“The big trick in sales is not talking, it’s listening.”
This was one of many gems that Mark Elliott, co-founder of Venture Accelerator Partners, shared with our attendees at last week’s Entrepreneurship 101 lecture on business-to-business (B2B) sales. After hearing all of the wisdom he shared, it’s not surprising that Mark has been successful in this area. Here is some of his advice.
Create a value proposition
First, make your value proposition strong. You can do so by:
Remember, your product is not going to be appropriate for everyone. That said, try to pick a vertical and horizontal focus as this will allow you to become an expert in those areas and to understand and serve that segment better. Also remember that not every organization works the same way and that you should start with people close to the top of the organizations you’re targeting.
A “yes” is not always a sale
Next, a prospective client saying “yes” is very different from him or her actually paying you for your product. It’s important to understand the following aspects of sales:
You should also make use of the following tools:
Convert cold calls to warm calls by:
Your solution may not lend itself to normal sales methods, but you may need to use the conventional methods to start before employing unconventional ones. Have a look at the slides from Mark’s lecture to see what those methods are.
Networking is important
Another sales tactic is networking. If that just made you cringe, Mark has some great advice for you.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! It’s hard work, but it will pay off—literally. To hear all of Mark’s advice on B2B sales, check out the video from his lecture. Happy hunting!
Produced by MaRS.
Next lecture: Negotiations on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.
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