In late 2019 I went on a Pipeline Generation Boot Camp, run by Dan Tyre of HubSpot. I expected it to be useful, but I didn’t expect that I would learn so many fundamental business growth lessons. In fact, based on what I learnt, I have transformed my business.
Pretty powerful stuff, which is why I am going to share these five lessons with you.
1. The Riches are in the Niches
This is the really key one. Another, less exciting, way of phrasing this is: agree your Corporate Positioning Strategy. But Dan Tyre has a real way with words, and when said in his American accent, “the Riches are in the Niches” is a catchy rhyme!
This was a real penny drop moment for me.
I have been working with HubSpot software since 2016 when I implemented it for Triaster. Blown away by both the HubSpot platform, in particular the results it can deliver, in 2018 I added a marketing wing to the family company - Harris TPS - and we became a HubSpot partner. We did pretty well from the start, but really struggled with how to focus our website and package and prices our services. We could offer anything across the board of Inbound services, but we couldn’t be experts in it all.
After the course we went through the process of agreeing our Positioning Strategy and decided to focus on delivering websites built on the HubSpot CMS. After some work we agreed our positioning statement:
We create custom inbound-ready websites optimised for lead generation for B2B companies, by combining Growth-Driven Design and the HubSpot platform, because a company’s website is essential to delivering on their business goals.
Once we had this in place, it was a pretty clear run to agreeing a new trading name for the company - D2e, Designed to Engage - and relaunching our website.
The Riches are in the Niches perfectly summarises the lesson that you can only successfully grow your company with a clear marketing strategy. And you can only agree a clear marketing strategy when you know what you sell and who you sell it too and just as importantly what you don’t sell and who you don’t sell to.
All blindingly obvious when you think about it – but so easily missed.
2. Always be Closing is Dead. Always be Helping is King
Dan Tyre is a salesperson through and through, but he is very clear that today this means something very different from the traditional salesperson who might spring to mind.
These days buyers get between 65%-99% of the way through the sales process before talking to a salesperson. The only reason why they might talk to someone earlier than that is because they are helpful.
So, the most helpful salespeople are the most successful, “the more people you help, the luckier you get” and the more your business will grow.
However – and this is the nub of it - this doesn’t mean spending lots of time helping people who won’t ever buy from you.
The idea is to help people, not waste your time or more importantly theirs.
The first way that you can help a prospect is to determine if they have a problem you can solve. This of course comes back to knowing what you sell and who you sell it too. (And what you don’t sell and who you don’t sell to.) Or, put another way, knowing the problems that your company solves and who it solves them for.
“If the prospect has a problem completely out of sync with what your company offers or doesn’t need any help for the foreseeable future, get out! They don’t want to talk to you, they don’t need to talk to you, and chances are you don’t want to talk to them.”
This is borrowed from Dan’s blog, Always be closing is dead. How to always be helping in 2020.
Do read it, it’s super helpful.
3. Be Human on the Phone
When Dan said, “being human on a phone call is a good strategy” I don’t think he was implying that not being human when you aren’t on the phone (or any of the time in fact) is a good strategy. I am pretty sure his comment was far more about how often people don’t sound human when they are making a sales call. Particularly when prospecting.
We have all had those calls. None of us want to receive them and we certainly don’t want to be the one making them. Which is why so many of us just won’t prospect. Or, to put it more accurately, are afraid to prospect. But if you don't prospect, your businesses won't grow.
But, as Daniel H Pink explains in his excellent book, To Sell is Human, selling is just another aspect of being human and provided that we don’t forget to be human – or to be our normal selves - just because we are selling, we really don’t need to be so afraid.
4. Play to the Lizard Brain
“The Lizard Brain" refers to the oldest part of the brain, the brain stem, responsible for primitive survival instincts such as aggression and fear ("flight or fight"). So, this lesson is all about how to behave in a way that should (pretty much automatically) get the response that you want. Key for effective sales, but pretty useful in all aspects of business – and life!
Some of Dan’s tips for playing to the Lizard Brain in sales conversations – which really do work – are:
- Use a Strong Voice Tone – this indicates that you really are interested in talking with the person you have called
- The Power is in the Pause (at least 4 seconds) – indicating that you are confident and strong. “The more you pause, the less you say, the smarter you sound.”
- Be Distinctive – so that you are remembered – but be yourself and, of course be human.
5. You have to Actually Do It
This is a lesson that I have learnt over-and-over again in life.
I learnt it at university when I bought my shiny new textbooks, but found that owning them was not enough – I actually had to read them.
I learnt it when deciding to start running. Buying the shoes and reading Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley, was not enough – I actually had to run.
But I learnt it again on Dan’s Pipeline Generation Boot Camp - it’s no good just learning how to prospect - you actually have to get on and do it.
And when you do, your business will grow.
For help with agreeing your Positioning Strategy please download our template below:
Many thanks to Dan Tyre for teaching me so much during just two days of sales training.