Most small businesses start with someone who has an innovative idea, or at least the desire to build a business around what they do. In most cases, these entrepreneurs fall into sales out of necessity. You either figure out how to get more clients, or you fail.
Our story started this way. Early successes led us to underestimate the power of mastering marketing and sales, both the skills and the process.
When we tried to repeat that initial success in another market, it didn’t work out as planned. Or should I say “as not planned very well.” We thought the problem was our inability to bulldoze through the closing process. But manipulating people into buying didn’t feel right either.
Since we mostly remember the last few moments when the prospects say no (or yes) it appears closing is the most important part of sales. We miss the smaller emotional and logical micro-decisions. It turns out that the real sales success happens much earlier in the process.
Our journey as a company shifted at several key moments in time – affected by what we learned and the decisions we made.
On The Path to Get More Clients
I immediately connected with both the story and the message. The story is about the entrepreneurial spirit and a journey from seeing sales as being about transactions, to seeing sales as being about serving other people. The book explores The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and how to apply them.
Key Lessons: Sales is about creating value for the other person. Introverts often make the best salespeople because of their listening skills and desire to dig deeper.
Becoming a Certified Go-Giver Coach
In April 2012, I attended The Go-Giver Retreat in West Palm Beach, Florida. I got a chance to meet Bob Burg and other Go-Giver Coaches. One of these coaches was Bill Ellis, who encouraged me to explore becoming a coach, but always left the decision up to me.
Later that year I had the fortune to work with Dixie Gillaspie who also later became a friend and a trusted business coach. It all came together when I signed the paperwork and had the opportunity to work directly with Bob Burg and his team to learn to teach, talk, and coach on his materials.
Key Lessons: Surrounding yourself with other great people, learning directly from the experts, and working with a coach are powerful influences on success.
The Ultimate Sales Machine
It is important to explore other ideas in any field, and sales development is no exception. After reading “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes, I had the opportunity to chat with him on Twitter and then attend a few live webinars.
We signed up for some training and coaching and advanced our understanding and execution the 12 lessons in his book.
One of my favorite lines from the book was about how Chet Holmes was genuinely friends with many of his clients. He often had them over for dinner or a cruise on his yacht. Unfortunately, Chet passed away shortly after giving a live webinar from the hospital, so I never did get to meet him. I did attend an online memorial where I first saw his family. His daughter Amanda Holmes now runs the company.
Key Lessons: Sales and marketing require both a strategy and a system to get consistent results. Creating a core story (education based) is effective in both generating leads and moving people up the buyer’s pyramid to a purchase decision.
HubSpot Agency Partner
The goal of all this training and coaching was to get better ourselves – so we could help our clients better through consulting, coaching, and training. However, after working with a lot of entrepreneurs, I realized two things:
- We were just adding more to the business owner’s already full plate.
- There are a lot of marketing people that implement tactics, but don’t have an underlying strategy tied to business goals.
So we launched our digital marketing agency.
About a year ago, I downloaded a white paper from HubSpot. Within a few hours, I had a call from a representative at HubSpot looking to see if we were a fit for becoming a Certified HubSpot Agency Partner.
After digging into the details, I realized that HubSpot put a lot of what I believed about sales, marketing, and process into one set of tools focused on the customer. So we signed up as the next logical step in the journey.
Key Lessons: Buyer personas derive from your ideal or perfect clients. The focus of your marketing is education and helping prospects navigate the buyer’s journey.
Inbound Prospecting Bootcamp with Dan Tyre
One of the things that I like about HubSpot is how it integrates the marketing and sales (smarketing) processes into one coherent system. It isn’t easy to pull off. But like any other team endeavor, when you get it right and start winning, oh baby it is fantastic.
This spring our Channel Account Manager (Becca Wolf) over at HubSpot nominated us for some exceptional prospecting training with Dan Tyre – the Pipeline Generation Bootcamp. This Bootcamp is sales prospecting the inbound way, on steroids, except these steroids are legal.
Dan Tyre was the first sales person at HubSpot (employee number six) and played a critical role in growing their sales process and team (first sales manager, first sales director, etc.) So we are entirely blessed to get into this training. He is a force of nature with his enthusiasm and support. Best of all, we are almost entirely in alignment with the underlying principles.
Key Lessons: Cold calling no longer works well, but inbound prospecting does. Since you focus on helping people, it should not be a painful process for you or the prospect. If you practice and do the work, you will find enough clients who want your help.
The Journey “To Get More Clients” Continues
The journey never really ends. As we continue to sharpen our skills, we can help even more companies with:
- Lead generation
- Customer acquisition
- Client engagement
- Creating competitive advantage
- Their business growth
And that aligns nicely with our mission.
Now back to helping people grow their businesses and get more clients.
Want to have an honest and helpful discussion about how to get more clients? Sign up for a free Marketing Assessment.