Skip to main content

Always Be Cl—No, Please Don’t

As a sales guy and an entrepreneur and loving what I do, it’s hard to contain my excitement when talking to others about what I’m up to. Couple that with the day-to-day role of selling and serving customers, it can be quite a lot of listening and talking and finding opportunities to… well, sell. But damn, that’s tiring, and I must be cognizant to not do this all the time.

Alex Baldwin is famously quoted among sales professionals for his role in Glengarry Glen Ross as a sales motivator – “A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!!”

I’ve got a few conferences and events coming up. I’m both looking forward to them and weary of them. These are sales conferences. As much as I’m there to learn and to, yes, sell, I’ll also run across many who will only want to meet if they, too, can sell. That’s fair.

But at some point, I’ll start wondering if we’re networking and connecting as individuals, or if we’re only connecting to sell to one another. Should I care? Should you care? Should we think about the authenticity of why we’re talking to one another? Yes.

I remember walking into a restaurant last year and ran into a colleague whose company sells a product for sales teams. We smiled and walked up to greet each other. We reached out for the customary handshake. All cordial until he leaned in, and asked how I was prospecting. Then, went straight into telling me how my team can do a better job selling with his product. Geez. I was there to meet friends, happened to see him, and now, I’m being pitched???

Don’t always be closing or pitching. Know your audience. Know that timing is everything. If you’re going to sell, don’t slyly make this seem like a friendly reach out before trying to sink your sales talons in me. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Life-Defining Moment Happened When I Failed to Make Varsity in High School

Ever stop to think about who you are? What makes you tick and tock? How about what you truly enjoy and what you’re good at vs. not good at? Or what/ who has shaped you into the person you are today?
I’m at this stage of figuring out whether to continue independent consulting while iterating on ideas for the next startup or take on some full-time employment (consulting, product management, or otherwise). My recent post about my daily/ weekly schedule was an interesting exercise in stepping back and recognizing what I’m actually doing in a day, and made me really think at the macro level.
In one of my recent reflections, I thought about defining moments in my life. One of those watershed events that truly transformed me was my failure to make the Varsity soccer team in high school. I won’t rehash the whole story here – shared the story almost a year ago in my post titled “Getting Through Dark Moments and the Most Vulnerable Story I've Ever Told Publicly”. It’s this moment that I w…

Vertical SaaS? Horizontal SaaS? It’s All News to Me

Not sure why, but I have only recently heard of a term called “Vertical SaaS”. Okay, there’s also “Horizontal SaaS”, too. Based on some light research, looks like vertical SaaS is also a growing trend and the number of companies fewer than horizontal SaaS providers.
Vertical SaaS borrows its moniker from the concept of vertical integration whereby there is more control over a supply chain from raw materials to point-of-sale. Here, vertical SaaS companies focus on a niche market (industry) offering a solution that enables more process control.
Horizontal SaaS providers get really good at a particular offering, and widen their market to reach scale. Their focus is on breadth of market, and thus, its sales and marketing strategies can require more resources.
Many vertical SaaS companies (such as Veeva Systems, Guidewire, Fleetmatics) are doing well usurping legacy systems of traditionally slow-tech-adoption industries. Here, vertical companies develop a best-of-breed product, and focu…

Role of A Startup Advisor

Over the last year or so, I have become an Advisor for a couple startups. It’s been a great experience for me to teach and continue learning as an entrepreneur. I do meet with several startups and entrepreneurs weekly, but not officially as an Advisor save for a couple.
During (and especially after) Body Boss, I realized the importance of having Advisors. Advisors help startups and the executive team navigate the go-to-market waters bringing specific experience to the table – industry, technology, etc. With that comes connections, too.
The role of a startup Advisor includes: Guiding the startup on its directionProvide valuable insight into the industry, competition, market, etc.Share connections to move the company forward – prospects, new hire candidates, otherEstablish cadence around metrics for progress In exchange for devoting time and attention (and reaching success, hopefully), startups typically provide stock or cash to Advisors. This ensures both parties are aligned on objecti…