Put Yourself in your Customers’ Shoes with Reesa Hinks: Customer Café Podcast
Despite being born into a family of professional salespeople, Reesa Hinks began her career in kinesiology. Reesa joined us for an honest Customer Café episode that you can check out here!
Reesa joins us coming from a diverse background who has broken glass ceilings and climbed her company’s professional ladder as the leading salesperson and Senior Director of Enterprise Sales at Gravyty. Reesa shared a fair amount about her journey and how she builds authentic relationships, but we decided to share some of the highlights to entice you to subscribe by the time you reach the bottom of this jam packed list.
- Row it like Reesa. Where did she get that grit? A quality that is essential for making it to the literal finish line? “Where I got all my grit from? Those rowing years for sure.” Reesa was a Division 1 college athlete on the row team at Univ of Texas.
- What type of previous work experience allows for an easy transition into sales? “Any community relations type role. Where you are trying to create that feeling of community…[that] supports any sales role.”
- Despite all her immediate relatives working in sales, she hadn’t considered it. She was handpicked into sales. “I was never taught that this was a very lucrative, viable option for me.” To pay it forward, Reesa tries to encourage other women to consider sales as a strong, viable career path.
- Most important part of the sales cycle? The WHY. “Establishing the “why.” Are you exploring a product or service because you have a pain point? Because your boss asked you to? Because everyone else is doing it? Keeping it real. Ask. If you have that, if you know the ‘why’, it will make your job so much easier. You can project timelines, budgets, your pipeline, etc.”
- Navigating pricing when selling to nonprofits can be tricky, but doable. “It’s a careful dance…because it is about the bottom line, but people want to buy why you are in business almost as much as what you’re doing. So, functionality is great, but if you can weave in the sort of greater good of what you’re doing and how that’s going to impact, it’s almost like that pricing conversation becomes secondary…”
- What does it mean to be a chameleon in sales? “Mirror what they are saying and how they are feeling and be somewhat empathetic…” Reesa explained that you have to speak and present differently depending on which customer you are interacting with. You should mirror and reflect their style, needs and wants. If they are technical play that role. If they want to schmooze and be informal and bond, go with it. Being a chameleon doesn’t mean that you are not authentic. It just means highlighting or channeling various parts of your personality and skillset to meet your clients where they are at. Picking up on your client’s cues is key for building authentic relationships.
- When it comes to women in sales, why is there disparity? Reesa hears common hesitations from women about entering sales including travel and the fear of losing your client portfolio on maternity leave. Reesa asserts that every career and field has challenges. Don’t write off sales ladies! “Women have the unique ability to make connections.” Consider it in a workplace that values gender equity and diversity. Those tend to be the most successful companies anyway!
- Honestly though, some pass on a career in sales because talking about money is uncomfortable. How do you get past the discomfort? Remember that “how you treat this [conversations about money and pricing] will potentially progress or potentially halt this sales process.” Treat it like any other item on your checklist. “When it becomes slightly more mechanical it feels less personal.”
- What can companies do to make sales more welcoming? “In a lot of cases just look inward. There are so many amazing people… that know your product intimately.” Make sure that you have a mentorship program to help people become acclimated and help them learn from more senior employees who are doing the job well.
- Because of her background in sports, she used to feel competitive within her sales team. “It’s definitely been a learning curve.” Initially she felt like she had something to prove as a newbie and woman in sales. Since then, she’s “adopted a team first attitude.” She recognizes that it is important to share challenges and successes so that everyone can learn and improve.
- How to manage cross departmental collaboration? Everyone wants to be communicated with differently. “Meet people where they want to be communicated with” if you want people to respond and help you.
- “Persistence and patience go hand in hand” you need both for every single deal. In order to move into sales Reesa felt that she needed to embody patience and persistence to move up the ladder.
- Best time to get married if you are in sales? “At the beginning of the quarter.”
- If the sales cycle is long, those are some of your most loyal customers and most invested. “If it is a snap decision, it is also a snap decision sometimes to end the contract.” You want to be a strategic planning partner with them to include your product or service as a critical component in reaching their goals. It ensures not just a sale but also adoption.
- When it comes to ongoing education, Reesa finds it to be more important to learn about your customers and their fields rather than reading about straight up sales. Learn about their industry. You need to learn your craft…but you need to know your people.
- Favorite podcasts (besides Customer Café by Collabria)? Conversations with Women in Sales and Sales Success Stories
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Ready to get started? Customer Café by Collabria: Sales Collaboration Tips for Pros is available wherever you listen to podcasts. You can listen on Spotify, Apple, or you can click here to start listening now!