There are many preconceived ideas about what a ‘sales person’ really is. For example, an image of a slick guy with slicked-back hair, wearing a slick suit paid for from commissions secured by milking clients for all they’re worth pops into my mind. In reality, things are a little different. Of course there may be some people who fit my very stereotypical description accurately, but in my experience, things are a lot less ‘slick’.
Being part of a startup is radically different from work than that for a corporate company. We are not a household name. We are not Apple, nor are we Google. We are ezeep. We are young, innovative, imaginative and passionate about solving one of the biggest IT headaches faced by millions: print-infrastructure management. In sales, we need them to recognize companies’ and universities’ pains and problems, and let sys admins and IT people seek help in the comforting, understanding arms of our sales team. We all know printing needs an upgrade, and we are here to help.
On the sales end, revolutionizing printing means mails, phone calls, demos and making the first move. Although it’s been a while since I’ve been in the dating game, but I can’t help but draw comparisons. Once a potential client realizes you’re a ‘sales person,’ their guard is understandably up and your chances are but a few, just like walking up to a girl in a bar and creating something out of nothing. It sounds cliche but first impressions are everything! Confidence can be easily mistaken for arrogance, being confident is always good, in a bar or on the phone with a customer, but cross that line, and arrogance is surely a turn off… You’ve got to look good, talk the talk, and get them interested. Don’t go on for ages, just give short, sharp points to get them yearning for more. Have a chat, get to know them, ask questions and really listen to the answers. You can then tailor your pitch (I hate that word) to suit them and their needs best.
Finally, you need to be able to close the deal. By this stage, you’ve developed a relationship, there’s trust involved, and those initial barriers have slowly come down as your sincerity has been noticed, and your potential worth to them has grown. You need to be able to walk the walk, and put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. Set up the customer, take them through the service, and you will be rewarded with their stunned, speechless face when it all works perfectly.