Know this guy?
I do. It’s Uncle Ralph, the used car salesman!
Just kidding. But I am willing to bet he’s sold a used car once or twice.
If there’s one thing that makes my intestines scream for Pepto, it’s the overaggressive salesman. Too much whoop-dee in the hairdoo runs a close second.
The good thing is, most people can’t see me when I’m selling. Unless of course we’re on a video conference (dang you GotoMeeting with HD Faces)…In that event I need to ensure the hair is tamed ever so slightly.
The first software I ever sold at Krengeltech was to a company by the name of Win Wholesale. The sales processes consisted of roughly 5 email exchanges, no spoken words, and a signed quote upon airplane touch-down to a tradeshow in Las Vegas. I’d like to say it was my high-pressure sales ultimatum that sealed the deal just in the nick of time, but I’m pretty sure the software itself and a couple timely responses spoke loud enough.
In one of our recent email campaigns we highlighted a new software solution that facilitates credit card processing through integration with the popular Cybersource service provider. A long time prospect (let’s call him Joe) called me about 5 minutes after receiving the email to discuss it in more detail. There are a few “Don’ts” I learned early on in technical software sales that I’d like to now disclaim:
1. Don’t pretend you know what you’re talking about when you don’t.
2. Don’t make things up on the fly (restating point 1 above for additional effect).
3. Don’t default to saying, “We can do that” in an attempt to get to Phase 2.
So…I did what I normally do and asked Joe if I could conference in the lead developer of the product. Everything seemed to progress swimmingly until we got to quote approval stage to acquire the software. I had agreed to slightly discount the multiple-license purchase and attached a “pricing only valid through <this date>” disclaimer. Well, Joe responded to my disclaimer by calling me up and saying , “I don’t give a <hoot> about your timelines”.
Um…OK. But didn’t you say your garage needed sweeping? I’d actually LOVE to do that…No strings attached!
I had pressed the envelope a bit far and the sales-aggressive-ometer apparently had tipped to the point of a needed recalibration.
So I proceeded to back off, eat my humble pie, and essentially asked Joe to simply keep me informed with the status of the software approval. He agreed and sent a PO a couple weeks later.
Sometimes leverage is a wishful state of mind.
Other times it’s a good smack over the head.
Thanks Joe! I needed it.