When considering the U.S.’s least trustworthy professions, salespeople barely rank above politicians. For agencies passionate about building reputable relationships with clients, this presents a challenge.
So what exactly can salespeople do to stand out and build trust? We sat down with Keith Weightman, Regional VP of National Accounts at Bullhorn, a Great Recruiters partner. Weightman shared how his team is accelerating growth, improving productivity, and continuously improving their reputation.
1. Solve, don’t sell
Clients don’t care about your product—they care about how you can help them. If you can help them solve real problems, the sales will come.
A quote from Zig Zeigler comes to mind, “You can have whatever you want, as long as you help as many people get what they want.” The more you give and help people without asking for anything in return, the more compelled they’ll be to help you in return.
This involves a great deal of research. Try to find out as much about the account—and the individuals within that account—as possible. The more your salespeople know, the better they can tailor the conversation to address and speak to the actual needs they have.
2. Study human psychology
If you’re going to convince human beings to buy, you need to understand how they think. Salespeople, then, need to be students of human psychology.
“It’s probably one of the best things you can do as a salesperson,” said Weightman. “It’s not about manipulation. It’s just about how we as humans interact, and why we do certain things that we do.”
One major example of human psychology in practice—particularly when it comes to marketing and sales—is social proof. The reason social proof works is because herd mentality or bandwagon bias is a powerful influence over how people behave.
3. Don’t cast too wide a net
Although many businesses are being conservative in spending, job numbers are actually encouraging. Which means there’s still plenty of opportunity for businesses right now, if salespeople are willing to adapt their practices to the state of the market.
“A wide net isn’t going to work,” said Weightman. “I don’t think it’s ever been really effective, but in a good economy where there’s been trepidation, you probably could find some low-hanging fruit. In a more conservative market, you have to be hyper-personalized in your outreach to get better results.”
Most sales managers need to understand: greater personalization means less sales activity. However, those activities are going to end up bringing more success on the whole.
4. Practice to stay in shape
When you look at musicians and athletes, they aren’t just working when they’re on stage or the field. They’re constantly practicing, often at inconvenient times.
The same holds true for salespeople. Reps need to engage in deliberate practice outside of their nine-to-five job. That way, when they call a prospect, it’s familiar to them.
Weightman highly recommends this approach. “People don’t like salespeople because they suck. And that’s because they don’t put in the time to practice.”
Part of practicing stems from a desire to always be learning and continually improving. “I call it the 1X3 method. Every day, I learn three things. One about the product or service I sell, one about the industry I serve, and one related to my profession.”
And, as Weightman pointed out, this process is never-ending. “I’ve been with Bullhorn for 10 years, and there’s plenty of stuff for me to learn.”
5. Build (and use) frameworks
Whether it’s sales emails or cold calls, Weightman is a big believer in adopting and leveraging frameworks. “If I come across something that works, I don’t want to recreate the wheel. I’m going to create a framework that I can use, and then tweak things here and there.”
When you have a solid framework within which to work, it revolutionizes not only how you do your job, but how you show up to work every day.
Weightman uses process and templates to help his team:
- Better position products, services, and job openings
- Increase speaking confidence
- Make meetings more collaborative
However, the framework shouldn’t be an excuse for doing your homework on the prospect. It’s there to provide the skeleton, but your research helps you put on the muscles and organs in a way that’s unique and tailored.
6. Capture—and act on—feedback religiously
“When I go somewhere to eat or at a new location, I always look up what the ratings are,” said Weightman. “It’s the natural habit of the consumer these days.”
So for the Bullhorn team, capturing feedback on both account management and sales team was a no-brainer. No matter where the client is in the journey, the team automatically captures reviews. That way, they know how they did, and what to improve.
“What I dislike as a sales leader is the first time I talk to someone because there’s a huge issue that I’m not alerted to.”
But there’s another benefit to capturing that feedback. “It shows the buyer that they’re not getting thrown over the fence to someone that’s not going to be able to help,” says Weightman. It demonstrates that Bullhorn cares about the experiences they create—endpoint to endpoint.
One way to continually accumulate that knowledge is through Great Recruiters. Weightman and his team use the platform to continually collect feedback from clients. “We’re alerted if something is going on before that smoke turns into a fire,” he says. Then, once Bullhorn clients see how easy it is to use, they then go and suggest it as an option to their own clients to use with their recruiting time.
Together, Great Recruiters and Bullhorn help clients capture reviews and provide the automations and tracking systems necessary to act on them. Learn more about how Great Recruiters works together with Bullhorn here.