As part of the Sales & Marketing workshop they asked me to deliver a 15 min talk about some high-level concepts that would benefit first-time or early entrepreneurs. I came up with 7 myths1 (and their matching realities) that I see startups believe, over and over:
Reality: You have to me systematic in your approach and test everything. Pick something you’d like to improve, come up with a plan, test it, then adapt. And repeat
Reality: You need to focus on the people that have the problem you are solving (or appreciate the value you offer). This means you will have to turn down people if they don’t match your ideal target.
Reality: You need to be talking to your prospects & customer ALL. THE. TIME. From your prospects find out their big problems and help them solve it. From your customers find out why they bought, how they bought, what else they want.
Reality: You need to be where your customers are, contributing to the discussions. Whether that Twitter, LinkedIn, conferences, webinars, etc, wherever your customer interact with each other, be there. And remember, don’t always be pitching either. Start and comment on discussions, help people out, etc.
Reality: Recognize that inertia for the status quo (or staying with the incumbent) is the biggest hurdle you have to overcome. Most thins must be sold in some way or another, either via your website or your interactions, and to do that, you need to have a relationship that includes trust.
Reality: It takes 7-11 touch points before people are ready to buy and 40-60% of those usually occur before they reach out to you (i.e. you won’t know about them). This means three things:
Reality: Two main mistakes I see with pricing:
Instead, you should understand how much VALUE your customer will get from your software and base accordingly. Additionally, review and adapt your pricing every 6-8 months (Always Be Testing from above).
Whenever you are trying to move an opportunity along, remember that when the prospect/customer asks you for something, you should be GETTING something in return. If they want the price, ask for a meeting with the decision maker. If they want a discount, ask for a video testimonial, etc. There’s always something beneficial you can get.
And one bonus life lesson ↩
We’ve got to start pulling customers through the buying process instead of pushing them through our sales process.
When you ask for something, always be prepared for a yes!
If you’re doing things the right way, you’ll get yesses. Be ready for them!
If you don’t ask these questions, you’re throwing away money
Ask these 13 B2B sales questions to close more deals and make more sales.