These days, we have access to information galore. We can scroll till our thumbs go numb, follow anyone from celebrities to dressed up dogs, and receive groceries without ever leaving the comforts of home. Yet, amid this streamlining, something is missing.
People actually crave human interaction.
We spend hours on social media, but somehow, we’re losing the ability to look each other in the eye. To help each other. The New York Times published an article on Social Interaction pointing out that lack of personal interaction results in higher blood pressure and risk of illness and disease, which often results in a shorter life span. It’s time to bring back true social connection by supplementing digital tactics with traditional methods to nurture genuine relationships.
I first learned about the Inbound Methodology when I started in Business Development at Stratagon. Initially, I assumed that all-things-digital would magically attract leads, delight them, and engage them to become clients. Yes, digital strategy and smart content are incredible aspects of customizing the buyer’s journey, but I quickly learned that helpful, human interaction is the key to moving the sales process forward.
Use Tools to Educate Yourself.
Your online research can make all the difference when it comes to prospecting. Hopefully, you’ve already positioned your company as an industry leader through content and strategic marketing, therefore increasing your opportunity to build trust with prospects.
One of my favorite tools is HubSpot, our partner software company that helps companies grow by leveraging their CRM system, along with marketing, sales, and service tools to nurture and manage leads and prospects. They also provide prospecting tools, as well as GrowthBot, a chat service to find out information about companies you’re interested in pursuing. BuiltWith is another service that aids in researching a company’s website. Most of these tools offer free starter versions that you can utilize as you grow. Of course, personal referrals, networking, and LinkedIn are wonderful as well.
When it comes to opening a conversation, doing your research always makes the difference. Traditional sales practices are still alive and well, and digital assets help warm up the process.
Digital tools are a great way to gather background information and educate yourself about who is interested in your services. However, when it comes down to it, a tool is just a thing that makes a process go more smoothly. It’s part of a bigger picture. A hammer on its own doesn’t get the job done until someone uses it for the proper purpose. Enter helpful prospecting.
Be Helpful, not Salesy.
Prospecting is difficult. If it makes you feel as though you’re wading in the water with no land in sight, re-route your mindset. Make a vision board and write down specific goals that you want to achieve, both personally and professionally. When you can see the bigger picture, you’re able to identify the steps you need to get there.
I took an eight-week course with Dan Tyre, the energetic and dynamic Sales Director for HubSpot. His contagious catchphrases like “I’m calling to help,” and (while stroking your chin) “Hmmm, tell me more” allowed me to realize a huge takeaway: selling is not an opera – it’s not all about “me, me, me!”
He taught us innovative methods to have specific reasoning when calling prospects, to make genuine connections, and to smile every step of the way while employing the HubSpot tools for organization growth. Plus, his consistent reminder to "Be a lion, not a slug" motivated me to know that I'm brave and capable of taking the necessary steps to truly help my prospects.
Selling is not about you. It’s about them.
Although everyone is busy, people want their businesses to thrive and grow. When you have an opportunity to pick up the phone, send an email, schedule a meeting, or ask for a referral because you genuinely want to help someone grow, they will feel the difference.
How? Ask great questions and listen intently. Allow those awkward silences for people to think and respond. Be selflessly human. Sometimes, it’s hard to reach out. We tend to get stuck in our own heads and overanalyze what people think of us. But if we don’t ask, we will never know.
Truly, if you’re reaching out to help someone with the services you can provide to make their lives easier, it’s not a cold call. It’s a genuine, human outreach that can build a lasting relationship.
Marketing and sales should go hand-in-hand – let’s grow together.