Guest blog by Nick Elston: Selling in Tech – 10 things I’ve learned as a ‘non-Techie’

Look, I’ve learned these lessons the hard way – coming into the Tech arena, as a non-Techie, full of assumptions but with spirit!

Let me save you the pain and help your sanity by sharing with you my top 10 valuable lessons that I’ve learned – so that you don’t have to go through the challenges I’ve experienced, to get to where you want to be!

  1. If you are using automatic onboarding of prospects – don’t forget that Sales is still a ‘People Buy From People’ business.  Underestimate the steps of building trust, rapport and respect at your peril!  Do not sit behind your screen thinking you don’t have to engage with the Human Race!
  2. Forget how your product works – show the value it brings to your prospect.  How does it help them?  Save time, money, sanity…whatever it is – that’s your feature – not your product.  People buy emotionally – they need to like you, your brand and also need to feel what your product/service would do for them.
  3. Do your research on your prospects.  Now, more than ever, you have access to more information than ever on Social Media, Google etc – find out what makes them tick and what their conversation tone is through their tweets, blogs and posts.  Then mirror that.
  4. And whilst I’m on the subject of conversational tone – approach prospects as you.  So simple, but easily overlooked.  If you are a ‘Hi’ & ‘Cheers’ person or whether you are a ‘Dear’ & ‘Yours Sincerely’ person – be yourself – you want prospects to do business on your terms.
  5. Your brand, your profile and your product needs to be consistent across all online and offline activities.  Prospects build a picture in their minds of what you are, what your product can do and an image of your brand – long before they meet you.  You should absolutely consider your personal brand AS IMPORTANT as your business brand.
  6. Keep a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or a Project Management board (Trello, for example) to record your conversations, contacts, notes and important conversation points with your prospect – so that you always have access to the relationship history at a glance.
  7. Set reminders and diaries to follow up – and never leave a prospect without a follow up, action point or next step agreed on.  Did you know that it can take between 6-12 follow up action before you reach a conclusion on a ‘sale’?
  8. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  You can waste 80% of your time, fire fighting with small fry business – when the same efforts spent on securing your dream clients would result in MASSIVE results, truly game changing business.  Not easy for a people pleaser, let me tell you!
  9. Don’t procrastinate.  What you are avoiding will not usually go away.  But, if it did, in a Sales capacity – you will have missed an opportunity.  Use a to-do list to ensure you nail all of the ‘to-dos’ you have for that day – and don’t worry about tomorrow’s until tomorrow – it’ll only increase your anxiety and make you procrastinate more!
  10. Social Media is great.  Online Marketing is great.  Email Marketing is great.  BUT do not overlook the traditional methods too – because they work better now than they have ever done – because no one is doing it!  Get on the phone, see someone face to face, send them a handwritten postcard, send them some lumpy mail (promotional products) – but run this alongside your Social Media, Email Marketing & Online Marketing strategies.

My business – www.signable.co.uk – has massively increased in size over the past 18 months by adopting these methods.  Our workforce has grown by 3 times and also our focus has changed because of what we learned.

We have found that the most successful way to ‘Sell’ in Tech – is to Partner – not to direct sell.  So in my role, I work alongside;

Partners – Referral Partners & Affiliates.

Promoters – I am a Keynote Speaker at Events, Seminars & Conferences in relevant industries.

Software Businesses – for integration between our platforms.

Umbrella Organisations – who have an audience of members who would be prospects for Signable.

Even though this shift of focus is relatively new – the results that we are achieving are phenomenal.

If you feel that I can help you with any advice, on any of this – I always love to talk and meet new people – so drop me a tweet @NickElston_.

Thank you.