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Selling for Techies (An Intro for Start-Ups) Mark Goodson Courtesy of Pitch & Mix Monday January 31 st 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Selling for Techies (An Intro for Start-Ups) Mark Goodson Courtesy of Pitch & Mix Monday January 31 st 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Selling for Techies (An Intro for Start-Ups) Mark Goodson Courtesy of Pitch & Mix Monday January 31 st 2011

2 Mark Goodson... who he? 28 years selling technology Started several businesses including a VC funded ($4m) start-up Spent several years as independent sales agent Managed international sales teams Now coaching and consulting on sales issues Made all of the mistakes... invented a few An inveterate geek

3 Tonight's session Some basic principles... Some basic selling skills... Let's get organised Q&A

4 Some basic principles....

5 Preconceptions Gift of the gab. Talk a lot. A smooth talker. It's not what you know, it's who you know Dishonest? Untrustworthy? Pushy. Make you feel uncomfortable. Rep in 1.6 Mondeo, jacket swinging in the back

6 Reality Everybody lives by selling something. Robert Louis Stevenson Bill Gates sold IBM on using MS-DOS (originally Quick & Dirty OS)... the rest is history Steve Jobs has done a pretty good job of selling us on design/lifestyle If you aren't selling a product you are selling yourself, your ideas, your company If you're an employee you are selling your services

7 What... me? In a start-up who else is going to do the selling but you? Even in a larger company you may have to attend trade shows, conferences, exhibitions, networking events... You may have to go on joint sales visits Timid salespeople have skinny kids - Zig Ziglar

8 What matters to the customer? Features. Objective facts. The display is 9.7, backlit, has multi-touch with IPS and is 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi). Advantages What the feature does, the service it performs. You can see a lot of stuff, move things around easily and the display is really clear. Benefits <---- What's the pay-off for me? You're more productive. Keep asking so what?, or which means...? until you get there!

9 Where marketing ends and sales begins Marketing deals in defining the product, features and advantages Marketing defines who you sell the product to Don't really know what the benefits are until you talk to the customer Marketing = the caddy, sales = the golfer Marketing mindset = Build it and they will come. Just need to perfect the pitch

10 Some basic selling skills...

11 Smooth talking? "I can sell ice to the Eskimos," claimed Melissa, prior to shifting zero (0) units If you don't listen to what the customer says, all you end up doing is winding them up - Karren Brady (youngest CEO of a UK PLC, 27) You have one mouth and two ears and should use them in that ratio Telling isn't selling

12 Building credibility Must earn the right to ask questions Intro I'll show you mine, if you show me yours Tell them about you, your company, your mission Tell them about how you helped someone similar We like people like ourselves

13 Questions Ask them. Ask plenty of them. Show a genuine interest. If you can remember ask OPEN questions Very powerful... ask IMPLICATION questions Summarise regularly Be sensitive... it's not the Spanish Inquisition!

14 Pitching your product At some point you will need to show them what you've got Fit the presentation to what youve discovered from your good questioning and listening Try and make it interactive. If the prospect asks you a question, as one back! Think about using a whiteboard... chalk & talk Try and build value. Focus on benefits and what it means to them... not to you

15 Competition – I hear you knocking Bad mouth a competitor and the customer relates the words to you Prospect may have relationship with your competitor The prospect may know more about their product than you do Shows who you worry about at night If you must compare focus on your positives If you must knock, make it generic

16 Proposals and quotations Our goal - they are a confirmation of what we've already agreed in principle Refer to benefits and value, before talking about costs Try to personally present and close Avoid quote and hope negotiations and concessions before you are selected

17 Closing According to some sales gurus there are 24 ways to close a sale. In reality... simple. Just ask. And wait. Transactional analysis. Adult–Adult. Not Parent-Child. Business business. That's what it's all about. If you can't get the order, go for an advancement of some sort. If the prospect has no need or problem... go!

18 Follow up Meeting decompression Do... and promptly. Make a good impression. Buyer remorse Best time is before you leave Get your version in first! Put it in your system... more on that Hunter vs. farmer

19 Let's get organised...

20 SAM – Who he? You can't do everything Serviceable available market Marketing... decide on segment Based on need (who has it?) Value (who can pay for it?) Sales cycle (how fast can they move?) Competition. (where are they, where aren't they!?) Horizontal vs. Vertical Geographical

21 Prospecting From your SAM you need to generate a hit list Existing contacts Networks Ask your industry contacts Social networking, particularly LinkedIn Prioritise it. Likely value, low hanging fruit, geography. Elevator pitch. You need one... with benefits. Who to aim for? Depends on your product or service In general, better to aim high and get referred down Avoid procurement like the plague

22 More Prospecting Cold calling. If you have the nerve for it You have enough prospects Have a simple script Better to be warm calling Find a link or hook email. Lead with your link, then benefits, then say that you will call Follow-up call. Networking events. Attend them, but in a targeted way. You are aiming to a) qualify the prospect and b) get a face-to-face meeting. Don't try and sell now... Set goals. (e.g. one afternoon per week prospecting or 10 cold calls)

23 Get organised Have a system to track leads, suspects, prospects and customers Your sales funnel It could be as simple as a spreadsheet on Google Docs or DropBox. Use it organise your activities and follow-up. Project on hold, call again in 3 months time. There are many good, low-cost CRM systems available

24 Some suggestions... Batchbox HighRise TactileCRM ZohoCRM SugarCRM ACT!

25 Feet on the street Direct sales force Rep/agent VAR Distributor Partnership Wrap your product in someone else's Let them sell it for you e.g. CSR & modules

26 What next? Set a sales goal now... and do it tomorrow! Follow-up master classes? Take a business card. One hour's free sales consulting or coaching Questions and chat... Mark Goodson 07774 168643 @mg_associates Skype: mark_goodson

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