prospect's Just Not That Into You
Timing and the Closed-Lost Opportunity
How to Master Non-Awkward, Effective In-Person Networking
What Not to Do at a Sales Conference
The Hidden High Value of Low-Value Customers
Three Things Your Accounts Receivable Can Tell You About Sales
How to Do Less Work But Earn More As an Entrepreneur
Reactions to my own sales assessment test
Death to the Marketing Agency of the PastRick Roberge
Odd title, I know, but it will make sense after I share this story.
Those of you who know me well know that I'm a regular guy. Won some. Lost some. A mix of likes and dislikes. Not good at some things. Worse at others, but in 1991, I was trudging along at my job with a house, mortgage, two cars, two teenagers, two cats. Get the picture? Joe Normal. In April, Elaine says, "Why don't we see if there's any houses for sale up at Goose Rocks Beach." (At that point, we had been renting a cottage for a week every summer for 15 years.) On Patriots Day, Lori Sullivan showed us about 20 properties and Elaine picked one. We made an offer and gave a deposit pending inspection and financing. That's where this story starts,
Our loan officer was Anne Marie Rafferty. Honestly, I don't remember the beginning of our relationship, but as I said, we were regular people and we put every bit of cash, refinanced our primary home to the max and asked for the maximum mortgage on the house in Maine. In other words, we were betting everything on our ability to make the payments. Realistically, I looked at our application and I wouldn't have made the loan. What made these two think that they should have a beach house. It took two months to get it done. Anne Marie ran interference, answered investors' questions, dealt with the underwriters and at one point I mentioned that her job looked like it was pretty demanding and that I probably would have given up a long time ago.
You ready? This is it. She said, "I know that this is a good loan and I want you to get what you want." It wasn't about her commission. It wasn't about her quota. She totally understood our compelling reasons for being there. She felt that she could get it for us and she was determined to get it for us. She made it happen.
Mark and Matt had great summers at Goose Rocks Beach.
Mark proposed to Robin on Goose Rocks Beach.
Kai and Zane call Goose Rocks Beach, "Grammy's Beach."
Melissa needs several Goose Rocks Beach fixes every year.
And last year, Melissa's parents, Nan and Jerry visited and I'm sure they'll be back every year.
Now, the title...
If I had a blog in 1991, I'd have written this then. I'd have emailed it, and tweeted it and posted it to Facebook and LinkedIn, so that everybody that I know and everybody that ever met me could read:
BTW, she's still working and still making her customers' dreams come true. Tell her I sent you.Rick Roberge
In July of 2009, one of my favorite clients, Rob, enrolled his sales guy, Jay in group training. Jay had some prior success in sales, but was far from a rock star and his evaluation indicated that although we found areas that he could improve significantly, he felt that he was pretty darn perfect and didn't need our help. (Eventually, Rob and Jay parted ways.)
OK, so one day, Jay comes to training on a day that we're talking about holding your price, being firm, not giving a discount. When it's Jay's turn to talk, he says that good negotiators deserve better prices, i.e. bigger discounts, simply because they're better negotiators.
When Frank Belzer and I worked together, we were pretty complementary and sometimes we'd bring each other in, even if we might be able to handle the 'deal' ourselves. One day, I get a call from an executive that wants a one day training session for 1,000 salespeople at his annual convention. I get Frank in on the initial call. We all talk a while and eventually the executive asks about price and I tell him $10,000 for the day. The executive chokes a little and tells me thats over his budget. I probably said something like, "OK, well thanks for calling." Frank clears his throat and asks if he can ask a question. The executive says, "Sure."
Frank asks, "Do you have any other currency?" The executive asks, "What's other currency?"
Frank: How many customers do you have?
Frank: How many of them sell something?
Exec: All of them. We're strictly B2B.
Frank: What are the chances that we would be introduced to all of your customers as the best sales consultants in the world and that we're the ones that you chose to train your salespeople?
Frank: That's other currency because my guess is that Rick would probably forego part or all of our fee for the opportunity to work with your 30,000 customers. Get it?
Prospect: I love what you've got and I can't wait to get going with you. As a matter of fact, I have board approval to move forward except that they just need you to sharpen your pencil. We need a 30% discount off the cash price and we need the cash price spread out in equal payments over 12 months.
Salesperson: Sorry. I have no flexibility. The price is the price.
Prospect: My board told me that you'd say that because they're very savvy. They also are totally aware that EVERYTHING is negotiable in your industry.
Salesperson: I understand that ALL of my competitors discount, but our company has decided not to play those silly games. Our board feels that savvy buyers are aware that our competitors have a higher asking price so that they can discount when they need to. Our attitude is why should anyone ever have to pay a higher asking price? Why not start at the price-price, not discount and refuse all counter offers. So, that leaves us with the price, or you tell me to go away. Which is it?
Prospect: My board insists on 30%.
Salesperson: So, it's go away. Are you gonna say it or do I have to say it for you?
Prospect: My board insists on 30%.
Salesperson: Got it. I'll go away! Thanks for your time. Sorry it didn't work out.
So, pretend that you're the boss. Which attitude do you want your salespeople to have?
If you're on the board of directors or own stock in the company, which attitude do you want your salespeople to have?
If you're a prospect or customer, which attitude do you want your salespeople to have?
If you're a salesperson, which attitude do you want to have yourself and which attitude do you want your fellow salespeople to have?
If enough of you ask in the comments, I'll get some friends to help with an e-book or series of videos all about the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of sales discounts.Rick Roberge
I agreed to do some group coaching. The way that it works is I schedule a 60 minute call and share the GTM link. 20+ salespeople join the call. 4-6 of those salespeople will submit an agenda that we will role play and work on for 10-15 minutes with everybody else listening. This past week, somebody asked what to do when somebody wasn't excited that you called (or worse). So, I role played the situation with me being the salesperson and him being the prospect. During the role play, I asked (in role), "Do you want me just to go away?" and we wrapped it up.
The next day, I got an email from Kimberly, "I’ve been using this line all day. I LOVE IT. It does catch people off guard, they laugh, and then they tell me why they were actually really hoping I would call and when I should call back. Thank you….nice little nugget of gold."
I replied, "Think you can turn that into a short blog post as a guest author for my blog? Why does it work?"
In her own words....
“Do you want me just to go away”
I’ve been using this line all day in my prospecting calls and after several years of sales experience, I wish I had been introduced to this before (thanks Rick)….. You call the prospect, you have obviously caught them in the middle of something, and you say “do you want me just to go away”.
Why does it work?
I think it works because it is exactly the opposite of what they think you will say. They assume you will either rush quickly to get in your pitch, or formally schedule some type of follow up call that they don’t even know the intent of. Prospecting calls are in essence a form of marketing, and as a HubSpot veteran, I’ve learned that to be successful in marketing, means to be different to be remarkable. This is different, thus, the goal of the call is accomplished. You got their attention, you were different than all the other calls they received.
I also, think it makes people realize that you are a human first, just at a job, and you appreciate that you have ABSOLUTLEY no idea what type of day they were having or what exactly you have interrupted. I think that buys you trust.
Let me add three things.
Kimberly is a 4 veteran at Hubspot and rumor has it that she cold called the vice president of sales so many times that he eventually had to hire her. If you haven't talked to anyone about Hubspot yet and you're looking to grow your business, you may want to start with her.
We actually had a conversation about ABL several years ago. Check it out here.
If you agree, disagree, or have a twist, this is how we grow. Please let Kimberly know in the comments.
One last thing, have you gotten your copy of
Three Things You Can Do to Get Sales in Two Weeks?Rick Roberge
Pete Caputa once advised me to spend one third of my blogging time reading oth er blogs, one third of my blogging time commenting on other blogs and one third of my blogging time writing on my own blog. Lately, I've added another third. (Can I do that?) I've been writing for other blogs and publications. At first, it was seldom, but it's been happening so frequently lately, that it's cut into my writing for my own blog time. (I guess I couldn't add another third.) In case you're interested, this is where I've been recently.
Why Use Hubspot Signals for Sales
What to say after "Hello"? Sales skills for an inbound world
Rock Star Ideas for Networking and Prospecting in the 21st Century
Evangelism (Sold Magazine Page 32)
Low Hanging Fruit (Sold Magazine Page 65)
Developing Confidence and Personal Motivation (Sold Magazine Page 44)
Developing Relationships and Their Impact on Your Influence (Sold Magazine Page 46)
Personal Bookkeeping - Is it worth it?
What a Fishing Guide Can Teach You About Your Small Business
Why Baby Boomers Should Learn About Inbound Marketing Now
4 Essential Best Practices to Successfully Prospect Inbound Leads
10 Ways to Overcome a Sales Slump
The Three Most Annoying Habits of Unsuccessful Sales Reps
How Poor Grammar Could Hurt Your Chance to Make a Sale
How to Establish Yourself in a New Sales Organization
As you can see, I've got opinions and am willing to share. If you'd like me to write an article for your blog or publication, contact me. If you'd like me to comment on a particular article, whether you wrote it or not, send me a link to the article.Rick Roberge
1. A husband and wife are on the 9th green when suddenly she collapses from a heart attack! "Help me dear," she groans to her husband. The husband calls 911 on his cell phone, talks for a few minutes, picks up his putter, and lines up his putt. His wife raises her head off the green and stares at him. "I'm dying here and you're putting?" "Don't worry dear," says the husband calmly, "they found a doctor on the second hole and he's coming to you. "Well, how long will it take for him to get here?" she asks feebly. "No time at all," says her husband. "Everybody's already agreed to let him play through."
2. A gushy reporter told Phil Mickelson, "You are spectacular; your name is synonymous with the game of golf. You really know your way around the course. What's your secret?" Mickelson replied, "The holes are numbered."
3. Police are called to an apartment and find a woman holding a bloody 3-iron standing over a lifeless man. The detective asks, "Ma'am, is that your husband?" "Yes" says the woman. "Did you hit him with that golf club?" "Yes, yes, I did." The woman begins to sob, drops the club, and puts her hands on her face. "How many times did you hit him?" "I don't know -- put me down for a five."
4. A golfer teed up his ball on the first tee, took a mighty swing and hit his ball into a clump of trees. He found his ball and saw an opening between 2 trees he thought he could hit through. Taking out his 3-wood, he took a mighty swing. The ball hit a tree, bounced back, hit him in the forehead and killed him. As he approached the gates of Heaven, St. Peter asked, "Are you a good golfer?" The man replied: "Got here in two, didn't I?
5. The bride was escorted down the aisle and when she reached the altar, the groom was standing there with his golf bag and clubs at his side. She said: "What are your golf clubs doing here?" He looked her right in the eye and said, "This isn't going to take all day, is it?"
6. Ed & Nancy met while on a singles cruise and Ed fell head over heels for her. When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart Ed was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got home. Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants, concerts, movies, and museums. Ed became convinced that Nancy was indeed his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last. On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship, Ed took Nancy to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting for their salad, Ed said, "I guess you can tell I'm very much in love with you. I'd like a little serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage. So, before I get a box out of my jacket and ask you a life changing question, it's only fair to warn you, I'm a total golf nut. I play golf, I read about golf, I watch golf on TV. In short, I eat, sleep, and breathe golf. If that's going to be a problem for us, you'd better say so now!" Nancy took a deep breath and responded, "Ed, that certainly won't be a problem. I love you as you are and I love golf too; but, since we're being totally honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five years I've been a hooker." Ed said, "I bet it's because you're not keeping your wrists straight when you hit the ball."
OK, those are the stories, I hope you had at least one chuckle. Now for the sales lessons. Sometimes we miss a lesson in one part of our life that can be applied in another part of our life. Stretch your brain. Pick a story and explain the sales lesson in the comments. Everybody who does this before Thanksgiving will get a free, 15 minute coaching call with me. Just put your lesson in the comment section and I'll do the rest.Rick Roberge
This post is not about me, but I'll share a couple of specific situations that gave me the idea.
I started a discussion in the Hubspot Partners Forum on LinkedIn about Is Reading and Writing Blogs a Waste of Time? Gary Slickman started his comment with,"Rick you are once again creating quite a "Hub-bub" with your thought provoking perspectives." Then he went on with an equally thought provoking comment. I started my reply with, "Gary, I don't mean to be a rabble-rouser......but it turns out that I have certain tendencies."
Recently, one of my evangelists suggested that one of his associates contact me for some coaching. The associate resisted and when asked, he shared that he didn't think that he could work with me because he didn't like me disagreeing with him on his blog.
OK, so first, let's talk about your co-workers. They ask you to help with a project that you don't believe in. What do you say? No. It's a stupid idea. I'm not wasting my time? or do you say, I'm a little busy, but let me see if I can move something around. Then when the time comes, you say that you couldn't move anything. Maybe next time? When it's flipped around, what do you do? When you're asking them for help, do you want them to refuse and tell you that they're never gonna help or do you want them to say "Maybe" and find an excuse to bail later?
OK, now what if it's you're boss?
What if it's a customer or a prospect?
What if it's a family member?
As you think of each of these relationships, be sure to opine from both directions. In other words, will you confront your boss, customer, prospect or family member intially then connive to implement your own agenda? And, on the flip side, do you want your boss, customer, prospect or family member to tell you immediately and head on or do you want them to initially assent knowing that they'll connive for their agenda behind the scenes or at the final bell? If you want to share your thoughts in the comments, please do. If you'd prefer a private exchange, please use contact me.
***Funny side note: I originally wanted to show an image representing confront (above) and another representing connive. No matter which politician I chose, I'd have upset somebody. Please do your own search.***Rick Roberge