Connecting with your buyer the right way

03.08.2016 |

Episode #6 of the course Introduction to inbound sales by HubSpot Academy


In yesterday’s Identify class, you learned how to identify and prioritize active and passive prospects. Up next is the Connect stage.

During the Connect stage, legacy salespeople focus their prospecting efforts on cold emails and voicemails. These cold outreaches highlight the same generic elevator pitch meant to entice the buyer with an offer to see a presentation. When legacy salespeople actually get buyers on the phone, most of the effort is spent qualifying them on the size of their budget and their authority to spend it.

However, modern buyers do not rely on these messages from salespeople to learn about products and services. This information is readily available online whenever buyers are interested. And modern buyers are not ready for a presentation at this stage of their journey. They want to have a two-way conversation with an expert who can help them frame their goal or challenge.

When inbound salespeople reach out to buyers, they lead with a message personalized to the buyer’s context. This context could be the buyer’s industry, their role, their interests, or common connections. In the opening outreach, inbound salespeople make an offer aligned with the Awareness stage of the buying journey. For example, inbound salespeople may make an offer for a free consultation or an eBook about the challenge area the buyer is researching.

When inbound salespeople get a buyer on the phone, they identify the buyer’s interests and priorities and offer helpful advice. They ask buyers about specific goals and advise them accordingly. They develop trust with buyers by showing a genuine interest in helping.

Let’s revisit our doctor metaphor from before.

Your doctor starts every conversation with a blank slate and doesn’t make assumptions regarding your health, happiness, lifestyle, etc. You should apply this to your Connect calls as well.

For example, let’s say you sell lead generation software. When doing pre-call research, you notice your prospect does not have any web forms or other opportunities to convert website visitors into leads.

The non-doctor approach would be to assume lead generation is a priority for the company and immediately provide a recommendation: “I noticed that you don’t have any opportunities to convert your visitors into leads. This isn’t good. My product would help you get more leads on your website.”

But if you think like a doctor, you’ll start the conversation this way: “What are you hoping to get out of this conversation? I’ve spent some time on your website and am curious to hear how you are using your website today and how it’s going, but I am happy to answer any questions you may have.”

Have you ever received a cold sales call? It’s pretty rare to have one that feels sincere and genuine, isn’t it? That’s the key to mastering the Connect stage of the inbound sales process—being sincere in your willingness to help. Tomorrow, we’ll review the final stage: Advise.

See you then!


Recommended book

“Smart Calling” by Art Sobczak


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