When we started reaching out to potential customers at KYA about 3 to 4 months ago it was a whole new experience for me, I had never actually been a “salesman” in the typical sense of the word and yet here I was lining up demos for my product with the ultimate goal of getting the publisher to sign up. It was scary to think about at first. But honestly, the more I thought about it the more comfortable I felt. Here’s why:
As a founder of a company, you really have to be the best salesman in the company. It’s your job to sell people (customers, investors, partners, etc) on your product and company. You need to be always on and ready to sell. You also can’t be afraid to talk to people. One thing I know is that people don’t just come to you (at least in the very beginning), you need to go to them. As the old saying goes, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
I have found that being Calm, Confident, Caring, and Charismatic during my demos has led me to have an amazing close rate. So what’s my close rate you ask? When I can get the customer on a call and show them the product, it’s pretty much 100% (and I’ve closed around 20 sales so far). Now it probably won’t always be (especially now that I’ve said it on the Internet and jinxed myself), but clearly I’m doing something right so I figured I’d share some of my tips with you.
How To Win At Sales
It’s all about the four C’s I mentioned earlier. Let me explain:
The worst thing anyone can say to you is “No,” and really it’s not that bad. Who knows, if someone says no, maybe they will also offer you some constructive criticism that will help you improve the product. So be calm when you are doing a demo or sales pitch. If something doesn’t work during the demo, just roll with it. Keep going. If you are feeling brave make a joke about it (but it’s not necessary). Oh, speak clearly and don’t let yourself get too emotional. Super important.
One thing that I do to help stay calm is prep beforehand by having all the KYA dashboard features I want to show off open and loaded in separate tabs. This speeds up the demo (which is good because you don’t want to take up too much of someone’s time) and also makes it more fluid and results in less problems.
Why are you nervous? It’s your product (assuming you’re a founder), you worked hard to build it — be proud of it! This is your time to shine. You also need to be confident that your product can help this potential customer and don’t be afraid to explain how. For example, when I demo KYA I explain how I use the features I’m showing off to help me run BestTechie.
This one is super important to remember. Your demo isn’t about you, your product, or your company. It’s about the potential customer. Make it about them. Explain to them that you understand the challenges they are currently facing. One other thing to think about (more so for early stage companies like KYA) is a win doesn’t have to translate into revenue immediately. Smart partnerships and/or the willingness to provide extended trials can go a long way to help reduce the risk on the end of the customer and help you increase your customer base (with the goal to convert that to revenue down the road).
I’d imagine this one is probably the hardest thing to achieve for many people, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, if you nail the first three C’s it can often translate into this C. Do your research before any demo, get a good understanding of the potential customer as well as the person you will be speaking to. Be friendly and courteous (do I really need to say that?). I like to talk about my experience in the publishing space and the realization that many publishers just don’t have access to the right analytics and how I want to fix that. I also make potential customers know that they will be an integral part in our product.
Have any other sales tips to share? Let me know!