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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: February, 2020
Feb 25, 2020

No more $10 ice cream sandwiches.

 

It’s been two weeks since I finished the Tarawera 100 – a 100-mile ultramarathon in New Zealand. 

 

Usually the emotional overwhelm of completing a race like this brings me to tears at the finish line. That didn’t happen at Tarawera and since then, I’ve been struggling to figure out why.

 

Meanwhile, I’ve been giving myself permission to go lax on my diet. Friday night was the pinnacle – I ate more than an entire pizza, downed two large IPAs, then capped off the gluttony with a $10 ice cream sandwich.

 

Do you know how much ice cream and cookie goes into a $10 ice cream sandwich? 

 

My next race is on June 27th – the Western States 100, the world's oldest 100-mile trail race. More than 10,000 runners try to land one of the 369 available spots every year, and I got a spot in the 2020 race.

 

Not only do I want to cross the finish line, but I want to earn the silver buckle that goes with completing the race in under 24 hours.  I’ve never finished a 100-mile race in under 24 hours. The Western States is one of the toughest races in the world – 18,000’ of elevation gain,, yet I know I’m capable of reaching this goal.

 

After Tarawera, I told myself I’d go easy for a few weeks and start training sometime in March. I’d eat what I wanted. Train less. Give myself a break.

 

But I can’t. I spent Saturday morning mapping out the next four months of my life, work and training. I’ve been hitting the garage the past week and feeling strong. On Sunday, I paced a local 13.1-mile race, and felt good the whole way.

 

I’ve got four months to the race start and no excuses about why I can’t start my training now. Today. On February 24th. So I am. Right now./

 

I’m plenty proud of finishing the Tarawera 100, but what I realized is that was once a peak accomplishment is now my foundation, my starting point for the next big thing. It’s time to break through the next ceiling, to elevate my mindset and personal expectations because I know that I can. 

 

All of the work, all of the training, all of the endurance races that I’ve done over the past 12 years is all just foundation to get me here, to a place where I can seize this opportunity ahead of me over the next four months. The only person holding me back is me.

 

This is my public accountability to every single person reading this post. My goal is to run the last 1/4 mile around the track of Placer High School knowing that I’ve done it – to see a finishing time of 23:59 or better. To cross the finish line at 4:59AM or sooner on Sunday, June 28 because I know that I can, if I put in the right work and the right effort in the next four months.

 

Let’s do this.

 

#GoFarther 

Feb 11, 2020

I’m 10 days from my next ultra-marathon — the Tarawera 100. The locals refer to it as “the miler…”

 

I’m so close to the starting line, and in the final weeks before a race, I get tired – I’m tired of training. I’m tired of early mornings. I’m tired of my diet. I’m tired of centering my life around one day in the calendar.

 

That’s when it’s most important to stay disciplined, to stay on track, to do the work. I didn't want to do the work this morning. I searched for reasons why I should skip this morning's run, but anything I thought of was just another excuse. So I got up, got out and did the work.

 

It’s the same with your startup. You’ve been pushing towards the next product launch, or the big conference, or that implementation with your “logo customer.”

 

It’s easy to get tired. You SHOULD be tired – you’ve been pushing for weeks and months to get there, so it’s natural to want to let down or back off a little and hope you can coast.

 

That’s exactly when you have to look at what you must to do to see it through, and usually that’s simply focusing on the task at hand – to just do the work.

 

Do the work. Go Farther.

Feb 4, 2020

Zach Stein joined me on my podcast, describing the decision-making frameworks he used as CEO at Osmo. (Check the comments below for a link to the episode.)

 

We talked about “making one decision to save a thousand” that Greg McKeown detailed in his book, *Essentialism.*

 

This week, I decided to skip all Super Bowl media - no ESPN, no news, no sports talk radio. I’ll be in New Zealand teaching a sales workshop when the game's on. If I can’t watch it, why do I care? 

 

You’ve got hundreds of decisions to make everyday – how to spend your time, which features to add, who to hire, how to price that one deal....

 

While many decisions are bespoke, many can be grouped so that if you make one decision, it saves a hundred later.

 

  1. What if you decided to only check email 3x/day – at 10am, 2pm & 6pm?  

 

Think about how many rabbit holes you follow b/c you’re constantly checking your phone.

 

  1. What if you decided to stop sending proposals when prospects ask for them?  

 

Think about how much time and energy is wasted writing them then chasing prospects, only to hear – “Ping me in …”

 

  1. What if you decided to do 1:1s with every team member this week? 

 

Think how would that change your relationship abd what you’d learn about their work.

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