Posts Tagged ‘sales’
Everyone said it would be impossible for a startup—especially for a nonprofit with no experience working with the government—to beat established contractors who have spent decades winning contracts. But instead of competing with these contractors, the company realized it could leverage its nonprofit status to win, and signed a $0 contract that sidestepped the usual procurement process.
Let’s say you have the attention of someone who agrees to meet or do a phone call with you, but they’re just too busy to set it up right now.
The wrong thing to do in most cases is to wait some number of weeks or months to reconnect with the person and set up a meeting.
If you have the person’s attention, you should see if there is a way you can get on their calendar right then and there, even if the actual meeting or call will take place weeks or months out.
Here’s an example of how this might work in practice:
You: “Hi _____, I’m an MBA student who is tracking the Big Data market sector. I have come across some interesting companies looking for funding and was wondering if you might be interested in meeting me to discuss them during the 1st week of December. Also have some interest in working in VC and would love to discuss that career path as well. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.”
Reply: “Hi Mary – thanks for the note. I would love to chat but I’m swamped for next month or so. Can you email me in the New Year and see if we can set up a time to speak? Thanks.”
You: “Hi _____ – would love to talk to you in the New Year. Would it be OK if we penciled in Feb 1 10-1030a Pacific for a phone chat and then change/move if needed? Thanks and please let me know if that works for you.”
Reply: “Hi Mary – sure, may have to reschedule it but let’s get it on calendar. I’ve copied my assistant who can get the logistics set up.”
Give it a try. It works.
In complex B-to-B sales, multiple “Yes” votes are required to get an order.
A single “No” can kill the deal. Understanding the saboteurs in a complex sale is as important as understanding the recommenders and influencers
We needed a selling strategy that took all of this into account.
In a startup not losing is sometimes more important than winning.
NY entrepreneur Mark LaRosa has been writing some amazing stuff on his blog QuotaCrush. Although the blog is focused on how to improve your selling abilities (with the net effect being that you will crush your quota), I have found the advice contained within it to be tremendously applicable to business development, venture capital, and life in general. Not to mention that the whole concept of QuotaCrush is a great example of personal branding.
Here is a snippet from a recent post he made about transparency in the sales process:
Total transparancy is something that prospects will respect you for – and something that will build trust in you and your company.
Once you have that trust, you will find that in general, people like to help people. So, when you call and ask for that deal, and you are honest about why you want to close that deal by a certain time, prospects who trust and respect you will generally do what they can to make that happen. Its not a guarantee for a sale, but it certainly is something that may help you get the deal sooner.
I also really liked this post about Mark’s daughter convincing him to let her have a snack before dinner, which was really a post about persistence in the sales process.
Anyways, this is just a sample of the kind of stuff you’ll find on QuotaCrush.
Highly worth checking out, even if you don’t think you’re in sales.
Which, by the way, you are!
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