Some good sales advice that I got over the weekend and wanted to share with you kind readers.
As you know, we’re on a big marketing and sales push right now for Visto.
We got our awesome product built, so now most of our focus is on getting more and more clients, more adoption, more conversions, etc. And part of what I’m doing is cold calling, as I’ve talked about in some of my emails over the last few weeks.
It’s been a few weeks of cold calling now, and as I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s a pretty interesting experience.
Have you done much/any cold calling? It can be intimidating at first.
I was coincidentally talking to someone in tech sales over the weekend, and they had some good advice. Which was basically to – before thinking about or trying to make sales – make a personal connection with the person.
Don’t get right into pitching, don’t get into you or how you think you can help.
First, start with them – ask them questions, seem genuinely curious about them, personalize yourself a bit, and just get into a conversation about your mutual topic/industry.
It was interesting advice, because so far my strategy has been more of a “get to the point and don’t waste their time” approach. Which, to be honest, has been working pretty well.
But what this guy was saying made sense too – try and quickly turn it into an interesting, personal conversation, and eventually they’re going to ask why the heck you called them. And if you did a good job making a genuine connection, they’ll at least hear you out and consider what you have to say.
It’s an interesting shift.
On one hand, it’s quick and easy to make a short pitch to see if what you’re offering is of any interest. But on the other hand, maybe to get more buy-in and commitment, it’s better to draw things out and build up more trust.
As is usually the case in business, there’s no perfect approach. Both can and probably do work, if done well.
So I’ll probably do a bunch of each, and see which converts better. And as always, report the results to you.
Was also having a cofounder chat with our CTO at Visto, Alex over the weekend.
Sometimes things just get so hectic during the week that it’s easier to chat the two of us over the weekend.
Anyway, we had a lot on our agenda, then usually the serious stuff is finished and we just shoot the shit about whatever is top of mind.
At which point, I went on a tangent/rant about how much harder it is selling tech than “regular stuff”. Mainly because we’re so focused on sales right now, so it’s very top-of-mind.
But as someone who has done a fair amount of sales as a service solopreneur business owner (for my previous law firm) and tech (current tech company Visto), I can safely point out some of the differences.
And let me tell you – I think selling new technology is probably 5 to 10 times harder than selling services. Maybe more.
Generally speaking, when you’re selling services, it’s pretty straight forward. It’s easy to describe what you’re offering, the prospective customer has probably purchased that service or something similar before, and it’s more a matter of pricing, trust, etc.
When you’re selling tech, especially if it’s a new tech product, and extra especially if you’re trying to get prospective customers to adopt technology to do something they’re used to doing manually, not only do you have to convince them that your product is awesome, you have to convince them it’s worth paying for and then also get them to actually use it.
Much easier said than done, doubly so if you’re not a big name tech company (for example, selling Salesforce solutions or Facebook ads are probably much easier than if you’re selling software for a brand new company).
It’s one of the few reasons that starting a tech company from scratch has been one of the hardest things I’ve tried doing. As hard as it is to start any regular business selling products or services, I find selling tech products that much harder.
But the payoff can also be much bigger… if you can pull it off…
As always, I’ll keep you posted on how that goes for us.
Have a great day, make sure to get the most up-to-date content of mine on my email list/business journal, and keep grinding.