As an engineering graduate, sales is ‘that stuff’ which other people do. When I became an entrepreneur the hard facts that everyone has to sell hit me, even though I had developed a product which was sold and downloaded on-line, how come?
We built a successful business with 160 customers in 60 countries without even employing a single sales person. Our company moto was ‘If you found a pump, pump it’ which meant if you saw a task which needed doing then you owned it. As a young dynamic entrepreneurial business everyone wanted to find as many pumps as they could, for experience, to ensure they were a key part of the business and also to ensure the business became a success. Our company of around 20 people continuously out preformed the sales of larger international players, how come?
Our products were downloadable mobile games. If we produced a press release over 500 websites would pick this up, if we had a new game, people would email to ask where they could get it, if we missed out supporting a handset people they would offer to test the game for us. Everyone thought we were cool (for cats). I even got mobbed on the Sun Java Stand at an exhibition, how cool is that (ok, I am a geek).
So did sales came easy?
No we had to learn fast, we had multiple levels of customers; operators, handset manufactures, newspapers, magazines, on-line portals, aggregators and end users. We had 60 countries to deal with in terms of: numerous currencies, customs and languages which all complicated the sales process.
The key, as with all sales, is turning an online product into a personal relationship which we could manage. This meant developing a complete sales cycle and customer experience solution which our customers could buy into and our competitors could only aspire too. We had to understand each client, their needs and requirements. We had to get out of our office and meet these people and make sure they liked us, our products and the complete experience we provided. The end result being they wanted to continue to do business with us every single month: repeat business. In short we had to become an international sales force, learning on the job, we had to sell.
So if I can do it, I’m sure you can.