Sales Tips

1. Talk about them.

Do you have a friend or family member who monopolizes every conversation? They are probably not your favorite person to talk to. When a boastful tone is added to this, they become particularly intolerable.

Just as you don’t like listening to a pompous acquaintance babble on, buyers don’t like listening to salespeople talk at length about their company or the products they offer. What you perceive as informative and interesting, prospects perceive as obnoxious and irrelevant.

The basic rule of sales is to always talk about your buyer. Every email you write, every voicemail you leave, every demo you do and every meeting you attend should be focused on the recipient. Constantly ask yourself, “What’s the relevance to this prospect?” and customize every interaction accordingly.

How will you know what is relevant? See below.

2. Research before you reach out.

If you expect buyers to invest time in you and learn about your product, you need to spend time learning about them first. In the age of social media, there is no excuse for calling or emailing a recipient when you don’t know what they do and what they care about.

Pre-search research does not have to take a long time. Depending on your sales cycle, as little as five or 10 minutes per lead may be enough.

Here are some places to do your research before you start meeting with potential customers:


Twitter (the prospect’s individual account and the company’s account)

Company’s press releases page

Competitors’ press release pages


Company financial statements


Google (potential customer and company)

And if you use HubSpot’s Customer Profiles Software, you can import all this known information about a lead directly into your inbox.

3. Build rapport first.

If a customer walks into a retail store, you don’t immediately say, “Hi, would you like to buy this blouse?” You probably start by asking “How are you today?” and then “What brings you here today?” Interspersed with comments like “I love that blouse you’re wearing” or “So you’re looking for a cocktail dress. May I ask what the event is?”

Similarly, when doing B2B outreach to a prospect you haven’t spoken to before, it’s important to emphasize the research element from step two.

If you notice that your potential customer lives in Phoenix, do a quick Google search on new restaurants in the area and open by asking if they’ve been there and what their favorite dish is. They’re from Colorado? Open by asking how the snow is this season and if they are skiers.

Bottom line: Really get to know your prospect before you get into what you have to offer, why they should care and why you are better than your competitors.

After all, we are human beings. Talk to your prospect like a human being before you talk to them like a salesperson.

4. Contribute first, then sell.

If you define your target buyer correctly, you will spend most of your day talking to business leaders who have problems that your product or service can solve. But just because you know it does not mean that they know it.

Do not start your speech immediately. You run the risk of angering or scaring the potential customer away. Instead, offer help in the way you think will be most valuable. Not sure where you can be of service? You can ask.

Perhaps you could send a breakdown of the latest features of a buyer’s target car, or send them a piece of content that speaks to their needs. Perhaps you can leverage your expertise to talk about industry-wide trends that the buyer may not be aware of.