Hi. My name is Carole. I am an internet marketer, and have been for about 10 years.
I am also a wife, mom, small business owner, farmer, gardener, musician, writer, science nerd, aspiring conspiratist, closet earth crunchy hippie, addicted learner, and...
And I love it.
I'll try to give you the short version of my conversion to the dark side=sales. But first, a disclaimer and some background.
I did not like sales people, in general. Well, it wasn't that I didn't like them, I'm sure they are all very nice people when they are not hopped up on too much Starbucks after lunch, pacing around their office or mass cubicles and talking louder and faster than whomever was on the other side of the phone.
It wasn't even that every unnatural light of a Bluetooth permanently attached to their head like a cyborg because god forbid they not be dialing. It wasn't that I always felt like meat on display every time a salesperson came near me. It's not like I went into paralysis and got a deer in the headlights kind of look when I had to go and buy a new car because I had to deal with salespeople. (In fact, I kinda enjoyed that exchange- now I know why. I feel bad for any sales person in my future.)
For me, I didn't like sales because when I heard 'sales', I thought: cheesy car sales guy= not trustworthy.
So therefore, I just did not want to do sales. In my mind, if I did awesome marketing, I would get qualified leads and sales would be easy because I had such unique and awesome marketing.
And if you are marketing or sales professional, you know well the script that marketing and sales departments play against each other.
Sales: "Your leads suck."
Marketing: "You can't close."
Turns out, they're both right. (but that is another post, we are sticking with the short version here)
Once Upon a Time Marketing Tried Something Different
So as I have grown this small internet marketing agency to double revenue every year for the past 3 years, in the middle of "this economy", I was surprised to find myself frustrated with a long sales process, time spent on a lot of 'proposals' and difficult people.
It was about at this same time that Hubspot started a Sales Development program for marketing agencies. (major kudos to the Hubspot team for their vision!) The goal: double revenue in 90 days. The challenge: you had to do what you are told and not make excuses.
After my initial evaluation and subsequent consultations with my coach we starting chipping away at some of the misconceptions I had about sales, and prospects. I'll admit, some parts were a bit grueling and required me to step WAY outside my comfort zone, but I really did start to gain some new perspective.
Then one day... I started having fun. The kind of fun you have with the girls at a karoke biker bar in a small country town, singing at the top of your lungs and not caring who hears you or what they think.
I actually look forward to calling the next person and having a real conversation. It's like dating, but without the heartbreak.
The end result? I changed my perception of sales to the connection between a problem and a solution. Isn't that how we make the world a better place?
If you want to see what I now see, check out the eGuide I wrote about how I changed the way I view sales.