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Selling Value Using Content & Smarts

Posted by Cliff Pollan on 04, Dec, 2012

This past weekend, I was on a panel at Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneurship Conference. The panel discussed getting new customers. Mark Roberge, Hubspot’s SVP  of Sales & Service, was moderator. Mark described a lesson-loaded example of a sales representative using content and smarts in the sales process.

Customer: Downloaded a 10 Tip ebook on using Facebook for Marketing.

Rep: Calls Client: “Hi, I see you downloaded our eBook on Facebook for Marketing.”

Customer: “Yes, I was just doing a bit of research, but I really am not ready to talk to anybody.”

Rep: “That’s fine. I understand. It happens a lot. I did take a few minutes before the call and looked at your Facebook page. I have two suggestions that might help you to increase its effectiveness…” Rep shares two ideas.

Customer: “That is really helpful. Did you have any other suggestions?”

Rep: “Let me do a complete review of your Facebook site tonight and we can have another call in the morning for me to share what I find.”

share insightsThings to reflect on from Mark’s example:

  • Respond to clues. Content can tell you a lot about a customer’s interests. In this case, the Facebook download indicated a potential need by the customer to improve his Facebook marketing.
  • Research. Prepare before you make the call. Don’t begin by selling your product or service, instead offer expertise to build trust.
  • Add value. In this case, the two ideas shared about Facebook, did not require the customer to have Hubspot to be of value. The relationship is no longer Sales Rep/Prospect but Teacher/Student.
  • Share more. Based on what the client has consumed, share even more information–your own content or content from a third party. Again, remember you are educating the customer to help him succeed.

Mark offered a final thought. The best sales conversation happens when you have shared lots of insights with a new contact, and, acknowledging the value, he asks: “Is there something I can buy from you?”

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