As ususal I'd like to extend a heart-felt thanks to Nick for inviting us, SEM Zen, back to contribute once again to his blog. We spoke to Nick about this topic during our last call and both felt that it would be a very helpful topic for many existing and future VAR's.
As a VAR in training ourselves, we have an insatiable appetite for all things inbound. We really look forward to each and every one of our calls with Nick, our Inbound Marketing Consultant at Hubspot, Inc. The biggest complaint we have is that the hour we spend talking with him goes by too fast. That being the case it's even more important that we milk every single moment out of Nick as best we can. Coming in to the call ill prepared is NOT the way to accomplish that.
We have a handful of things we do prior to each call that help us get the most out of our limited time with Nick:
1. Put it on my tab
We all know how robust the Hubspot software is. There's a lot going on in there. In the days between calls we are working with no less than 7 areas in the software:
- landing pages
- lead nurturing
- keyword optimization
Taking the time to open up each page during the call with your trainer is completely inefficient. Have these pages (or whichever pages you wish to discuss on the call) open in tabs inside your browser before you start your session. This always saves measurable minutes for us. Seeing as how there is usually only 55 of them blocked out for each call... you do the math.
2. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask
In between calls we constantly find ourselves wondering if the software can do this or that, if it's best practice to approach an offer one way or the other, is this a good topic for our internet marketing blog, why our CHI score fluxuated since the last time we spoke etc. All these questions are important to us. If we don't write them down when we think of them, they're gone. Document, document, document! Have a list of questinos ready to go when you begin your call and check them off as you go through them. We've found that some are very easily answered during the call while others require Nick to do a bit of research. Regardless, Nick is always quick on the turn around and the answers are always enlightening and inevitably help us grow as a fledgling inbound marketing agency.
3. Check your ego at the door
We don't know it all. If we did, we wouldn't need an inbound marketing consultant to guide us through the software and process. Allow yourself to admit you don't know something and get excited about the new info you now have. My father once told me "It's takes a real man to admit he doesn't know something". The only one that loses when you pretend to know or understand something that you don't is you!
At the same time if you show your trainer some of the work you've done and they give you well deserved praise don't let it go to your head. Give yourself a quick pat on the back and then get back in to the mindset of "how can do it even better the next time?" Activity is one of the biggest keys to success here and if you pat yourself a bit to hard on the back you might just knock yourself out. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure you can't get any work done if you're out cold!
4. Do your homework
This one seems most obvious but none the less make sure you have completed all the tasks that are asked of you from your previous call. If you are scrambling to get them done 15 minutes before your call you have squandered tons of opportunities along the way to be continuously active. What we have done is to print out the email follow up that Nick sends after a call and as we complete tasks we use the old classic yellow highlighter to indicate we've finished up each task. After this blog post is done guess what I'm doing?...
It all comes down to respect
Our time is valuable and so is your trainer's time. We certainly don't want people wasting our time by not being prepared for a scheduled meeting and we would feel as if we were being very disrespectful of Nick's time if we were not prepared for our calls and essential wasted some of his time. The bottom line is that you get out what you put in. Use your time wisely.