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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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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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