• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Episode 65 Learning to Sell like a Mother with Renee Hribar

Sharing is caring!

Learning how to sell like a mother with Renee Hribar

Learning to sell like a mother with Renee Hribar

In this last episode in our series "Sales and Marketing," Jeff and I interview Renee Hribar on learning to sell like a mother.

Who is Renee Hribar

Renee Hribar has been a sales professional since 1994 in New York. She has sold millions of dollars in products and services and trained thousands to sell for the first time.

Renee is known in her industry as a fun, energetic executive sales coach who leads with heart. She is a TEDx speaker who offers training sessions at global conferences. Renee skillfully breaks down her decades of sales expertise, and with her one-of-a-kind “laugh & learn” teaching style, you will certainly gain a new view of the “softer side of sales”.

Learning to sell by connecting with people


Many of the people in our community ask me about sales all the time. Unfortunately, many of them hate sales.  You are super passionate about sales.


Sales are never just one thing. The sale happens throughout your connecting with people from the moment to before you work with them, while we're working with them and then after.

Why Renee loves sales so much


How did you got started and why do you love sales so much when most people think it's a four-letter word? 


In 1994, I graduated from college. Five days after I got a summer job. I took the job. It was selling house to house. And I loved it. What I loved about it was that people are so raw. So it allowed me to connect with who they are right away. I got promoted to the New York office in Manhattan. We were getting into the telecom world. I rode that wave and I never looked back.

Then, I started my first company and made my first million before I was 25. So I bought my mom a house and a car. I moved her across the country. And I traveled constantly. I loved what I did and was at all the events, getting the equivalent of the two comma club award, you know, 20 years ago. And I loved it.

You can make sells less scary and even fun.

How Renee became passionate about learning to sell on the online space. 


And so I became passionate ultimately about this space when I became a mom and I didn't want to be traveling all the time. I didn't want to have to leave my little world of my family to be able to impact people positively.

It's what I found mostly in the online space is people that were entrepreneurs that felt that sales were a four-letter word. And so the way I look at it to answer that question quickly is just having a conversation with people. Why do you love your business? And what you love about it is probably what makes it different. It's your passion that will be part of that differentiator. 


I met Renee in person at a Digital Insider event in New Haven earlier where she was speaking to a small group of entrepreneurs. It wasn't a selling exercise. She was just talking about her business and the love she has for this topic just knocked my socks off.

I learned a lot just listening to her talk about a business. She has an incredible passion for what she does. I think all entrepreneurs should love sales and I don't. It was a real struggle when I started my first business years ago, just because I hated getting up there in front of people. I felt like I have to do a dog and pony show for them. When I know what I'm doing, they should just buy my stuff, and it strange how that doesn't work out for you.

Learning to sell means going into buyer mode


Many people hate sales and think people should just buy your thing. You get caught up in that dog and pony show. We feel like that's what sales are. It's not. The buyer doesn't even care. 

First, I want you to go into buyer mode. When you buy something, what makes you buy it? Are you comparing widgets to widgets? Most of the time.  You won't even listen to somebody talk about their widget if you don't even like it.

Learning to sell means being yourself


So it's not like you have to try to be likable, just be you. That makes it easy to sell all the time. So instead of trying to be likable, just be who you are. You will repel most people. And then you will attract the right ones. Because trying to be somebody else is exhausting, thus the dog and pony show.

Learning to sell means asking questions


Instead, I encourage you to ask questions, if you haven't already. And so once you ask the right questions, you will hear from the potential buyer. You are not selling to big companies, you are selling to Bob.  Even if Bob happens to be a big wig at IBM. So ask Bob some questions, discover what Bob is concerned about, what he needs, what he feels is the problem, and where the issues are. And see if you, as a seller, have the solution. Then talk about that solution in a way that Bob talks about it. Not in a way that you talk about it. And this is where the expertise starts to flip us around, and the whole idea of I have to prove myself.

Your buyer wants custom. They want to be seen and heard.

Learning to sell means speaking your customers' language


So here's an example. I talked to Bob, I asked him his questions. Then, I hear how he explained things. I know Bob is explaining it wrong. As a seller and an expert, I might feel that to prove to Bob that I know my stuff, I need to use the big words to explain. All that does is alienate Bob from me. Bob now feels like I'm condescending, a know it, and that I'm going to be hard to work with.

Whereas if I just explained things the way Bob explained them, Bob will go, "Yeah, that's what I'm talking about." As an expert, I know how things work. And everything is going to work out fine because I'm going to be the one in charge if we end up working together.

This little piece right there in the sales conversation is where I see so many people mess up because they're going into it like it's a sales conversation. I have to prove myself and show him a dog and pony show. That what freaks your out. 


People struggle with that and are so busy trying to list out the benefits and show how smart they are rather than building relationships. You need to use the terminology your customers use.

Is there a difference in selling to women versus men?


What are some differences in selling for women compared to men?


I'm going to use a little analogy. So when you think about the dating world and think about how men are built and wired. It doesn't mean that women and men are superior or inferior. They are just different. 


So it's important to acknowledge that. It's also important to design your ideal character and sell to them. 


So when I pitch something to men, I'm still going to ask questions, but initially, they're going to need fewer details. Women want to talk it out and talk it out again. For men, it's just the facts. I still have to speak in his language, but he just wants the facts and he wants it quick. And he doesn't need eye contact Women need eye contact.


Stellar truth. Me. I kind of look at specs and I go off of that. If you have the specs, you have what I want. I'm going to buy it from you. And I'm not going to go anywhere else to look around.


That's the other thing too. Loyalty. Men tend to be very loyal. And women like to talk things out and discuss all the options. With men, I just need to connect correctly initially and quickly and get to the sale a lot quicker. Whereas women will have a longer pre-framing time if you're going to speak about sales cycles. 

Learning to sell means speaking to your customer as an individual


And you know, speak to your customer as an individual is the key. 

The biggest mistake people make when trying to sell their small business 


What do you think is the biggest mistake that people make when they're trying to sell in their small business?


They come at it with a pitch. 

Your personal touch is incredibly important

Learning to sell means asking great questions


Good salespeople have good pitches. So there's nothing wrong with a good pitch. It's going to get to some things. But great salespeople ask great questions.

Let me give you a very specific example. I have one client who meets most of her clients in networking events. She meets one-on-one with somebody. What she used to do was she would hear some things that she knew she could solve. And she'd be like, Hey, you know what? I can help you with that. And guess how many customers she got? Very few. She had a good pitch.

What we first worked on was to identify what she heard. She knew she could help them. But instead of saying, "Hey, you know what I can do for you?" Instead, she switched it to, "Hey, I have a question." And she would start with a few questions. Tell me more about that. How are you working on that? What have you tried so far? Are you looking to do X, Y, and Z? Or tell me what you're looking to do with that.

Ask questions


So as opposed to, "Hey, this is what I can do for you." Switch it to, "I have a couple of questions."

And then because had a few questions versus, Hey, I want to pitch you. Some people's barriers, go down. People like talking about themselves. 


What they teach you about doing discovery calls,  is asking three questions to get more information. So tell me about your business and what do you do. What systems are you using? And in that five-minute discussion, you can build enough rapport with somebody that they're will call you the next day.

Learning to sell means spending more time listening than talking 


One of the first things that I learned about networking was that you spend more time listening than you do talking.


So whether it's digital marketing, where they come down a funnel, it's all about asking questions and having them continue because they feel heard.

Before I become a seller, I have to become a buyer and empathize from that buyer's perspective. Why would I buy from someone over here versus over there? I want to buy from someone. And especially with women, I want to be heard. I want you to listen because I am a unique flower. As a buyer, you want to feel seen and heard. And that alone will endear someone to you.

Is it possible to make sales fun?


So one of the questions that our audience had is, is it possible to make sales less scary and maybe even fun? 


Yes. Well, again, back to the dating analogy. It can be nerve-wracking if you go into the pub at 21 and you're like, "oh, I wonder if I'm going to meet my future mate for life or something." You can put all that pressure on yourself. Or you can just go in and try to talk to one person at a time.

Learning to sell means speaking to one person


This is where digital marketing can mess with your mind. You can't talk to everyone. You can only talk to one person at a time. In the digital world, we talk about knowing your ideal client avatar and all those things.

Just speak to Sue. If you're speaking to Sue, think about Sue, look at who Sue is. And talk to Sue. If you’re talking to Bob, then look at who Bob is, know him and speak to him. And so even if you are writing a broadcast email, imagine that one person that you're talking to, and then guess what? You will speak to that person.

They're going to come toward you. They're going to hear themselves.

How can you sell more? 


What is the most important thing? People need to start selling more. 


Well traditionally, you know, the way to sell more is either sell to more people or sell more of something to the same person. You need to either have more traffic or more upsells. But in terms of an individual business owner, how can you sell more? What I find often is you're not inviting people to what's next. 

Learning to sell means sending a personal message


One of the fastest ways that I can suggest today right now, whatever you're listening to this stop and think about the last 10 people that walked into your business, or that came to your page, or that liked your page, or that somehow connected with your business in any way, shape or form.

I want you to look them up, think about who they are. And I want you to send them a personal message. Send them an actual note, and simply invite them to something. Even if you have to create that thing.


That is great. You're inviting them to the next piece.

Learning to sell is inviting your customer to the next thing 


It's a natural invitation to something. Even if it's not an actual product, it's just an invitation to something. It could be, "Hey, I'm doing the live stream next week. I would love to have you come join me. Do you want the link to check it out?" Video converts really big. So to reach more people faster, use video.

Using automation


In the digital space, we get too caught up in how do we automate? What can you automate? And sometimes it's going back to that personal touch that is incredibly efficient.


Automation can only be done for something that you've done over and over again so that you know that if it's automated, it will still produce the same results. So it's good for traffic and volume. But if you're not somebody who needs volume or you're not ready for volume, then hold off on some of that automation. There is more automation as you scale. 

Look and see who is opening up your emails


You can have a great automated email sequence. But you need to see who's opening them. And then actually reach out to them beyond the email sequence. If Joanne has been opening every single one of your emails for the past month, you should reach out to her. 


And that's, I mean, I think like that is like the best tip of the episode. Go into your email list and see who is opening your emails and go reach out to them because that is someone who likes you and loves you and is eating up your message. Invite them to the next thing.

The best way to contact Renee:

Renee's Website

Renee's Facebook page

Renee's Instagram

Renee's LinkedIn

Great salespeople ask great questions


​Disclosure: We professionally create this podcast that receives compensation from companies that we talk about. So you must assume that any link you click is an affiliate link. Kristin and Ingram Digital Media only have affiliate relationships with companies that we believe in wholeheartedly. We are independently owned, and all of our opinions are​ our own.


Show notes

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}