Startup Sales
Lessons learned from a four time founder with Jason Smith
February 19, 2019
Summary Jason is a repeat entrepreneur on his fourth startup. One of the biggest mistakes he has made is a typical one made by many founders; Talking the whole time, “Throwing up” all the reasons why his product is so great. It is important to be curious about the prospect and their business. This will allow you to ask them deep questions to find out how you as a business can help them. He also learned early on that persistence is very important. It takes time to grab the prospects attention. Observational skills (listening skills) are also extremely important. Being able to see the prospect and read their body language or hear their tonality will allow you to know if you lost them or not. It will also enable you to know if they are interested in your product. Knowing when to say no is very important. If you promise something you can not deliver on, the client will not be happy and you will lose them. Everyone is a sales person today. If you know it or not, its true. Founders are selling to investors all the time. When you think you are 80% done, you are typically only 20% done. So make sure to plan and have the resources you need. Many early stage startups want to outsource their SDR/Sales work at the start. This can be dangerous as you do not get the feel for the market and the understanding of what the client wants and needs as well as their thoughts on your product. Your first 20 customers are your apostles, do everything to get them. But also do everything to delight them. Its very important to get your ICP done correctly. Do not be vague and name a company. Define the stage they are in, the budget they have (or dont have). The more detailed and precises the better. Final Five What is your favorite sales or leadership book? Principles by Ray Dalio Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Reid Hoffman, Pete Kazanjy Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? No, he has realized it's a war and not an individual battle. It's important to recharge. What is your favorite tool used for sales? Zoom What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? If you think you are 80% of the way done, you are only 20%. Plan accordingly. Links Jason's LinkedIn: Adam’s LinkedIn: Training: Adam’s email: