Account Executive Dan Mearns on The Early Morning Sales Process
When it comes to connecting with buyers, Dan Mearns knows what works and what doesn’t. He spoke to Nudge.ai about his early morning sales process: how he’s capitalizing on local opportunities, the importance of establishing trust with customers, and why he starts his day at 4am.
Menaka: How do you begin each day – what’s your process?
Dan: My daily workflow actually starts at 4 in the morning. With Tim Peters and some other colleagues, we’ve started this group called 4am ROI, which is really about setting your mindset to be successful for the day.
We start with something that we find motivating, whether that’s going to the gym or getting to the office ridiculously early. Beginning that early really gives me time to warm up for the day. I think about how I’m going to sell to my next prospect, or how I’m going to engage with them to have them believe in me. And that’s all about understanding the environment your potential buyer is in, their mindset, being able to talk their talk.
Menaka: How do your sales tools help you get a better read on your prospects?
Dan: Technologies like Nudge and Sales Navigator and SalesLoft get to that point of understanding what’s important to my prospects. It’s incredibly difficult these days to really stand out, to go beyond just the regular, standard message, and my tools help me focus on the prospect. They make sure I’m always thinking about why I’m specifically reaching out each person at this specific time.
We have a lot of information at our fingertips these days, but it’s really hard to manage all of it. That’s why tools like Nudge in my early morning sales process are extremely important for filtering and managing all the inbound information that we have, and turning that into some kind of concise compelling message for our prospects. Then I’m able to shrink it down to make that concise sales pitch.
Menaka: Nudge.ai’s emphasis on relationships helped you focus on some new Canadian opportunities. Can you tell us how that happened?
Dan: Definitely. We’ve actually taken a really cool pivot and created a new vertical now: SMB high-growth Canadian companies. It came out of a conversation I was having with Tim one day. We were looking at Nudge and saying, you know, I don’t really have any really great contacts or great relationships with anybody in Texas or California or some of the accounts I had in the states, but I have many more relationships, and stronger relationships, with people at high-growth tech companies in Ontario and the Toronto region.
So we thought, well, why not flip it and look at more local companies that are high-growth, maybe that are in the profit 500, etc. I just started looking at where I have those relationships, and then how I can grow out. “Sell local” is the motto there.
Menaka: You use the Nudge.ai Chrome Extension regularly – what information do you find the most useful there, especially in your early morning sales?
Dan: It’s great to be able to see the tweets all in one area, and the ability to add notes right there is also really great because it keeps me focused. One sales leader I had back in the day at Eloqua, Katie Azuma, sold me on the idea of ‘three points in three minutes’ when talking to a prospect. I’ve always continued that, and I find that section of the Nudge extension perfect for helping nail down those three points.
I usually use some social activity that I’ve found, try to reference an article or a tweet. I’ll leave the Nudge extension open while I’m talking so I can scan it and pull up another detail. That’s a great value-add by Nudge – I’m not flipping through so many darn tabs and giving myself a headache as I’m researching somebody. It’s all in one place.
Menaka: As a sales rep you’re constantly talking to a lot of people, but why is it important for you to develop a real relationship with the person you’re selling to?
Dan: Trust is a big deal. It’s a mutual thing, it works both ways, and it requires respect of the other person and their time. It’s a lot easier talking to somebody when they understand who you are, and vice versa. If you start a call with, hey, how’s the weather today, usually it kind of flat lines from there. You have to find a way to pull a story together. Especially with early morning sales.
Recently I discovered that one of my prospects was into cycling, so I chatted about how I’d just bought a bike up here in Toronto, how we have a great waterfront trail. On the demo I even pulled up a picture of my new bike and we talked about it. It makes a difference, because then you both feel more comfortable. And then the next question you ask them, they’re more than happy to really dive in and tell you where their pain points are or what needs solving. So for sure, developing an actual relationship with people completely changes things.