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Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

Over the past twenty years, I’ve led three Silicon Valley startups to their first customers and revenue, and sold everything from financial data, enterprise software, and vaporware to cabinet doors, amusement park daily programs, and “would you like fries with that…?” My customers have included the largest financial institutions in the world, top US Universities, cabinet door makers and people that eat at Applebees and go to amusement parks... I’ve learned a lot, and made a few, ahem, well… a lot, of mistakes. Here in The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci, I share the lessons learned from my past two decades of selling. In each episode, I discuss a specific topic in selling and sales strategy like how to find new prospective customers, how to manage leads, how to run an effective sales meeting, uncovering customer needs, and developing pricing strategies. Episodes are a mix of guest interviews, observations from the field, and sales techniques that I’m using every single day. And people that care about such things, I’ve written two books, been a TEDx Speaker, been featured on CNBC, The Financial Times and NPR. Oh… I’m also a husband, a dad, and a three-time Ironman triathlete. Build your sales process so that you can have the company you imagine. The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci will help you get there.
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Now displaying: September, 2015
Sep 30, 2015

Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

SalesCast #3: Preparing for Your First Meeting with a New Prospect

This SalesCast is brought to you by, well, SalesQualia. Improve Sales Performance with:

  1. Self-learning resources, including books on Amazon.com and self-paced online courses.
  2. Workshops & Training, hosted at venues across Silicon Valley and the US.
  3. 1:1 Coaching & Consulting for company founders and sales professionals that want a personalized plan.

In this episode, Scott and Robert discuss different methods to prepare for your first call/meeting with a prospective client and the ways in which you can help keep the momentum moving forward before the meeting takes place.  Some key areas discussed are:

  • The hazards of getting a meeting on the books and not engaging with the prospect before hand.
  • A checklist of actions to complete before the big meeting and how to utilize the prospect’s assistant.
  • What to do when you aren’t able to get the prospect on the phone ahead of time and how to leave voice mails and emails that are more likely to get a response.
  • How to script out how you would like the meeting to go and creating opportunities for conversation and questions.
  • The importance of doing proper research on all attendees for the meeting and how contacting them ahead of time can create more champions for your product.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and would greatly appreciate feedback!  Any suggestions on future topics you would like to hear covered and/or podcast guests you’d like to hear would be great!  Enjoy!

Podcast Notes

1:30 – Setting up a meeting and the hazards of not engaging during the time leading up to it.

5:30 – Spending weeks of preparation for a meeting with the top exec, only to find out that they don’t know why they are in the meeting (and how to avoid this!).

7:50 – What to do when you don’t have access to a top-level exec before the meeting.

9:00 – Creating a pre-meeting checklist.

10:00 – The importance of short calls before the meeting to help set expectations.

12:00 – How to use your pre-meeting preparation to bring additional buyers into the meeting.

13:45 – What to do when you can’t get the prospect on the phone ahead of the meeting.

15:00 – Techniques for leaving voice mails and emails that improve your response rate.

19:00 – Final preparation going into the big meeting.

20:00 – How to use LinkedIn for pre-meeting research to help you build better relationships faster.

22:00 – How to script out the meeting ahead of time and building in opportunities for questions and conversation.

23:30 – Making sure you allow yourself to find out every meeting participant’s needs so they can be including in the meeting.

25:00 – How to make you meeting not a demo, but a conversation with your product as the backdrop.

26:30 – How to use your meeting preparation to get other people at the prospect company involved and to prevent participants from walking in blind to the meeting.

31:00 – Number one piece of advice for preparing for the big meeting.

33:20 – How pre-calls with different meeting attendees can help you make them look better and the advantages this brings to the sale.

Sep 29, 2015

Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

SalesCast #2 – “Being a Connector”

This SalesCast is brought to you by, well, SalesQualia. Improve Sales Performance with:

  1. Self-learning resources, including books on Amazon.com and self-paced online courses.
  2. Workshops & Training, hosted at venues across Silicon Valley and the US.
  3. 1:1 Coaching & Consulting for company founders and sales professionals that want a personalized plan.

In this episode, Scott (sitting in the lobby of a Marriot at a conference and probably looking slightly crazy for talking to himself) discusses the importance of making yourself a good connection for other people and how building this image of a “Good Connector” can benefit your company.  Key areas covered:

  • Discussing with a prospect their customer problems, market issues, and connections versus focusing on selling your own product.
  • Build connections with new and interesting people/companies in your market by simply picking up the phone.
  • A bad prospect for your company can still be a good connection for better prospects.
  • Finding a balance between selling and learning.
  • Creating the image of being a good connection.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and would greatly appreciate feedback!  Any suggestions on future topics you would like to hear covered and/or podcast guests you’d like to hear would be great!  Enjoy!

Podcast Notes

0:30 – The benefits of hearing about a prospects company problems, market issues, and their connections versus only talking about your own product.

1:45 – Hear about an interesting company or team?  Pick up the phone and call them!

4:00 – Even when someone is not a good prospect, they can still be helpful for finding the right prospect.

6:30 – Balance between meetings to sell your product and learning more about your market and industry.

8:00 – Creating the image of being a good connection for others.

Sep 21, 2015

Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

SalesCast #2: Being a Connector

This SalesCast is brought to you by, well, SalesQualia!  Improve Sales Performance with:

  1. Self-learning resources, including books on Amazon.com and self-paced online course.

  2. Workshops and Training, hosted at venues across Silicon Valley and the US.

  3. 1:1 Coaching and Consulting for company founders and sales professionsals that want a personalized plan.

In this episode, Scott and Robert discuss the world of business conferences and how to make better use of your time than sitting at your booth scanning the badges of attendees who care more about your free giveaways than your product.  Some key topics and practical strategies we discuss are:

  • The concept of a “conference escort” and what this person does for startup founders and entrepreneurs at live events.
  • Techniques for using LinkedIn and how the right research can help you send more effective InMails and appointment requests.
  • Using “customer development” to your advantage to landing meetings with executives.
  • Breaking down the stages of conference meeting development – pre-conference, at the conference, and after the conference.
  • Defining a quality meeting with four (4) success metrics.
  • Roles & casting for meetings. How to position each person on your side in a meeting based on person you’re meeting.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and would greatly appreciate feedback!  Any suggestions on future topics you would like to hear covered and/or podcast guests you’d like to hear would be great!  Enjoy!

Podcast Notes

2:30 – Introducing “conference escorts” and what this person does for startup founders & entrepreneurs at conferences and live events.

5:32 – Using multiple people in a meeting to facilitate conversation at a conference meet-and-greet conversation.

7:08 – Roles & casting for meetings. How to position each person on your side in a meeting based on person you’re meeting.

9:00 – Using ambiguity to your advantage. Having the second person on your side as a “wild card” in a meeting to allow for flexibility in the casting for a meeting.

11:18 – Positioning yourself as a business conference escort and setting up meetings for startups.

12:20 – Using “customer development” to your advantage to landing meetings with executives

13:30 – LinkedIn & InMails to set conference appointments

16:00 – Results using LinkedIn & InMails to get 25-40% response rates for conference meeting requests instead of emails.

18:30 – Why using conference escorts might be a good idea for a startup founder/entrepreneur

20:20 – How much time should you plan to spend setting up appointments prior to a conference?

21:30 – Approaches and research for sending effective InMails and appointment requests

24:00 – Helping an outside sales consultant to get up to speed with your product and value proposition

25:30 – Managing responses to meeting requests for conference meetings

26:00 – General time and budget allocation pre and post-conference: Pricing out a conference project with a sales consultant. Setting up incentives and setting baseline expectations.

30:30 – Building a conference escort team: Who do you hire? How do you build a team? What to do if the startup wants to hire a conference escort on a full-time basis?

33:30 – Finding talent to help with customer development at conferences including part-timers and established business veterans.

36:15 – Breaking down the stages of conference meeting development – pre-conference, at the conference, and after the conference.

38:20 – Tips for sending meeting invites for conference meetings. Confirming appointments.

39:30 – Ideas for finding conference [business] escorts

42:00 – Using people only for the conference itself, not pre- and post-conference follow-ups.

44:18 – Post-conference follow-ups: What to do after the meeting? How to pull these meetings through to be real sales leads? Avoiding the dead space after conferences.

47:30 – What to do if you met with someone that isn’t a decision-maker?

50:00 – Revisiting success metrics for conference meetings. Defining a quality meeting with four (4) success metrics.

54:00 – Identifying gatekeepers & heroes versus a true partner at your prospect.

 

56:00 – Wrap up and summary

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