Episode #267 – Graham Hawkins

Reverse Engineer the Data to Create a “Wow” Moment

Graham Hawkins

MEET

Graham Hawkins

Graham Hawkins is a B2B sales specialist with a contemporary view on how ‘sales’ must align to the new customer-led era. A futurist, a key-note speaker and author, Graham is also the Founder & CEO of SalesTribe.  

Graham Hawkins despises the phrase “social selling” because he believes you’re not selling—you’re solving problems. Modern selling should include leveraging data, tools, and platforms to give the buyer the experience they expect and deserve. Organizations need to acknowledge that the buyer has changed the way they behave and sales professionals must adapt. How can you create a “wow” experience for your buyer at every touchpoint? He shares his process in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

How do you reverse engineer data to create a “wow” moment for your prospects? @SalesTribeInt shares his thoughts in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Research #Data #Sales #DigitalSelling #ProblemSolvingClick To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:02] What’s the difference between digital and social selling?
  • [1:55] Why is digital selling so important?
  • [3:30] Give your buyer a “wow” at every touchpoint
  • [5:12] Successful sellers are specialized
  • [7:25] Tools + techniques + strategies
  • [11:21] Top three digital sales dos and don’ts
  • [13:45] Sales are all about the long game

Give your buyer a “wow” at every touchpoint

Graham’s digital sales strategy is focused on education—solving, not selling. Brute force sales aren’t necessary anymore. The buyer will never be just a number. The goal now is to educate the buyer and solve their business problems.

When you educate, you build rapport, trust, and credibility. Once you’ve done that, Graham recommends that you use the digital platforms and tools to get the information you need to give the buyer a delightful experience at every touchpoint. Your focus should be how you can create an enjoyable experience that’s not pushy, pitching, persuading, manipulating, closing, or objection-handling.

Successful sellers are specialized

In Graham’s book, “The Future of the Sales Profession,” the key tenant is about specialization. Buyers expect four things from salespeople:

  • That you do your research to understand them and their industry
  • That the salesperson has to personalize everything to their context
  • The buyers want to learn something from you
  • Buyers expect that the salesperson will anticipate future needs (as well as current needs)

How do you make sure you’re seen as a specialist with a high level of credibility? You need to be a resource to help them solve their business problems.

Successful sellers are specialized. What does that mean? Find out from @SalesTribeInt in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Research #Data #Sales #DigitalSelling #ProblemSolvingClick To Tweet

Tools + techniques + strategies

Graham firmly believes that anyone in sales needs to invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a starting point. If you’ve identified your ideal customer and buyer personas, Sales Navigator can map an organization and show you who the key players are.

Tools like Bombora and 6sense can actually show you who might be looking at certain topics in real-time. Seismic and Outreach can help you facilitate the delivery of educational content. Amplify your efforts with technology.

Buyers are being bombarded by salespeople resorting to old tactics. If you’re being bombarded every single day, focus on differentiation. How do you become memorable?

What are Graham’s top three digital sales dos and don’ts? Listen to learn more!

Sales are all about the long game

Graham’s largest client is Lloyd’s Bank in the UK. How did he win their business? Graham had engaged with Rob Michael from Aon on LinkedIn which led to him leading a workshop at Aon. He took a selfie with the group at the end and shared it on LinkedIn. He’s not afraid to show the world what he does. Plus, those photos usually get engagement. One of Rob’s friends who worked at Lloyds Bank (Wayne) liked the photo

So Graham sent a connection request to Wayne. He initiated the engagement and Wayne responded by asking to hear more about what Graham does. That’s how their conversation got started. He built credibility over 3+ months by tagging him in posts and sharing value. Eventually, Wayne reached out to connect with him in London.

After 2.5 years of working with them, Lloyd’s announced a new CEO. Graham reached out to him immediately and introduced himself and shared that he’d worked with them for a couple of years. The next day, the CEO looked at his profile and accepted Graham’s invitation. The moral of the story? Sales are all about the long game.

@SalesTribeInt believes sales are all about the long game. Why? He shares an awe-inspiring story in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Research #Data #Sales #DigitalSelling #ProblemSolvingClick To Tweet

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Graham Hawkins

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More About Graham Hawkins

Are there any great Digital or Social Selling books that you highly recommend? The Future of the Sales Profession. Also highly recommend The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman-Scott.

Who do you most admire in the sphere of Digital or Social Selling and why? I have much admiration for the early adopters: Adam Gray, Tim Hughes, Alex Low, Loic Simon and Jamie Shanks….these guys were all advocating digital and social 6 years ago. COVID has accelerated the shift to digital and social, and we now have a veritable tsunami of self-proclaimed gurus springing up claiming to be experts. Even the ‘frozen-in-time’ sales gurus still preaching ‘cold calling’ are now becoming social selling experts. Check out their credentials before you engage.

Are there any aspects of your own Digital or Social Selling skills that you are working on improving at the moment? I’m constantly working on ALL aspects of my own digital & social selling skills. This space is evolving at accelerate speed so I would be foolish to assume that I have all the skills nailed.

Hobbies, Interests?  I’m a wanna-be rock-star who plays guitar in a little cover band in my home town of Melbourne. We’re terrible part time hacks, but we love it!

How can our listeners contact with you? LinkedIn…where else?