Everybody's trying to figure out why Inbound leads are so hard to close and what to do about it.
It's a complicated issue.
Hubspot doesn't have the answer. If you look at their numbers, they convert 1 out of 6,000 visitors (actually 5,924. I rounded). How many visitors do you get to your site? Remember, I use Hubspot. I think it's cool stuff, but I don't use the Hubspot process. My clients need to close better than 1 out of 6,000.
This morning, I got an email from a Hubspot salesperson that was interested in coaching. It actually started with him asking me to connect on LinkedIn 12 days ago. He claimed we knew some mutual connections, so I shared an article and our new ebook with him. We exchanged several emails and throughout the process he watched for evidence of me trying to 'trick' him into hiring me. Finally, this morning, he wrote, "Your challenger approach is interesting (and effective). I've learned something from this email interaction, what I want to apply, and what I don't. Thanks." - - - I've never read the book. This guy is more interested in tricks and hacks to get someone to buy than he is in actually adding value to his customer's world.
Buyers don't like to be tricked.
On April 6th, a Hubspot Partner marketing agency scheduled a call with Carole and me with the following agenda. "
We have 15 inbound clients on retainer.
We would like to be at 20 inbound retainers by 12/2015.
Also, I would like to clear the air and ensure you don't think I'm a jerk or an idiot."
We had a brief email exchange and agreed that he would reschedule because Carole had to attend a funeral. On 4/11, Carole asked if he had changed his mind, to which he replied, "I didn't change my mind... we'll get on a call... but I'm about 36 hours behind on my email..." Never rescheduled.
Eight days ago, Carole and I announced our sales enablement program to a short list of Hubspot Partners. I closed the email to this guy with, "So, you never rescheduled in April. If it was intentional, no sweat. Ignore this email. You won't hear from me again, but if you want to talk, now is the time. Be sure to read the LinkedIn article, then, if you want, schedule our call." Five days later, I sent him this message. "No response means "No". I've taken you off the list. You won't hear from us again." 2 hours later, he replied, "I would have done the same thing here. I'm probably a good candidate for what you were talking about. I'm not afraid of change, I'm smart and I can sell. Ask (4 mutual friends) if I'm a good fit. They would all tell you yes. I do, however, respect your decision. If I didn't make time to respond, why should you make time to spend with me? I think you guys are awesome. It sucks that I miss out on opportunities like this. I'm kind of embarrassed. Respectfully,"" Recognize it? Sandler's OK/Not OK? A tactic? A gimmick? WTF? Doesn't anybody know how to have a conversation any more?
Buyers don't like sales tactics or gimmicks.
Last story. On Friday, Carole invited another Hubspot Partner to participate in our program. He replied Saturday night. "Interested in learning more about what this is Carole. I may have missed it in your pres. (I was multitasking.) Please forgive the Saturday night email. It's the most productive time I have now that the baby's here. Funny to think about what Saturdaynight meant for me ten years ago vs. now." He replied on Saturday, but did not schedule a call and still hasn't even though Carole asked him what he intended.
Buyers want your full attention and expect you to follow through.
None of the people that I referenced are bad people. They're just over there heads and being asked to do stuff that they're not good at. They actually have good intentions, but they don't know how or weren't paying attention. If you've got a problem converting leads to new customers and you don't want to use tricks, tactics or gimmicks and you want to talk to somone that can give you the attention that you deserve, schedule a 30 minute call. Then you can decide Should You Fire Your Marketing Agency?
BTW, if you're a Hubspot Partner that has been fired by a client because they weren't closing the leads you were giving them or you're in danger of being fired and you'd like to try to help them, schedule a 30 minute call. We'll see.