Dan Shea: Sell Solutions not Licenses

Dan Shea

In this podcast we talk with Dan Shea, a veteran of the sales industry and Business Development Director for a number of successful startups.

What you will learn from this podcast

In this podcast we learn the following:

  1. Why entrepreneurs are afraid of sales?
  2. How to cold call effectively
  3. Effective lead generation approaches
  4. Why you should stop selling and solve your customer’s problem

Why you should listen to this podcast

This podcast is for anyone that fears picking up the phone to a total stranger and wanting to sell their wares. Dan gives some very sensible advice to entrepreneurs when it comes to selling which boils down to not really selling but having a conversation with your customer about fixing the challenges they face and how you can help

This wide-ranging conversation really helps founders and business owners understand why sales shouldn’t be something to be feared and that if done right, it is just a conversation between two people with a problem to solve

Podcast transcript

Below is an AI-optimized transcript of the podcast.
SPK 1: Bhairav Patel

SPK 2: Dan Shea

00:00:10 SPK_1

Welcome to the Atom podcast where we have conversations with a range of business owners from across the globe and discuss their challenges, triumphs and failures when they try to rebuild and grow their own business. In addition, we talk about the latest trends in tech and generate anything that we feel is relevant for today’s tech savvy audience. Welcome everybody to the active CTO podcast. I’m here today with Dan Shea from N2 publishing company. Say hello Dan.

00:00:39 SPK_2

Well, hello everyone.

00:00:41 SPK_1

Today, we’re going to be talking about all things sales and business development. Dan is a veteran in the sales and business development world. And with January being a time when everyone is thinking about how they can increase their sales this year or survive, depending on how they see the world economy, we hope to provide some guidance and hope on how they can improve their business development. Before we start, Dan, would you like to give a little background about yourself and how you got into business development and sales?

00:01:13 SPK_2

“Got it. Well, to give a high-level background, I’m one of those rare birds who wanted to be in sales all the way from grade school. I actually sold Mary Kay Cosmetics in high school, making around 4 to $5,000 in sales a month. However, I had to sell back my inventory when I got in a car accident and broke my neck. When I moved to Florida, I worked in a call center for seven years, working 70 to 100 hours a week and doubling what other people were able to achieve in sales. I would get about one sale per hour, while others would only get half a sale per hour. Then my aunt suggested I sell higher ticket items instead. So, I got into business-to-business sales and started selling GPS fleet tracking. I was essentially a raw sales guy, selling through sheer force of will. After about six months of doing pretty much nothing, I should have been fired, but Barry, who was just driving me, saw something in me and gave me a chance.”

00:02:27 SPK_2

“Barry protected me and said to just keep going, keep going. And in month seven, I achieved 22150% of quota, followed by 150% month-over-month, becoming the top sales guy 30% above everyone else. Then, I switched to selling MSP solutions tools like PSA and RMM for Connectwise software. I built a $3 million pipeline from scratch in just six months. Barry and I then decided to start our own business. Interestingly enough, we actually built a course on cold calling, and I cold called to sell it, making $40,000 in about six weeks. Today, I just left my six-figure SDR role to focus on the publishing business that Barry and I have built. I grew it part-time to where it’s almost at the six-figure mark this month and should be crossing that threshold next month. That’s Dan Shea’s background in a nutshell

00:03:36 SPK_1

So it sounds like you’ve had a very varied background, and there are very few people I know who really love to sell. I think one of the things you see with entrepreneurs and founders, in general, is that they’re quite shy when it comes to selling. They don’t feel that they are salespeople, even though they are the best representatives of their business. What is it within you that gives you the fire to sell? What makes you different from others who fear sales?

00:04:06 SPK_2

Well, the core fear of sales goes back to the fact that many people are afraid of rejection. They focus on getting something out of the interaction, and that’s why they add “yet” when it comes to removing their fear. Take my friend John, for example. He calls me a social engineer because I’m focused on helping people improve their business or their life. I don’t understand how someone can be afraid of that. If you’re truly focused on helping the other person, sales isn’t even in the equation. The reason why people are afraid of sales is that they’re focused on themselves rather than helping the other person.

To answer your question, I love connecting with strangers and helping them improve their business or their life in some way. Many of the conversations I have aren’t necessarily about sales. They’re meaningful conversations where I try to understand the other person’s needs and goals. If I have something that I think can help them, I share it with them. It’s not about making a sale. It’s about making a connection and helping someone else. When you approach sales with that mindset, it becomes less about fear and more about making a difference in someone else’s life.

00:05:24 SPK_2

 I remember reporting to Dan that a particular conversation didn’t lead to a sale, but he didn’t see it that way. He understood that every conversation can be meaningful, even if it doesn’t immediately result in a sale. For example, I might refer someone to a competitor if I know that they would be a better fit for that person’s needs. Similarly, my competitor might refer someone to me if they know that I’m a better fit for that particular customer.

When you focus on helping the other person and making a positive impact, it becomes less about sales and more about creating value. When someone uses your product or service and sees the impact that it can have, it drives you to help even more people. Ultimately, that’s what motivates me in my work – knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life or business. It’s a win-win situation where both parties benefit and that’s the key to successful sales.

00:05:57 SPK_2

Does that make sense?

00:05:59 SPK_1

Yes it does. It’s interesting that your approach seems to be more friendly and collaborative than what many sales textbooks recommend. They often emphasize the need to move the prospect to the next stage and set up the next meeting, which can make the process feel adversarial. Is that where people struggle, because they’re so focused on hitting their numbers rather than actually helping?

00:06:48 SPK_2

Well, you’re not really following a sales process when you work with people because they’re not all the same. Some people might not want to follow a specific process and I understand that. But at the same time, when you’re truly focused on helping the other person, all those textbook techniques like the takeaway method become less important. Barry, who was the sales director at NextTrack and who hired me, put it best: “When you’re talking to someone, it’s like you’re at a bar, virtually over the phone.” In other words, you’re having a conversation with someone and trying to understand their needs and how you can help them, rather than just trying to sell them something. This creates a more friendly and collaborative atmosphere, rather than an adversarial one.

00:07:30 SPK_2

Well, you’re not selling a process. You’re working with people and the human element. They don’t all have to follow your process, and I get that. But at the same time, when you’re focused on helping the other person, like Barry, the sales director who hired me at NextTrack, put it best: you’re at a bar, virtually over the phone, having a conversation about their business. And if you follow that mental image throughout the whole thing, you get on their side of the table. And a lot of times, it’s actually a hell of a lot more fun when you’re working to deal with the prospect, fighting against the company. So, like at ConnectWise, what we would do is we would actually add stuff in the contract, modifications on the terms to help the customer on the deal. We would actually be on their side of the table. It was us versus my company, helping them out.

And people are, you know, it’s like it’s a phrase that’s overused, but it’s true: people love to buy, but they hate to be sold. And when you say, “Oh, follow the process,” yeah…

00:08:26 SPK_1

Yeah, it kind of dehumanizes everything, I guess, right? So that’s whereyou’re taking out the person, that person. 

00:08:39 SPK_2

It’’s important to keep in mind that you’re dealing with real people, and they may not respond well to a rigid process. It’s about finding a balance between following a process and being flexible enough to adapt to each individual situation.

I think it’s also important to be transparent with your intentions. If you’re a salesperson, of course, you’re trying to sell something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a genuine conversation with your prospect and focus on whether the numbers make sense for them. In fact, being upfront about that can actually help build trust and credibility with the prospect.

Ultimately, I think it’s about being human and treating people the way you would want to be treated. If you approach sales with the mindset of helping others and finding solutions that work for everyone involved, you’ll likely have more success and build better relationships in the long run.

And it softens the blow on it when you’re qualifying them. One of the best ways to qualify someone is to put it in such a way that you don’t want to wait their time or yours, but you don’t want to waste their time and prospect it. It’s short circuits. Brain they’re like, oh, he doesn’t want to waste my time when ultimately you’re actually qualifying them, but it’s a way to soften the blow so again, they don’t feel like they’re being sold.

00:09:47 SPK_1

You know, it doesn’t really matter what you’re selling, whether it’s a product or a service, right? If you’re looking to solve someone’s problem, so there’s no do you change your tactics if it is a difference between a product and the service, or do you not change your approach?

00:09:59 SPK_2

Not well, no. It’s the problem that you’re solving and the formula. Obviously from the business development standpoint, the formula is simple that I use. Doesn’t matter if it’s a product or service as long as you’re solving a problem you’re calling a complete stranger. I call it the Howard you’re strange people at the very controversial subject. Oh, don’t ask how are you, don’t ask how are you you know, it’s like people don’t have time for that. However, when you use it, when you ask someone, how are you 9 times out of 10. What is the? What is the response they ask you? What’s the question they asked?

00:10:39 SPK_1

Yeah. They always ask you how you are, right? They always say, yeah, I’m doing well, how are?

00:10:43 SPK_2

You exactly. Now, this doesn’t. Yeah, this doesn’t apply in the enterprise space where you’re talking to a Fortune 1000. If you’re below that, this typically would apply like small to medium sized business. But when they ask how are you back, whether it’s the prospect of the gatekeeper, your next three seconds, your response out-of-the-box stands out, gets them the laugh and breaks the ice. And it’s a matter of Oh yeah, how are you? What you know. Pretty good for a Tuesday or live in the dream or hey New Year, new resolution to break last and it sets you apart and then sets up and then here’s the key piece this next 5 seconds. Is you real quick or I don’t the reason you can whatever it is the reason for your call I always like to say real quick universal pain point that you help solve and then a question to open up the conversation to figure out that so the hitting on the universal pain point and then the question opens up the conversation that’s the formula. It takes a few gyrations but that’s the overall formula when you do it correctly assuming you have a universal pain point to find us. 70 to 80% of the market has that pain point.

00:11:58 SPK_2

You should be able to get to the point where if they respond negatively, it’s not because of you, it’s just because they don’t either have the problem or they’re just stupid and it’s beyond you. Just do it in such a way that it’s a shadow of a doubt. But typically when you structure it like that, usually you should find at least 1/3 of the people you have that get to that question with will progress in a future conversation. But that’s the overall formula.

00:12:23 SPK_1

 can understand how to approach someone warmly when you know that person has either come through some sort of sales funnel or is familiar with your product. But you have talked a lot about doing a lot of cold calling, and I think that’s probably what frightens most people on the planet. So how do you engage with cold calling? I know today I received a cold call from someone offering U.S. website services, even though what we do for a living is build technology. That’s very annoying because they’re trying to sell me something that we already do, which shows that there has been no real investigation. What are your tactics around cold calling, and how did you become so effective at it?

00:13:15 SPK_2

Well, it all boils down to the pre-call research, which I think you were alluding to earlier. The amount of research you do depends on the deal size. If you’re doing multi-million dollar deals, your target pool will be smaller, but it’s worth spending more time to build hyper-personalization. However, if you’re selling ten $50,000 deals and your quota is $1,000,000, you need a high velocity of deals, and you don’t have much room for pre-call research. My way of doing pre-call research is actually talking to the receptionist or gatekeeper is key. A three-minute call with the gatekeeper will give you more information about the company than thirty to forty-five minutes of research. Plus, you can get a lot of information from the gatekeeper, who is your best prospecting tool. Whoever picks up the phone is your greatest option, assuming they’re not an enterprise-level 1 where they’re not connected. But if we’re talking about small to medium-sized businesses, which is where I prefer to play, gatekeepers know pretty much everything about the company. They’re the glue that holds things together. So, I approach it by finding companies and building a list of those likely to have that problem. If the person doing the target selection at the company level did their job, you would have never received that call. By the way, if you want to buy an extended car warranty, I get about 60 calls a day for that. I can refer them over to you as well. Just kidding. You start with company selection and then make calls to find out who the right person is if you can.

00:15:25 SPK_2

You want to use LinkedIn, scrape LinkedIn and if you can get it by title. But I’ve been in industries where like at Connectwise I don’t know who the ultimate person speak with it. It’s not the title. So I actually call use my pre-call research for 3 minutes with the receptionist to give me who the right person is. Do they have this problem? And a lot of times it saves a lot of times. 3 minutes on the phone saves me hours of research that makes. Did I answer your question?

00:15:55 SPK_1

Yeah. So that makes sense. So essentially what you’re saying is that you’re doing the prequel research to find out who, whether they’re the profiles of the companies and then. Talking to the people at the lower levels to understand, you know, where the lay of the land is, but then how do you then get to that next level, right? So obviously talking to the gatekeeper, then what’s the next step past that? How do you actually get into the decision-maker?

00:16:20 SPK_2

Well, you want to identify the person who has the decision-making power, and the one who is directly affected by the problem. In any business, you have three key players: the one who holds the purse strings, the one who gives the green light, and the champion who experiences the problem. There are two approaches, either you start with the owner and work your way down, or you start with the champion who can be your greatest advocate and work your way up. I have tried both and each has its pros and cons. If you start with the champion, you may end up spending a lot of time doing demos that may not lead anywhere. However, if you reach out to the CEO, they may not be aware of the problem or its severity without the champion’s input. It’s a chicken or egg scenario. I prefer to go to the CEO or the decision-maker, even if they are typically a rubber stamp, to ensure that we can make a real impact on the organization. But I also like speaking to the champion. So, it all starts with the gatekeeper.

00:17:32 SPK_2

Who would be the person to consequence that’s experienced this issue? Who would be the right person to speak to regarding next get to them have the conversation with X and then we schedule a time to go into deep to see go into detail to see if it’s actually worth more time. And then from there you start the the process of going through the the you start relatively the sales process after that point. Does that make sense?

00:18:00 SPK_1

It does. So typically you know when you’re running these. Programs or the. It’s going to sales campaigns how you know what’s the time taken to get to that person and to get that decision so. Is it something you normally do like 2-3 calls or is it something that takes weeks and months?

00:18:20 SPK_2

So typically, the number of dials required to make a successful connection varies depending on the industry. On average, when starting a new role, one out of every 20 dials will result in a person saying hello. Out of those who say hello, 80% will have a conversation with you, and one out of five will typically hang up on you no matter what approach you use. Of those who have a conversation with you, a third of them will be interested in moving forward with the sales process. So, if you base a successful model on making 75 dials a day, that should yield some positive results.

00:19:15 SPK_2

That makes sense. It’s important to adjust your approach based on the size of the deal and the organization you’re targeting. Building a list of companies that are likely to have the problem you’re solving, and then calling to find out who the right person is, is a good way to start. It’s also important to understand the three key pieces in any business that doesn’t sale, which are the person who holds the purse strings, the person who gives the green light, and the champion who is experiencing the problem. There are different schools of thought on whether to start with the champion or go straight to the CEO, but both approaches have their pros and cons.

In terms of industry averages, it takes about 20 dials to get one person to say hello, and about one out of five people will hang up on you no matter what approach you use. About one-third of those conversations will go somewhere, and from there, it’s just a matter of starting the sales process. Based on this, a successful model might involve making 75 dials a day, resulting in 3-4 connections, and 1 meaningful conversation that moves to the next stage. However, this may vary depending on the size of the deal and the organization you’re targeting.

00:20:20 SPK_1

So what are the tools in your armory? Do you have one with cold calling? But from your perspective of account management, business development, what other tactics do you use in order to bring those leads in? And obviously, you’ve got social media, you’ve got advertising, but you know, are there other things that you do specifically?

00:20:38 SPK_2

The most significant sales tool that can be a game changer is the softphone, which offers great advancements. However, the effectiveness of other tactics, such as social media or advertising, depends on the industry and whether prospects are active on these platforms. If prospects are not typically on LinkedIn or social media, then these platforms are irrelevant. In such cases, email and phone calls are the primary means of communication, with a possibility of utilizing LinkedIn if the prospects are active on it.

00:21:26 SPK_2

It seems like you believe that the most effective way to generate sales leads depends on the industry and the prospect’s behavior. If your prospects are not active on social media, then social media is not relevant. In your experience, you have found success with a combination of email and calls, with the goal of getting the prospect on the phone for a more substantive conversation. You see email as a tool to facilitate a conversation rather than a means to sell a product or service

00:21:48 SPK_1

It’s important to have persistence when it comes to email outreach, but there’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying. I typically aim for a maximum of three follow-up emails after the initial outreach, spaced out over a reasonable amount of time, like a week or two. The tone of the emails should be professional and respectful, without being too aggressive or passive-aggressive. It’s important to keep in mind that the person on the other end is likely receiving a lot of emails and may not have the time or interest to respond right away, so it’s important to be patient and understanding. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the content of the emails is relevant and adds value to the recipient, rather than just being a sales pitch.

00:22:29 SPK_2

It’s good to hear that you’re using both email and voicemail in tandem, as they can be powerful tools when used together. In terms of persistence, you mentioned that 7 to 10 attempts is the sweet spot. Going beyond 10 attempts could result in diminishing returns, while doing less than seven could mean leaving opportunities on the table. It’s also interesting to hear that you’ve been guilty of following up with someone for up to 58 attempts in a year, which shows just how important persistence can be in sales.

00:23:03 SPK_2

I understand that you typically receive numerous generic emails and voicemails from salespeople, and it can be easy to dismiss them. To stand out, you believe in using a combination of voicemail and email, with the email following the voicemail. In terms of persistence, you aim for 7-10 attempts over a period of 10 days, as this has been found to be an effective approach. However, you also recognize that the approach may differ depending on the size and type of business. For small businesses, you suggest using a more creative approach that piques their curiosity and makes them wonder who you are and why you’re reaching out. One such approach you’ve used is leaving a voicemail that introduces yourself and your company, and leaves the recipient curious and wanting to talk to you.

00:24:31 SPK_2

As for your approach to reaching out to small businesses, it seems like you aim to stand out from the typical playbook by leaving a voicemail first and then sending an email with a curious subject line to pique their interest. It’s also important to have persistence in following up, but not to the point of being too aggressive. Additionally, tailoring your approach based on the personality of the recipient is crucial for success. Is there anything else you would like to add about your sales tactics?

00:25:05 SPK_2

Maybe the and then then the next voicemail is a fun fact, historical fact, or even just a random question and then they get another e-mail with the value prop of exactly what we do zinging question and I only send like three line emails, very short sync to the point value prop. And then I’ll use humour, then I’ll use straight-up, and then by the seventh attempt. They’re going to give up. And like, I’ve had a lot of people do it where it’s like, alright Dan, what do you want? And they’ll take the call because of the persistence, the humour, and in fact, I still have. I was going through my drive and this guy is like, you are. You are annoyingly persistent, but I’ll give you proper the humour. What do you get? Let’s talk. So you eat. The whole goal is curiosity and just getting them on the phone to have a conversation. That’s how I use all of it. Together. And then obviously I’ll rotate it up as I’ll even send. Like halfway through, I’ll send the subject line is wondering. And then I’ll have a picture of a guy staring at a phone and she’s like, hey, wondering if so and so is going to call.

00:26:19 SPK_2

And just like humorous stuff like that and then, you know, the chased by a hippo or fallen and can’t get off. You see, you’ve probably seen all of those ones. I’ll do that for the final attempt, but it’s you just weave it all together. The voicemail, not purpose of a voicemail is not to get a callback, it’s to get in their head. So when the next time they call it increases your connection rate for the next call attempt. And it works. But does that kind of make sense?

00:26:48 SPK_1

It does and I kind of see that you’re taking a slightly different route than a lot of people that say who contact me because they basically go straight for the throat right. There’s no real kind of prepping involved it’s it’s it’s generally this is what I’m doing selling and why aren’t you buying when can we meet and you’re like well no it’s you need to kind of do it on my turn.

00:27:07 SPK_2

Well, yeah. Oh my. One of my favourite things. What are you selling? What do you feel like buying? What? I’m not selling anything, but I’m just curious, you know, are you buying anything today like you, you just make a joking banter back and forth like no, I just wanna see if we make an impact. But it’s just, you know, you come up with funny ways to respond to short circuit the process so you can get breakdown their wall. And actually get to the meat of a conversation of whether or not it makes sense to talk.

00:27:37 SPK_1

And how much do you personalize each of these, these emails and voice messages or is it kind of the same thing that’s being said to different people or do you personalize it yourself?

00:27:47 SPK_2

Depends on the deal, and this depends on the deal. I’ve done hyper-personalization relatively. If it’s a high-velocity type of thing, really not much person, it’s a pain point – is it universal enough to the marketplace? Relevance over personalization trump’s at any day of the week. The most I’ll typically go though is personalization at a company level. So that way if I’m doing account-based marketing I can use the same quote unquote personalized for everyone at the company and do it at scale. 

00:28:37 SPK_2

If they’re experiencing the pain of, if they need, if they have the problem they solve, doesn’t matter if you reference the company all that, they’re going to respond the personalization impact doesn’t. Maybe it’ll affect the open rate, but the response rate. Is determined if they have the problem that you can solve or not. So to answer your question, not much.

00:29:03 SPK_1

Alright, so let’s say we’ve gone through the process now, right? You’ve gone through either a cold calling or an e-mail route, a warm, warm approach. You’ve got the person on the phone, you’re having a chat, you understand that there’s a problem that you can solve closing how, what are your kind of recommendations or tactics around closing, because obviously that’s the most important piece, but again it’s something that people not necessarily fantastic at.

00:29:30 SPK_2

Ohh, let’s actually ask a trivia question. When is the deal closed?

00:29:36 SPK_1

Well, I would assume it’s when contracts are signed or when someone’s committed.

00:29:43 SPK_2

That is when the deal is executed. When the deal is closed, it’s closed on the front. The moment you go to the demo stage and all of that, the moment you start showing the product and all of that, they are more open at the very beginning and they get more achievement information close to the chest because they’re anticipating the sales cycle. So the close is done at the beginning of the discovery call. That’s where the deal’s done. And most people missed that opportunity on it is. What is an OK feature? Let’s say you’re selling software and you do this, this and this and they say, oh, my pain point is this. And the guy’s like, OK, I’ll show that in the demo. I’ll show that in the demo. Show that the demo. But showing that, is that going to close the deal?

00:30:35 SPK_1

What you’d expect it to, right? Because you’re trying to throw back or show that your solution you can solve the problem that exists, but I obviously know that’s not the wrong answer.

00:30:46 SPK_2

Well, you know, it seems like when you show it, the prospect is always going to try to whittle down the price. However, when they bring that up at the front, is it a little problem or a big problem?

Is it a little problem or a big problem? What happens if you do nothing? Your biggest competitor in anything is the status quo, so you also need to figure out what to do. You take those and explore them. Even though it may make sense, you need to get the prospect to spell out why they want to solve this problem. Why is it important? Why now? Why not just wait? Take what they’re saying and make them sell you on why they want to solve it. Then you record what I call their original reason. So if the deal stalls out, and trust me, even if you’re good and experienced in sales, you will have deals that go dark on you at some point in your career. When you talk to the prospect, always remind them of their original reason. Why did they want to do this to begin with? So, if you ask all these sales guys working on deals, what is their original reason? Very few of them will have an answer because they didn’t ask. They said, “Oh, they want to look at Connectwise and solve patching and other technical issues.” What’s their original reason? “I don’t know.” Okay.

So why are they going to sign? What will they say? How is this going to help the business? Did you ask the prospect?

00:32:27 SPK_1

I Did.

00:32:28 SPK_2

You assume and infer the answer, but it’s important to get the prospect’s original reason. You can do this by having a frank conversation with them and tying it to the business impact. Josh Braun and Keenan both emphasize the importance of having this conversation. Once you understand why they want to solve the problem, it’s easier to connect the dots and close the deal. When the prospect brings up price as a negotiation tactic, you can remind them of their original reason and ask why they need to negotiate if you have an ironclad solution.

If this is gonna make them $3 million a year. An additional revenue or save them $1,000,000 a year and they can’t pay $100,000. Why are we discounting the price? Ohh, but we need to get that quarter in the deal. We need to get the month-end deal. We need to do this.

Dropping your pants on price. Yeah, it may bring in a deal a tad bit earlier, but you’re going to lose a hell of a lot more revenue in the long run. Dropping your pants on price for the IT only closes people that were going to buy anyway. It doesn’t very seldom push someone over the edge. And yeah, ohh yeah, maybe one deal pushed over the edge, but the money that you gave up from significant discounts. That one person that came in at the giveaway price doesn’t make up for the revenue loss.

And also the other question they have. Promoting an enter quarter deal, who ultimately does that serve, the prospect or the sales guy?

00:34:50 SPK_1

Yeah. And oftentimes when I talk to people at the end of their sales cycle, you feel like helping the sales guy rather than helping you yourself, you know, it’s, it’s always a very rushed affair, right?

00:35:03 SPK_2

Yeah, I always found the end of quarter push in business development laughable. It’s the last day of the quarter or year and they’re like, “Oh, you need to close this deal.” I’m like, “So, I can go from cold to sold in a day? Why are you even talking to me?” I have my month already planned out and I’m working on deals two months down the line. I have no time for you. I’ll go ahead and close all the opportunities that are already in the bucket if you want. Instead of this end of quarter push, what if you found out when the prospect needs to solve the problem and why, and tied the urgency to their timeline? If you did that on every single deal, you would be honoring the prospect’s needs and creating genuine urgency.

00:36:07 SPK_2

And did that on every single deal. This may sound crazy. Oh my gosh, you wouldn’t need the end-of-quarter push, the end-of-month push because. You’re already well above your quota. And in fact, sometimes to be contrary what all just for fun.

We have the beginning of the year discount we are getting. We want to just be fun to the prospects. But no, I don’t like to play those games because it only serves you, not the prospect.

00:36:41 SPK_1

That’s true.

00:36:46 SPK_1

No, I mean all I was gonna say is that you know when I oftentimes do get, I mean in this business you’re always sold end of year-end of quarter discounts this than the other ones in your life opportunities to save on XY and Z things. But what you always know is that next year that price is going to go back up again. So if there is no really solving the problem at the price point I want, then giving a discount is fairly irrelevant.

00:37:12 SPK_2

Yeah, and then, you know, the dangerous thing. When you offer the price, do you think the prospect is gonna ever forget that price that you offered? No. And what happened, even though ohh my gosh, it’s the deals off the table? That’s what happens when the prospect comes back. I want to sign it X.

I will sign it X not a penny higher. Nine times out of 10, salespeople will take that deal because they know they’ll get approved. So use also for the majority of the ones that don’t close, you set a dangerous precedent on it and you’re already fighting the uphill battle because you just lowered the, you just lowered the price. And by and large, everyone knows these in the quarter, in the year thing. And all the prospect has to say is that’s fine. I’ll just wait till the end of the quarter. I’ll just wait till the end of next year. If you want the deal today, give me this price, and go ahead and get it approved. So you said a dangerous precedent for a lot of deals that didn’t close on that day and you damage revenue on that?

00:38:15 SPK_1

We’re running out of time, which is a shame because I think we could probably be talking for quite a while. But I’ve got a couple of last questions for you. Firstly, if someone likes what they hear from you and wants to, you know, learn more, get in contact, understand more, how do they do it?

00:38:30 SPK_2

LinkedIn is a good way. Linkedin.com/N/awesome Dan. By the way, yeah, I didn’t make my LinkedIn awesome Dan. That’s a great way to connect with me on LinkedIn.

00:38:46 SPK_1

Fantastic. And the last question I ask, which is something I ask everybody if you could go back in time 20 years and give advice to your younger self, what would that advice be?

00:38:55 SPK_2

Two-part fail faster and remove the debt.

00:38:59 SPK_1

That’s very interesting. Why fail fast? Well.

00:39:02 SPK_2

If you’re not failing, you’re not succeeding. So the more you fail and learn from those of sake, the faster you learn, and the quicker you get to the net result. You can’t be afraid to fail on a daily basis, or weekly basis. Try new things. So the more that you fail, the faster that you fail, the quicker that you’ll get to success. Because all success is a series of failures. You look at everyone who’s done successfully. I mean, even like light bulbs, Thomas Edison, it took him 3000 attempts or whatever. The faster he gets through those three thousand, the faster we have the air doesn’t light bulb, so the more that you fail. The faster that you fill, the quicker, as long as you learn from it, the quicker you get to success. And then also the core thing is to remove the get, which if I would have had that 20 years ago, not 10 years ago, I would have had 10 years of less learning on that on that aspect.

00:39:56 SPK_1

Well, thanks for that Dan. Like I said, I think we could probably be talking for a lot longer and that time has just kind of flown by. But yeah, thanks for all of that. And I think anyone listening now will have a very different approach to the way that thinking about selling them perhaps they had before.

00:40:13 SPK_2

Exactly. You just it’s the whether you’re on the phone, e-mail, all that. It’s, you know, you’re humans. Human. You’re human to human, and that’s never gonna change. So just remember you’re dealing with another human on the other end of the line and everything else falls into place.

00:40:30 SPK_1

Excellent. Thanks a lot for that, Dan. Thanks for coming on the forecast. Thanks for listening to the podcast. If you like what you hear then please subscribe to the Atom Ventures podcast and you can find us on Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast or the Great podcasting sites. Please also leave a review and if you want to get in contact then please visit our site atomcto.com. You can find us on LinkedIn under item ventures and atoms CTO and you can e-mail us at infoatomscto.com.

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