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August 2009

The best salespeople have expensive hobbies

I gave my “Sales 101 for entrepreneurs” lecture to the entrepreneurs at DreamIT Ventures in Philadelphia last week.  If you aren’t familiar with them, its a TechStars / Y-Combinator style incubator that helps launch great companies on a shoe-string.  It does so by providing a great environment and access to top notch mentors and experienced VC’s and entrepreneurs.  I was honored to be one of their speakers this year.

During my presentation, one of the entreprenuers asked me a great question:  What should I look for when I’m hiring a sales candidate?

Truth in the sales process revisited: Controlled Messaging

Recently, I spoke to someone who had followed my advice about being completely truthful in the sales process, and was finding that he wasn’t getting as many sales from it as he thought.  I started digging into his process, and instantly realized the problem.

Truthfulness does not mean “reveal everything at once” – nor does it mean that you don’t control what information you give at any time. You need truth in every step of the process, but that doesn’t mean that you have to show your entire hand from the get-go.  You should be offering up information in snack-sizes and when it is required to move the process along.  You should always be managing the process towards the end goal that you want – a close.

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