Get Any Sales Meeting and Flood Your Pipeline

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q3-2011-the-human-connection

Flooding your pipeline is all about connecting with the prospect as quickly as you can, as authentically as you can, letting them know that you’re just as human as they are before they slam the door, hang up the phone or delete your email before ever reading it.

In the age of inside sales, marketing and sales automation, and everything else, we seem to have lost a bit of the human connection when it comes to the profession of selling. You could even argue that picking up the phone and calling into a company still lacks a level of human connection- the person on the other side of the phone still doesn’t know who you are, what you look like or even if you are who you say you are.

When I first started in sales I sold books door to door with the SouthWestern Company. Knocking or ringing the doorbell, then standing 15 to 20 feet back, putting on a smile and connecting with that human being as quickly as possible. If I wasn’t able to connect with that person and my message wasn’t compelling enough for them I would normally get the door slammed in my face or be told a number of things that I can’t say here.

It was all about connecting with that person standing in front of you as fast as you could; building trust within seconds so that they would actually let you in the door!

Now granted that was a different type of sale, but the fundamental idea that I want to cover here was present.

Now in this digital age how can we achieve strong relationships with people in companies that we call on? How do we create that human connection as fast as possible so we have a greater shot at connecting and “getting in the door”?

I’m going to share two ways that are very very powerful and have done wonders for me and my process in my role at the current company I work for, Datanyze. These 2 approaches have consistently gotten us 10-15 demos per week per rep.

How to be human in your approach #1:

A few months back I was working on a better way to approach cold prospects when I was actually approached by Mary Beth who works at Betts Recruiting- Betts focuses on finding solid sales reps at every experience level and she saw that we were looking for sales people.

This is how she approached me and what went through my brain as she took her steps getting me to respond back to her.

Step 1: She requested to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Sounds simple right? Let’s look at what happens mentally and emotionally. If you’re like me, I always love seeing who wants to connect with me because it makes me feel special and important (maybe a little warm and fuzzy too).

Looking at someones social profile tells you a lot about that person, who they are, what they look like, who they know that you know, etc. Your guard comes down just a little more and now there’s an opportunity for a higher level of connectedness and humanizing.
To be honest, when Mary Beth requested that connection I only had time to glance at her profile because I just didn’t have the time at that moment to learn more about her. Step 2 is where I started to pay attention.

Step 2: She emailed me

Again simple right? It’s how she wrote the email that was so compelling and drew me in. Here’s the actual email, oh and her subject line was “Thanks!”

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When I saw the email in my inbox her name rang a bell and I was trying to remember where I’d seen that name before so I opened the email. The first thing she does is thank me for connecting with her on LinkedIn. So I’m now going back to LinkedIn to see who this person is and how I know her.

I quickly remember looking at her LinkedIn page a few days ago, but this time I take more time to learn more about her and see that she’s also connected to people that I know well. She’s a little more human now and less of a sales person.

Going back to the email I see that the second thing she references is something about Sales4Startups and that she’s actually going to be at our Seattle event and she would love to meet in person. Next she mentions me and my role at Datanyze and that she’s been following us for some time. Man this girl is good. The first two sections of this email have nothing to do with what she’s wanting and has everything to do with me. Ok, I’ll hear what she has to say.

The final section of the email she does a great job at expressing her intentions and keeping the message around how she would like help. It’s all about what she can do for me and how she could potentially help. No pressure, no cheesy sales pitch.

Step 3. The phone call

Like my typical ADD self I totally forget to respond back to her email, but Mary Beth followed up with a call and left a voicemail for me.

When I listened to the voicemail and heard it was Mary Beth I actually said “oh shit! I forgot to email her back!” I actually felt bad for not emailing her- what a flip! I went from, “Ok who’s this person and what do they want?” to, “Crap I dropped the ball.”

I quickly called her back and… get this, I apologized to her for not getting back to her. We ended up having a great conversation and now we have not done business with her yet—the roles she was interested in helping us fill were already filled—but I have introduced her to tons of contacts and people in our industry!

So to recap:

  1. Connecting on LinkedIn initially gives you a reference point for others to know who you are
  2. Email gives the ability to express the interest and to show you’re a real person and that you know a little about them and creating a deeper connection
  3. The phone call. This is the strongest connection and where you’ll know if there’s a chance to do business together. If you’ve done your job, it will be like talking to a good friend and the conversation will be effortless.

How to be human in your approach #2:

This next approach I give complete credit to Sam Parr of Hustle Con. He masterfully shows how to leverage your network, craft the right type of message and connect through a close relationship in your network.

I don’t want to just steal his content so you can read his post here. He presents 4 methods, but it’s the first method that steals the show for me.

I hope you’ve found value or a golden nugget in the post. If you have any question or comments or something you would like to share that’s made a difference for you please leave us a comment or tweet us at @sales4_startups!

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