| 12 August, 2020

How to Love Sales, Even If You’re Not a Salesperson


I recently participated in HubSpot’s two-month Sales Pipeline Bootcamp with Dan Tyre. HubSpot has a lot of really great resources (like this free Inbound Sales Course), so I was excited to dive into this partner-exclusive training. In all honesty, it was not easy and pushed me pretty far outside my comfort zone. However, it proved to be one of the most valuable investments of my time that I could make during this ever-changing season we’ve all found ourselves in. I learned more than I could properly put into a blog post, but I’ll narrow it down to my top 3 takeaways:

  • Focus on helping and you can’t go wrong
  • Crystal really Knows
  • Video content is king

Focus on helping and you can’t go wrong

The “Always be Helping” theology is one that HubSpot subscribes to in everything they do, so it was no surprise that Day 1 of boot camp focused on how to be helpful as a salesperson. As someone who is not and has not ever been in a full-time sales position before — Trekk’s client services team brings in business through referrals and inbound marketing, but we’re all first and foremost account managers —the idea of selling seemed daunting and even unappealing. When I thought of sales, I thought of Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross and his motto, “Always be Closing,” which inevitably made me cringe! I want to help my customers all day by spending time with them, digging into their problems, and working with our awesome teams to form creative solutions – not cold calling people who don’t want to talk to me.

That’s where the idea of “Always be Helping” began to shift my perspective of the way a sales relationship should be. If I am calling someone who I have spent time “getting to know” via their LinkedIn profile or company website and have some thoughtful, actionable tips that could help them in their business TODAY, isn’t that a great reason to call them? Suddenly I didn’t feel like no one would want to talk to me, but felt the confidence to pick up the phone and share my expertise to help better the business of the person on the other side of the phone. 

Crystal really Knows

Whether you are in sales or account management, the Crystal Knows tool can be a game changer. As someone who has never put too much stock into personality tests, I was a little reluctant to try it. I set up a free account, took all the tests in the tool (DISC, Enneagram, Big and Five to name a few) and was actually surprised at the accuracy of the results. Here are a few of them in case you’d like to get to know me just a little better!

DISC personality testEnneagram

The real power of Crystal Knows is that it can predict the personality types of the people you are selling to or interacting with through LinkedIn (you just need to make sure you download the Chrome Extension). It then compares your results to theirs to give you insights on how to most effectively communicate with them. Here is me and Bill Gates, for example:

Bill Gates LinkedInCrystal Knows

When reaching out to Mr. Gates, I would probably send him a factual email detailing the steps I’d take to help him with his website (the kind of email that I personally also find super helpful). The tool is telling me that he’s the kind of guy who likes to have all the information before engaging with someone, so my aim would be to appeal to that side of his personality in hopes of building trust and beginning a relationship faster than if I just sent a cold, short email.

I’ve tested the Crystal Knows advice on a number of occasions and found their advice solid and their predictions pretty accurate.

Video content is king

Ever heard of video prospecting? I hadn’t either until this experience. The general idea is to send your prospect a custom video as a follow up to a phone call. You can introduce yourself in a more personal way or share your screen with some fast tips that’ll help give them a quick win. I notice that some prospects watch the video multiple times over the course of a few days. Apparently, videos that are fun to make are actually fun to watch too! The best part is there are a lot of free tools out there to help you do this right away. My favorite has been Vidyard (install the Chrome extension for extra ease of use).

At the end of this experience, I’ve learned that selling (a word that used to make me cringe) can and should actually be a lot of fun. With a little shift in perspective and the right tools for the job, I’m feeling confident and ready to be helpful!

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