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If I ask you to picture a successful salesperson, what do you see?
Hmmm… I’m sure you imagine a confident, seductive and humorous person, impressively at ease with chit-chat.
Well, I know it’s a bit disturbing but really, the best salespeople don’t talk. They’re quiet for most of a conversation with their prospect. They’re great listeners. And in the early days of a startup, they are the founders themselves, rather shy, more used to navigating tech issues than human interactions.
Yet many entrepreneurs keep saying: “We’re focusing on the product first. We’ll hire a salesperson soon.” And that’s why they are raising funds: to pay marketing and sales. That’s also why they struggle to get good term sheets.
Before product-market-fit, why should YOU, the founders, be selling?
(1) Your passion isn’t fake. And that authenticity convinces much more than any sales pitch.
(2) You’ve acquired a certain expertise in the industry, you’re interesting ;)
(3) You built the best product ever by talking with users and understanding their problems.
(4) You clearly identify your early adopters and pave the way for a future salesperson to double down on them.
So choose among the founding team who’s in charge of selling and make it into a full-time job.
How do you start selling all by yourself?
The potential pipe is huge and you could get lost…
You will get lost and that’s ok. Out of the total number of prospects, the ones who will finally convert are very few, just 2.5% if you love economic principles. But the 97.5% saying “NO” won’t make you lose time. These prospects will explain to you how they endure the problem you’re solving, they’ll train your ability to connect, give you confidence in pitching, and they’ll lead you to your first clients!
Since covid-19 began, prospects are closer.
Millions of people are now working remotely. That’s an opportunity for you: everybody has adopted your working habits. Whether you’re targeting consumers, SMBs or Enterprises, there are less frictions between you and a “YES” for a call. So warm up your “cold emails” because people are more open to jumping on a Zoom meeting after receiving it.
No more big conferences gathering all your clients in one place?
Good for you: They were too far away, too expensive, and too US-centric. Online conferences are opening the doors for newcomers able to offer the right solution to their targets. Find the ones that are the most relevant for you and that let you speak with your clients. Remember: people tend to be less biased when working remotely - your accent is less of a barrier.
Yes, the competition is tougher.
The level of noise is just crazy! You’ve seen all the invitations for webinars, email campaigns and videos running around Linkedin. But that’s a chance to work on being on point and straightforward. And getting a “NO” is precious: you’re moving forward, getting closer to identifying your niche - rejection is redirection.
By the way, since we started this series of emails with the Directors, we’ve lost some subscribers - but we’ve also gained much more qualified ones. And it accelerated our end-goal: engaging in a conversation with smart and ambitious founders from anywhere, like you ;)
You’re welcome to join us!