Helping Instead of Selling
David Skok opens this post on selling with the classic sales training mantra — customers love to buy, but hate to be sold to:
Customers hate being sold to. They don’t mind getting expert help when they want to buy something. But much of the time they are not ready to buy, and one of the most irritating things is to have a salesperson try to get them to buy when they aren’t ready. Unfortunately too many people in marketing and sales positions don’t seem to understand this, and proceed to irritate their potential customers.
As one of the only “sales”people for the first 5 years of Fulcrum’s growth, I can attest to this working well for for myself. In my case my natural distaste for sales and total lack of experience doing it sort of forced me to figure out that this model was the only way I could get customers interested.
A self-service product helps, where you can rely on the ability to get the customer to buy something small at first that they can then grow into — a land-and-expand style of product. In SaaS, the game is all about expansion and retention. For the company, it’s not a life and death situation to maximize customer revenue right out of the gate. In fact, some of the strongest customers you’ll build are the ones that grow into your product organically over time. Champion-led adoption builds incredible gravitational pull around your product if you keep improving and continue expanding the value you’re delivering.
The best thing you can do in the early days is to help. Help prospects not only with your product, but help them with tips and tricks, help clean up their data, help connect other tools, and overall be a source of expertise that they can trust.