So You Are Good At Sales, Think Again!

So You Are Good At Sales, Think Again!
(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

I have a confession to make. I always thought I was “good” at sales. I sold ads for The Appalachian college newspaper in graduate school, and since coming to work with Cube Creative, I have done sales as well.

I had two major problems and one smaller one.

The first was just because I thought I was good at sales didn’t mean I was. Yes, I had and still have a knack for explaining things in a simpler way, but that didn’t mean that I could portray the value of what we do to a prospect, nor did it mean I could build rapport really quickly. It just meant I was a good “teacher.” And I use the word teacher in the loosest sense possible. 

My other fault was I hated to call people who didn’t reach out to me first. Like most people, I will screen my calls, between the extended car warranty, political, the guy who wants to help me fix my Windows computer (which I don’t even own or run), and the random cold call salesperson. It was just annoying. I refused to be that person. 

The third smaller, more personal issue is my hearing isn’t the best, just ask my family, but it's significantly worse in crowds and on the phone without earbuds. I blame car stereos (because I was COOL) and working at a music festival for 12 years. 

Regardless of my reservations and loathing of the telephone, it was something that I knew I needed to overcome. I needed to improve my skills dramatically if I was to help Cube Creative grow to the point that both Adam and I would like to see happen. Enter my sales saviors and sales guru guides Dan Tyre and Katie Carlin, from HubSpot.

Sidenote, if you have been around content marketing, inbound marketing, and HubSpot, I guarantee that Dan’s name has come up more than once. I mean, the man single-handledly coined the phrase Smarketing (Sales and Marketing). You call someone up and ask them how their Smarketing is going. They are going to either be what are you talking about? Or they may say, have you been hanging around Dan Tyre?

My eight-week journey of the HubSpot Pipeline Generation Boot Camp 1622 cohort started the Tuesday after InBound 2020.

Having just came off Inbound, I was reeling from a bit of meeting/webinar fatigue but excited for what I knew would be an adventure. But let me tell you, I didn’t know what I was in for! I have tried to summarize my thoughts for each week below.

Week 1: Need a sip of water? OK, here drink from the firehose!

First off, I knew going into Bootcamp that it was going to be intense. I arrived at about 1:50 for the 2:00 meeting, where I had had a chance to talk briefly with Dan before things kicked off. Then once it started, it was like a man on fire! I thought George B. Thomas, a powerful speaker, I couldn’t help but wonder if George and Dan were cut from the same cloth.

I have always been an extrovert; however, the older I get, I am moving more to the middle, but after the meeting was over, about 3:30, I was spent. My mind was mush, and I needed time to decompress and process it all! I messaged Adam (who went through it before) with the following:

Bootcamp =
Bootcamp = BOOM! Lisa Kudrow Wow GIF by The Comeback HBO

There was so much information coming at me so fast! However, after I had time to walk away and process it all, I was able to dive into the homework and start practicing for Week 2.

Week 2: Groundhog’s Day

Week 2 was just as intense; see the Recap from Week 1 for thoughts on Week 2

Week 3: The Slogs

I’m not going to lie. Week three was hard. I struggled with my scripts and trying to build those. I got to meet with my CAM, Katie Carlin, which really helped! She was able to pump me back and gave me the boost of confidence I needed!

Week 4: Video killed the email star?

Week four was all about video and using video in our emails to help reach prospects. As Dan said, “It’s the biggest thing to happen to email since the invention of email!”

Dan also asked in the after-hours what our thoughts were and if it still felt like drinking from the firehose. While it was still intense, I found this week a little easier to digest. I also realized that you have to use your vision board to help remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.

Week 5: Respect the Gatekeeper

Week five was focused on getting around the gatekeepers and ABM. One of the biggest takeaways from this week was to always be respectful of the gatekeeper.

It reminded me a lot of my previous job. I always tried to respect the custodians as much, if not more, than the president. Why, you may ask? Because I knew if I needed something, they would have my back possibly quicker than leadership. 

The gatekeeper should be treated with the same respect, if not more than the C-level person you are trying to reach.

Week 6: Where are the directions?

This week we focused more on how to provide quick wins through a game plan. The game plan is a way to show the prospect what you would do and how to do it but get paid for it. For the DIYer, it acts as a blueprint for them to work off of. The flip side of this is that you can actually prove to them that it might not be in their best interest to go the DIY route. In other words, it proves to them that their time is more valuable than their money!

Week 7: The tortoise and the hare

This week was all about the exploratory call. Having taken the Sales Skills Bootcamp by David Weinhaus, it was a useful review. I have a blog post here if you want to learn more about it and my takeaways from that class.

Week 8: Good-Bye Ruby Tuesday

Week eight was around goal setting calls, finding and partnering with fellow agencies, and recapping the previous eight weeks.

Final Thoughts

I went into the class with high expectations but realistic at the same time. I knew things would be intense and challenging. But much like 2020, I couldn’t have perceived the high and lows that I would go through during those short eight weeks.

The happy ever after ending to this eight-week journey is I overcame most of my fear and loathing of the phone. While I didn’t make all the calls I wanted, I did make several, I called and dealt with total jerks, and I spoke with people who saw I was trying to help. While I am by no means a master of the phone or video, I do feel much better equipped, and I know with time, I will continue to grow and ultimately help our clients, prospects, and even Cube Creative GROW.

Chad Treadway

Written by:  |  December 3, 2020

Chad is our business development manager. He will help you survey your business needs, ensuring you are educated on your options before suggesting any solution. Chad also has several certifications through HubSpot to better assist you with your internet and inbound marketing.

https://cubecreative.design/about/chad-treadway