Vandaag het gesprek met Kristina J-S.
Kristina zegt: “I AM. Success Afficionista. Profit Addict. Winner and Champion.”
Kristina is a personal and business growth enthusiast. She is an advocate of visualising, sharing and growing ideas in an infinite collaborative space. She works with skeptics, neurotics and overthinkers. Everywhere. She inspires you to grow. She helps you to do something more.
The conversation with Kristina starts with going back to her youth. How her mother and father influenced her on sales. Both her parents were entrepreneurs. One pushed her to direct sales. Don’t come back without a client. While the other gives her the experience to listen first. Let the customer talk.
These experiences makes her very successful in selling today without much of an internet presence. In the last years she combines sales, marketing and data to grow the businesses of her clients.
In the end I realized I had learned a lot about effective sales and growth from this conversation.
Enjoy the insights with Kristina.
Let’s get started…
Erno: I am here with Kristina.
Kristina: Thank you very much, I look forward to the talk.
Erno: You have been an entrepreneur since 2004 and a growth hacker since 2015. What did you do before 2004?
Kristina: I spent quite some time working for my parents, who were both entrepreneurs. When I moved to the UK, I started working for a software company who were not interested in marketing or selling. I was interested in the product and helpend the company with the whole marketing proces, from scratch. It was in the banking business and those people are a little bit difficult to handle. I did not have any other contact and was selling software to banks. I had some hard times but perseverance makes you a true entrepreneur. That is the truth, there are a lot of bumps on the way, but if you are persistant, you will get through. That is an excellent to understand yourself as a person. I like my own freedom a lot and I wanted to sell the product. I wanted to make money, speak to clients, meet new people. That is what I did before I started my own business. This was because the other company was really a one trick pony. I had to find something else.
Erno: What businesses did your parents have?
Kristina: My mother had a catering business with a cafetaria and my father had transporting business. My mother’s business was less capital intensive, my father’s business required a lot of trucks. They were a very different entrepreneurs. My mother always wanted me to find new clients and meet new people. My father was so different, he left me more alone. He met clients he already knew. For my mother, I was a very traditional sales person. Someone who does the pushing. Why don’t you have a look what we have? Don’t wait for chances she said. Sales is a hard business. The reason is rejections, everyone has to deal with this. Not everybody will like your product. It is about the person. You can not talk to everybody, they can not all by clients. Some people, don’t need the product, some people don’t have the money.
Erno: What was the most important part you learned from your dad?
Kristina: He taught me how to handle people. He was ill for some time and he wanted me to take care of his business. I had to talk to the drivers and set rules. They didn’t consider me as an authority. This made me nervous, I could destroy the company. I learned to listen to people and understand their needs. This was a very valuable lesson. I explained the drivers that they could not drink beer during lunch break for instance. The clients did not want the drivers to drink so I had to make that clear. I listened to the clients and intergrated these complaints so that the business was able to run smoothly. I used to word ‘share’, that was my way of talking. I had the knowledge, but had to bring the message at a respectfull way
Erno: I believe that for you, social selling is build up from the 2 businesses. The hard selling from you mother and listening from your father.
Kristina: Well, times have changed. We did not have internet back then. When people are interested in something , they can find information on it on social media. People talk about the product before they even want to buy it. Maybe they even know more then the sales person. They look at reviews. Selling changed. The basis is the same but the method changed. For instance, we have telemarketeers. But nowadays, the ads usually persuade the clients in stead of the marketeer. The ads work 24/7. A person does not. Telemarketeers call potential clients, they only work 8 hours a day. Targeted ads get so much beter results. You get data, which you can analyse. They ads work around the clock. That is the differencre between now and the past.
Erno: How do you combine this with growth marketing?
Kristina: A growth hacker is a marketeer who is exceedingly good with data. He knows who to use the data and uses this to the advantage to the company.
Erno: Can you give me a tips to improve my business with some small growth hacking items?
Kristina: Love your client, love your customer. This is crucial. Do what others don’t do, be open to new ideas and try to be creative. Whatever you do, test it. You can not run too many tests. Do not copy other, but learn from them.
Erno: I am a small business owner, how do I easily test my sales page?
Kristina: You can use heatmap software, which tells you where your users are. Google Analytics helps as well. You have to know what you want to test first. What do you want? You know things about your clients. You gather this informatie through e-mail for instance. Get comfortable with Google Analytics and find out what you can improve. Last but not least, use software to find the popular part on your website useing heatmaps. Find the least popular part. I use Crazy Egg a lot but there is so much software. Test out a few. No one knows your business as well as you do. Find the points you want to improve through this.
Erno: I check online but there’s not much there about you. How do you get your clients?
Kristina: I get clients in 2 different ways. Either they are referrals or I go after them myself. I use cold e-mails for this, because I do not know these people personally but would like to work with them. I do not sell on my e-mail, I try to build a relationship. I send a tailor made message. I try to connect with them on LinkedIn After that I maybe make an appointment and try to get an idea of their business. I want to add value and understand their business. That is how I approach them. Sometime I can not offer anything but I want to know where they want their business to be. Be bold.
Erno: What if they reject your LinkedIn invitation?
Kristina: I just continue, I might give them a little break. There is no shortage of work. There are other clients. Some companies are not interested in growing, I can not help these companies. Any company should be interested in improving. It is not that easy to find good sales people, you will need people who can handle rejections. They must continue after a rejection. Find a way to talk to people to persuade them that you are giving them value. They have to share your vision. If not, maybe you can come back later or just go after other opportunities.
Erno: So we talked about your parents and their businesses, but the most important thing I’ve learned from you is perseverance. You have to keep going.
Kristina: Exactly, I am not the greatest sales person or pitcher. I take my time to look at the people I want to work with .You can sell many things to people but they also have to gain from it. Find the right clients. What good is a pen to a blind person? Do your homework and find people you want to work with. Everybody makes mistakes. That is the only way we can learn. All peopel will fail, the best will fail even more because they learned from their mistakes. If you do not fail, how can you succeed?
Erno: Wow, such a good point. Thank you for all your insights and show us the importance of finding the right clients.
Kristina: Thank you Erno for giving me this opportunity to talk about myself, that does not happen every day. I hope you and your audience will find something usefull out of this.
Erno: How can people find you?
Kristina: My preferd method is LinkedIn, but you can also e-mail me. You can find both of them down here.
Erno: Thank you Kristina.
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Erno is de Business Coach voor ondernemers met 5-25 medewerkers. Ik help ondernemers bij zelfzuchtige beslissingen voor meer vrijheid zodat ze door het groeiplafond breken zonder harder te werken. Mijn unieke eigenschap is vragen stellen vanuit oprechte nieuwsgierigheid en de essentie van de lessen te benoemen. Erno is auteur van 8 boeken, 1000+ artikelen en host van de podcast de Erno Hannink Show. Lees meer over Erno