Sales Has A Bad Rep. Here’s How To Beat It!

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by Rishi Shah on October 13, 2014

Sales has a bad rep. Maybe it is because of how movies depict sales people (think: Wolf of Wall St. or Glen Gary Glen Ross) or because the common consumer only encounters them when they buy a car.

used car salesman

However, in selling software, specifically SaaS (recurring yearly payments), the pushy sleazy stuff just won’t work. This is because the customer will just cancel a few months in making the entire deal completely useless.Therefore it isn’t worth even talking about your product unless you can identify a problem that the customer has that your product can solve for them.

It’s All About Solving Problems

Here is my process:
1. Before I go into a sales demo. I spend some time to analyze their website and look for opportunities.
2. When on the call, I ask specific questions like “what are your marketing goals”, “what is your biggest business problem right now”. This step can take up to 15 minutes and is an eye opening experience. It is also very interesting to hear and learn about other businesses.
3. Once I have clearly identified a problem I can solve, I jump into a demo to show them how Digioh can help.

It’s Also About Honesty

keep calm and be honest

Sometimes in step 2, I discover a few problems that my product can’t solve. This is when I listen, I either refer them to another product or service. This creates goodwill and opens the ability to create a relationship for a future sale. It also makes me look extremely trustworthy and someone that can solve problems.The best sales people are problem solvers!
I would love for you to share your best sales stories in the comments :)

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selling-the-dream

I was speaking to a friend of mine that works at a fortune 500 company. He was telling me how his company is considering adopting a new CRM/ERP system and how Salesforce is very interested in this opportunity. He told me that Salesforce has the most amazing sales presentation. Here is what they do:

Salesforce Sales Process (for Fortune 500 Clients)

  1. Salesforce sales team spends a few days on-site at the clients HQ
  2. Discover any major problems the client has with their existing system
  3. Learn what type of acronyms and buzzwords the client uses
  4. Figure out how Salesforce can solve all their problems
  5. Invite the major decision makers to a “Pitch Meeting”
  6. Present a polished demo of how the client’s company will operate once Salesforce has been fully implemented (they even include the client’s logo inside their Salesforce HQ). The client should feel like all the work is done, and all they have to do is say “Yes!”

Eliminating the “Uggggghhh!!!” reaction

This was one of the most amazing things I have heard. The problem with most software is you always get an “uggghh!!!” reaction from the business owner when selling software, because they know all the headaches required to actually start using it. For example they usually have to get a developer involved, then iron out bugs, and then customize it a little bit for their business.

By eliminating the “Uggghhh!” factor, you get the client excited, and most importantly get to “Yes!” faster. How do you sell the dream – would love any pointers!

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How to Close on a Webinar

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by Rishi Shah on July 9, 2014

close-webinars I’ve done a little over 100 webinars and I would like to share a few of my insights if you are just getting started. Here are my three tips to closing customers on your webinar:

1. Tell them exactly what to do to “Upgrade”

When I say exactly, I mean exactly. Here is the script I use:

In order to get all the features I covered today and this incredible deal, just follow my steps: Step 1: Go to this URL {Insert Your Pricing Page URL}

Step 2: Click on the green “Buy” button

Step 3: Enter in your Credit Card Information.

I even show them a screenshot with an arrow of exactly what to do. Then, I repeat the offer and go through the 3 steps again.  I know this sounds pretty unintuitive, but it works! Tell them exactly how to give you money and they will. When I tell webinar attendees exactly what to do to upgrade, I get a 55% conversion rate. When I leave out the exact steps, my conversion rates drop below 15%. Even if the offer and everything in the webinar stays the same.

2. Create a Time Sensitive Irresistible Offer

One of my biggest mistakes was not offering a discount during the webinar. I thought all the information I provided would be more than enough to get them over the edge. If you want your attendees to pay you today, try offering a time-based discount. I usually say something like this:

“This 20% offer is only going to be available during this webinar, after this webinar is over, this discount will be expired.”

3. PUMP IT UP

I’ve attended a lot of webinars and most of them are BORING snooze fests. Do a webinar, where you can speak LOUDLY, you should be projecting as if you are talking to your grandma and she just lost her hearing aid. Keep things light, fun, and entertaining. Be excited about what you are presenting and your attendees won’t drop off. Here are three things I like to do to pump it up:

1. I like to play Eye of The Tiger before the start of the webinar and I even say “I’m playing my favorite Pump Up song Eye of the Tiger, This should PUMP YOU UP for this amazing webinar we are about to have.”

2. I love what I’m presenting and truly believe in it. Any slides or material that I don’t believe in, I take out immediately.

3. I talk LOUD. My neighbors hate me, but my energy stays high and my webinar attendees love me

What are your webinar secrets? Lets discuss them in the comments below.

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Uber … The Partnering Machine

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by Rishi Shah on June 17, 2014

Uber-Horizontal-Logo

Uber Uber Uber!!! Uber is all the rage these days. They have built an amazing partner marketing machine. I wanted to point out 2 things they are doing that I’m blown away by.

1. Partnership with Google Maps

get-an-uber

If you use Google Maps and you have the Uber app installed on your phone. Google Maps will suggest Uber as an option along with the public transit options! This is a pretty big up-sell given that they show you travel times (twice as fast in most cases).

I have no idea how they pulled this off or if there is any money exchange here, but this is some serious prime placement. This is equivalent to going into a grocery store and having your product right next to the cash register.

2. Coupon Codes on Steroids

lord-taylor

Every startup is doing the “Get $20 off your first purchase”. This works great, because who doesn’t want free money and startups need to incentive new users to try out their app.

hyatt-uber

What Uber is doing differently is they are using this strategy with big brands like Lord & Taylor, with major hotels like Hyatt, and big concert venues. This is a pretty amazing strategy, because all those places have customers that need transportation and can afford a cab.

Uber also makes it super easy for you to partner with them. According to their support docs, all you have to do is submit a request here. Well done Uber! Excited to learn more from you.

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Most companies think they have a growth problem, but what they really have is a churn problem.

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by Rishi Shah on May 6, 2014

Everyone loves talking about the growth of their company (total #of downloads, users, etc), but what people should be talking about is active engagement.

  • How many times do you download an app and delete it?
  • How many times do you put in your email on a wait list, but then forget about the service?
  • How many free trial (no credit card required) services do you sign up for and then not use?

You may think you need more customers, but what you really need is more customers using your product regularly.

Here are 3 ways to solve this issue:

  1. Setup an automatic autoresponders (make it look like a personalized email) and figure out why people stop using your app. You have to make sure the first experience gets them exactly what they think your app is suppose to do.
  2. Charge more money. This means that you will have to do more sales up front, but this will get good critical feedback from serious customers only. If you charge money up front, customers will have to take you seriously.
  3. Get the customer committed as soon as possible. Here are three levels of commitment:
    • Lowest: Clicks button (Facebook Connect, Downloads app , etc)
    • Medium: Enters email address
    • Highest: Payment information (credit card details)

Until you get some form of commitment you don’t really have a dedicated user.


 

My good friend Vishal just asked:

“I don’t know what an automatic autoresponder is….sounds like an automated message to the customer but what does the responder ask?”.

Great question, here is the answer:

What is an auto-responder?

An automatic autoresponder is an automated email you can use to send an email. There are a ton of software companies that can help you do this (in fact it is a billion dollar market). There are high end solutions like ExactTarget and SilverPop that do this ($1k/mo +) and there are also super low end version like AWeber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, etc ($30/mo +) that can help you do this as well.

Here is what your first autoresponder could look like

Note “FNAME” is the first name of the recipient, it is dynamically added:

Subject: Hey {FNAME}

Hi {FNAME},

I saw that you just signed up for our trial. I created the app so if you have any questions, just reply back to this email :)

Thanks,
Rishi

PS I’m really looking forward to working you!

I like to send this email on a 45 minute time delay from the time they signed up. I also have the email come directly to my inbox if they hit reply. This simple email allows me to learn what the biggest problem with my app or what is confusing them. I can then go back and try to make my app’s first experience super clear.

I also like to send another automatic email after 3 days called “Top 3 FAQ” – this helps address any questions or misconceptions they might have had about the product.

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50% of Your Meetings Will Get Cancelled… and that’s okay!

April 9, 2014

I had no idea how often meetings in the “Real World” would get cancelled or moved. In college you expect meetings to be in stone, mainly because classes and office hours are always on. Being, 10 years into my professional career I’ve come to terms with meetings getting cancelled and I wanted to share a few […]

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Educational Marketing at its Finest – the SquattyPotty

February 19, 2014

How to sell a ton of Squatty Potty’s: Step 1: Educate people about something they are doing wrong Step 2: Provide medical facts Step 3: Show a low priced product on how you can solve what they are doing wrong. (The word “wrong” is of course a matter of opinion but when you add medical […]

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The Rise of Hand Drawn Art

February 12, 2014

Basecamp.com is one of the most copied SaaS landing pages, so when I see a new design on their site, I know it is time to get ready to see more of it. My prediction is we will see a lot more hand drawn art on business websites in the next 6 months. This is […]

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Friends of Friends: How I leveraged my way to massive growth and coverage

January 20, 2014

Joe Avella is a long time comedy film maker from Chicago. He asked me if he could write a post on his marketing strategy and I agreed YES right away! I’m a huge fan of Joe and LOL’ed a ton when I saw his new 20 minute webisode of Delivery Dudes. This is a guest […]

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Best Freebie Apps of 2013

December 16, 2013

All tools on this list are 100% free! I use all of them daily. I highly recommend them to you too. (Some have paid options for more features, but everything on this list has an amazing free plan) Genius Scan Take a pic on your phone, turn it into a PDF. Boom, done! Perfect for […]

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