Founding Partner Vested Interest Group & Chief Curiosity Officer. also: Facilitator, Crayola Ninja, TEDx speaker and Veteran
This is going to sound harsh. Not my intent... but it's the truth.
If you don't already know the answer to your question, don't go into business until you do. You're business will likely die an expensive death.
Your question sounds very similar to... How do I "land" my first date?
Just what prospective date with a women/man wants... to be landed. Right? ;-)
The better question is how to I EARN a client?
I go back to my first point... if you don't already know this, I'm making the assumption that you've never google/youtubed the subject of sales.
I know I sound harsh, like a jerk. Not my intention. If you're going into business with any amount of seriousness, sales had best become I high priority to learn.
Start with anything written by Jeffrey Gitomer. The Sales Bible. The Little Red Book of Sales. etc. Gitomer has a ton of wisdom on YouTube. I suggest Gitomer (there are many other people to learn from) because he isn't about tricks, gimmicks, or slippery techniques... He's blunt. He's candid. He wants you to be successful.
Here's two of Gitomer's videos to give you a starting point.
The two most important words in sales: https://youtu.be/X7E2NHPkI_E
Asking powerful questions:
Business is a contact sport. It's not for the faint of heart. It takes work - a lot of work - and sales (generating money) is obviously the lifeblood of your business. Make sure sales becomes a core competency... or. you. will. struggle. or worse...
Put a mechanism in place to track your sales efforts and customers earned. This is important data that you'll need to make future decisions - so track everything related to your sales experience.
Last thing. You're client doesn't want to be "landed" any more than your unsuspecting date does.... you earn the client's business. Just like people have earned your business.
My first choice to find an email is Linkedin.
My second choice is to google their name and email... i.e.: "Vince Fowler - email"
It doesn't take me very long to find what I'm looking for. No more than a couple minutes at most.
If you're looking for a *list* of names and email addresses, my strategy will be slow and painful. If that's what you're looking to do... it smells like spam to me, just saying.
If you're looking to target specific people at specific companies, my strategy works extremely well.
As for LinkedIn's cost for InMail... you say "expensive", I say "investment"
To me, Linkedin is a minimal investment. My sales more than justify the price of my LinkedIn Premium account.
The best bank for a high tech start-up is the bank that is willing to give a start up money in the first place.
Put on your best feel-good-outfit (shower first ;-) and then with all the confidence in the word, and your plan, get off your but and go knock on doors... banker's doors. Okay... call first and make an appointment, bankers don't typically meet with walk-ins.
I have no idea how good or bad your credit history is, how much industry experience you have or how much Joint Venture Capital you already have in your pocket... so there's not much more I can say... except this... go make it happen. Bring your pitch, your vision, your plan, your numbers, your research, your data, your marketing plan, your current revenues... your guts! Be prepared for a lot of questions, and most of all, be prepared for the all inspiring word... NO.
With every NO you hear you'll learn a new lesson... and then start again.
Rumour has it that Walt Disney knocked on over 100 banker's doors before he found someone who believed in his idea... what makes you think you're not going to have to do the same ;-)
If you don't believe in you, don't expect a bank to invest in you...
Agreed, you need a CRM. One challenge... there are many many CRM solutions... some are low cost... $20 per month per person... some are significantly higher... $200/mth. + $XX per user.
Some CRM's are really simple... tracking people, reps, conversations, info, etc. Others are extremely robust, that connect to your website via an API and help with e-commerce.
What you will need to do is determine what YOUR needs are.
What one person likes in a CRM, another person doesn't... thus the challenge. Understanding what YOUR needs are, knowing what success looks like, will make your choice a lot simpler.
Don't get caught up in all the fancy bells and whistles that you think are cool, stay focused on what you need and what you will need as you scale.
Will the CRM sync across multiple devices? i.e.: Phone, tablet / iPad, desktop, etc...? Good question if that's important to you.
A CRM is an investment, not an expense. Ask lots of questions. Find out it they offer any training and at what cost - training can range from zero dollars to $2000 dollars so don't forget to ask.
Lastly... regardless what the CRM company tells you about easy of use... if it's not working for you and your team, stop using it. Try something else.
Hey - I can appreciate your situation. I have done a lot of trade shows, from small (50 vendors) to big (Hundreds).
A creative booth is great to have. Lights. Bells. Whistles. I guess all of this stuff at the very least will attract attention... but what's really going to keep people inside your booth is YOU.
YOU. If I'm a potential customer of yours, are you asking me questions? Are you engaging me? Are you listening to me? Are you able to hear me and share your benefits... helping me solve not just my challenges but help me with new opportunities?
Beauty is skin deep... it's the words that come out of your mouth that will keep in engaged in your booth.
If it's a personal touch you're looking for... why not a simple and fun card trick. Easy to find at your local magic store. Most people love magic... natural curiosity. Then, while (confidently) perfuming your trick (because you've practiced and practiced) you can earn the right to inquire and ask them questions about their reality and their needs...
Never under estimate the value of good old fashioned *people skills*
Hi - great question but a lot of info to share. This is something I coach my clients on all the time.
a. define the job description.
b. use a step by step hiring process so that if you need to fire or hire more, you have a system to learn from and improve. Read "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) Massive hiring learnings in Tony's book
c. a sales person is a profit centre. If they have all the tools, they should be able to hit their targets in about 90 days (pending the sales cycle which in your case sounds short).
d. Hire slow. Fire Fast.
e. Call me. I'm happy to explain... no fee. This is a big deal. 30 minutes on the phone will help avoid some hiring heart ache... not all of it ;-) but some. (403) 874-7376
Hi - Great question and you've already received some great answers.
Here is a great article, "Don't hire a business coach who can't answer these 7 questions."
The article is writting by an E-Myth coach which I am not certified by... I just happen to like his questions.
Certification, in my opinion, isn't relevant either (and I'm certified). What is relevant? Results.
Google is your friend. If you've short listed a few coaches - google them. Don't be impressed by what the coach is saying, look for what others are saying about the coach... Linkedin endorsements are good... Recomendations are the best. No news is not good news in my opinion. If a coach is good, he/she will leave a trail of positive info.
Where to find a coach? The mall of course ;-) Ask people who you admire and look up to - Do you have a coach? Who did you use? Or... search Linkedin. Do you need a face-to-face coach or would web based coaching be okay (different delivery but just as effective with apps like Skype, GoTo Meeting etc.
What to watch for? If it sounds too good to be true... run. If they guarntee results... run. If they themself don't have a coach... run. Remember, you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you - are they asking thought provoking questions??
How much sshould you expect to pay? The better question is, how much are willing to invest (innn YOU). I personally would avoid any coach who charges an hourly rate... I've never met an "hourly rate" coach who makes a full time living and has the wealth and time you're looking for. Look for a program fee... and "program" means that you have access to your coach coach above and beyond your designated sessions with out being charged more.
As well, experience isn't as important as results. You could hire a coach with 10 years experience but can't inspire someone to get results. Or you can hire someone with 9 months experience but has a digital trail of results... make sense?
Lastly, where to find a coach... well, for starters... me. Google me and then give me a call at 403-874-7376. There is no fee for asking questions.
That said, you have 4 other coaches who've answered your question so far who have invested time in YOU. Start with them
Lastly, I beleive in sharing knowledge without expectation... give me a call.
All the best... and congrats for even asking the question.
Great question. I can relate. My first career out of high school was my dream job as well - the military.
How to stand out. The hiring team will want to know the answers to questions like;
What do you know about ABC?
Why do you want to work here?
What do you do for self improvement?
Where do you see yourself in 3 - 5 years?
Have genuine, authentic, and compelling answers. Saying, "ABC is my dream job" meets your needs but it wont necessarily meet there needs.
How to stand out? Have just as many genuine and thought provoking questions for them.
If you believe in ABC's culture, then you likely believe in very similar values and behaviours. You'll want to demonstrate you possess those same values, beliefs and behaviours from past experiences.
Consider coming to the interview with your own perspective on improving their existing product/service/experience or even something new.
DO NOT LOOK or SOUND DESPERATE! Think of it in terms of dating... you see someone from across the room and you think to yourself; they would be amazing to dance with, go to dinner, marry, and have 2.5 children. If you say that to them... you're going to look pretty desperate so play it cool. Be confident but not cocky. Be chivalries but not a door mat... etc... get my drift?
And hey, as good as this company is... there are always more great companies out there.
One thing is for sure, culture fit is key you your success as well as theirs. Good luck... you're half way there :)
Great advice from Jeff.
If you're referring to the online program, "Referral Key"... I've seen the program, I personally don't like it. I think it's one of the worst programs out there... it cheapens and devalues the sales process.
Why? Because at our very core, we humans are emotional creatures - we make decisions based on emotion. We justify with logic later.
Yes, I've certainly referred people and sometimes there's even a finders fee - however the finders fee was not the motivating factor to providing the referral. TRUST in the person receiving the referral is the factor...
If, and I'm only guessing as I know you only get 150 characters to post a question, you're looking for a way to get referrals... then the trick is this... you EARN them ;-)
Linkedin has proven to be one of my best online platforms to earn business. I use linkedin to share knowledge, contribute to posts by others, make introductions, give (earned) endorsements, give (earned) recommendations... in return I've been wonderfully rewarded - I've earned business in return.
The beauty about Linkedin is that when someone refers you, that person can view your endorsements (social proof) and recommendations (proof of results).
How do you get a referral. You give one to get one, but don't expect one.
The best books a Tech CEO should read are books that are relevant to being a CEO (and tech). Mike gave relevant advice about technology and Mashable...
A CEO is responsible for the vision of the company to be realized - thus I wild give him the book, "Start With Why" by Simon Sinek.
A CEO is responsible for the people (staff, customers and vendors) that he serves - thus I'd give her "Tribes" by Seth Godin
A CEO is responsible for financial results thus I would give him "Execution: the discipline of getting things done" by Larry Bossidy and Ram Sharam.
A CEO is responsible for the culture of the company thus I would give her "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh.
There are many great books that one can read on the relevant subjects of Leadership, Culture, HR, Execution, Sales, etc... these are only a few.
It's wonderful to be a CEO of a company but it's a dead end job if the CEO is unable to inspire, lead and achieve measurable results.