Sales: Be Shameless!0
This is a lesson I learned while I was the co-founder of FitSquid. Since then I’ve moved on to bigger and better things at ElasticInc.com. Nevertheless this lesson is timeless! I use it everyday for my work at Elastic. Here is my rewind back in time:
I’m the biz-dev guy for my Startup (www.FitSquid.com) so I get to do all the sales (oh Joy!).
Growing up I had always been told by my family that I would be a good sales man. That I could convince anyone of anything by relentlessly persuading them to death! So it seemed natural that I would do sales for FitSquid. I am a mechanical engineer by trade, so besides some top level product development and business strategy, I just leave the coding to Katzr or The Machine.
So why is it that after weeks and weeks of calling, and tremendous interest, I was not able to get ANYONE to sign on the dotted line? Why would I always get the run around? The “Sorry, its been insane here! I’ll do it tomorrow, i promise!” or the “Hey I have to take my kids to practice, call me Monday… or the I have blah blah for blah blah, so call me later!”
If you have ever done any sales, you know this happens a lot!
So how did I break out of this? How did I get real results and start closing deals? Well when Steli from Swipegood called me, and said “Close a fucking gym” and would not take any excuses from me, I knew I had to try something different. Steli says a sales person should be “shameless” Its not enough to be persistent. You have to be relentless and ruthless. You cannot feel bad for intruding on their time, and you can’t feel like you are bothering them from their important tasks. You are low on their priority list of shit-to-get-done, so you have to find a way to get up to the top of that list. Never mind if you feel you are annoying them. They will respect you more in the end.
So after being railed by Steli for 20 minutes, I got back on the phone. Later that evening, I closed my first gym.
When I triumphantly announced my close to Steli, he said “Congratulations, now close a fucking second gym.”