“…just focus on helping people.” – Dharmesh Shah
We spend lots of time at Hawkins Point Partners focused on the “the resulting client experience”. Ensuring a positive and valuable client experience is a core part of our credo and every aspect of the organization has a hand in making it happen.
It starts however, in the sales process. I am a firm believer in the notion that everyone in any organization is at some point involved in the process of selling, but I have a unique admiration for those who’ve chosen sales as their profession. It is a challenging, fulfilling, and rewarding profession. The great sales folks with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working (there are many!), share common traits, including: intellectual curiosity and a passion for seeking to understand, un-ending work ethic, persistence, accountability, self-awareness, and preparedness.
For the purpose of this post, my focus is on the last one: preparedness. Yes, it is critical to be thoughtful in your approach and have a plan entering any sales interaction—whether you’re selling cars or mattresses or widgets in a retail setting, enterprise software, or consulting services—but how do you execute that plan without losing yourself in the process? The best sales professionals I’ve worked with have all of the aforementioned personality traits, but how they put them together while working with their prospective client is the proverbial “ace up their sleeve”. For these great sales people, it is about helping the client solve a problem. Not all problems and clients are created equal (this is where the knowledge, preparation, and self-awareness come in) but they never lose sight of the core mission: helping the client solve a problem.
The best sales professionals are knowledgeable about the industry and their prospect. They are always prepared and they are adept at reading their audience. They come in with a plan and accomplish their goals without making the client feel like they’re talking with a sales robot checking down through its progressions on a ‘call plan’. It seems natural, not forced, and allows the human element to shine through.
It can be easy to get lost in the deluge of preparation but I’ve found focusing on the person on the other side of the table or phone, and understanding if (or how depending on where we are in the sales cycle) I can help them makes it easier for me to ‘let my human out’. More often than not, a happy byproduct of this is that a precedent is set from the beginning, a precedent that makes it clear to the client that I truly care about the “resulting client experience”. Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear from you.
This post written last year by Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder and CTO of Hubspot, is a good refresher on the importance of not losing sight of the human element. Happy selling!