The Most In-Demand Soft Skills for Salespeople at Startups

If you’re joining a sales team for a tech startup, it’s not enough to just have hard skills. In an interview with Michael Cardamone, we discussed how a salesperson should examine the investors of an early-stage startup, and how knowledgeable the CEO is to predict the evolution of their success. Once you’ve determined whether their goals align with yours, it’s time to move forward. However, in today’s highly competitive job market, soft skills are in more demand than ever at startups, and are an essential part of any well-rounded candidate. In fact, a study by Comeet found that the candidates most likely to get the job are those who are directly contacted by recruiters or hiring managers. By showcasing these skills in your resume, you’re more likely to stand out from your competition. Here’s a list of some skills you should aim to cultivate as part of the sales team:

Ability to listen to what’s being said

In the sales world, making a consumer want to buy your product is the main goal of the profession. According to an article by Forbes, this involves effective two-way communication. Knowing how to ask great questions and truly listening to the customer’s response is the key to making a successful sale. “It’s too easy to stick to the script or to plan your next statement. If you want to sell, you have to understand. To understand, you have to listen with true empathy! Practice is essential to this skill.”

Ability to negotiate and connect

If a client is on the fence about whether to purchase your product or service, it’s up to you to convince them to choose you. In order to do so, you’ll need to practice patience, gather what is needed, and deliver high value while keeping prices reasonable. When you do manage to successfully sell, you’re creating a relationship with the client which will hopefully set the stage for more sales in the future. Keeping level-headed and maintaining a sense of humor will help you bond with your client, forming a sense of connection and positivity.

Ability to cope with chaos

If you want to work at a startup, more often than not, you’ll have to deal with unpredictability and chaos. As a salesperson, the ability to stay organized and disciplined even with multiple projects to juggle will be an essential part of your life.

Medium explains how hitting growth targets can be extremely challenging, and even more so during the early stages of a business. If you let potential sales slip through the cracks due to not following up, you’ll definitely fall behind. The good news is that “if you join a startup already better equipped to expect these chaotic moments, the wild wins will feel even more euphoric.”

Ability to anticipate client needs

It’s a universal truth that everyone wants to feel special. By making your customers feel like you can read their minds regarding what they want, you’ll leave them feeling like they’ve had an experience specifically tailored to them, leading to an increase in their trust and loyalty. To cultivate this skill, Inc. suggests taking advantage of industry research and trend reports to see what the next big thing is. You’ll stay a couple of steps ahead, and be able to cater to the future needs of your clients and expand their current scope.

Ultimately, not everyone is cut out for a life in sales. It can be a physically demanding job, but working on this list of soft skills can help you land a coveted role at a start-up, provided that you’re up for the challenge.

If you’re a salesperson looking to jump start your career or make the next big move, Rainmakers can help connect you with companies seeking a skilled sales rep just like you. To join our career market place, visit

Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand as an Industry Expert

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels (

What do business magnate Sir Richard Branson, SEO and social media marketing guru Neil Patel, and best-selling author Mark Manson have in common? 

A solid personal brand. 

What is personal branding? 

Personal branding has become a crucial part of success for anyone with a skill or service to offer the world—the modern-day entrepreneur, merger & acquisition consultant, author, artist, independent contractor, sales and marketing professional, or self-employed freelancer. Through personal branding, renowned experts can set themselves apart from others in their field.

Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself and your career as a brand. It encompasses your reputation, expertise, skills, personality, values, and attitudes among a multitude of other things. It is the image that other people see or think of when hearing your name.

Why is personal branding important? 

Nowadays, even large companies no longer solely rely on their corporate brand. Instead, they also hinge on an individual’s personal brand (usually their founder or CEO) to build their image and reputation.

Individuals who build their business around their area of expertise like authors, speakers, coaches, or freelancers also make use of personal branding strategies to distinguish themselves from would-be competitors and to attract clients. The reality is, nowadays, without a powerful personal brand, even experts will find themselves struggling to grow or even maintain their business.

Below are seven clear and actionable personal branding tips and strategies you can follow to kick-start your branding strategy.

Find your niche and build your expertise

The first and biggest step to creating your personal brand strategy is finding your expertise. Whatever industry you’re in, you’ll want to shine in a particular niche within that industry. There’s a common misconception that it’s better to be broad about your specialization for you to capture a larger market. Perhaps this might have worked for some at the start, but in the long run, those who go on to be successful are those who have found that one specialized field they can excel at.

Take Pat Flynn‘s example. From the broad industry of online entrepreneurship and digital marketing, he found his niche as an expert in creating passive income. This can be done in any field or industry. Finding your niche will help unlock two important questions: who your target market is and what your unique selling proposition will be. 

Have a consistent visual brand identity (that’s tied to your personality)

Your brand identity is often the first impression your potential customers will have of you. It includes your choices on what to name your business, logo design, color palette, graphics, and even photos you choose to share on your blog, website, or social media.

It even encompasses the way you dress for success. It can be hard to understand why it’s important to build consistent visual brand identity or even to have one at all, but visuals play an important role when it comes to differentiation, recall, and even perception of quality.

  1. Develop a strong value proposition

After finding your niche, the next step is to position yourself within it. Research your competition and figure out what sets you apart. Some questions you can ask to determine your USP  or unique selling proposition are:

  • What specific problems are you trying to solve?
  • What are the skills you have, and what can you offer to your audience?
  • Why should your audience care about what you have to say?
  • What new insights or solutions are you offering?
  • What are you passionate about? What do you stand for?

Create your content and social strategy

If you’re seeking to establish yourself as an industry expert, content marketing is going to be your best friend.

Remember, content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising, yet costs 62% less than traditional marketing.

Content marketing is also what’s going to help your website rank. Focus on creating long, in-depth articles (1000 words or more) that answer a question or problem within your niche. You can search for top keywords or search queries using free tools like AnswerthePublic or Ubersuggest.

Make sure to stay on top of social media trends and topics relevant to your industry. Offer your audience useful content like infographics or free ebooks.

Figure out your modes of communication

Ask yourself: where can I engage with people from my target audience? Then be there for them. Let them find you where they already hang out. Take advantage of the social media platforms available to you and engage with them by replying to their comments on your posts or any feedback they leave on your social media page. 

Consider investing in an official website for your brand. Or, you can start with publishing on platforms such as Medium. What’s important is that you have a platform for sharing your expertise and allowing people to find you.

Seek out mentors and build your network

Building a successful personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, and neither does it happen alone. A study found that 80% of CEOs said they have had a mentor help them in their respective careers.

Mentors can be a great asset when you’re just starting out on building your personal brand. The right mentor can show you how they achieved success and how to avoid common pitfalls or mistakes, and, very importantly, introduce you to more experts and mentors you can learn from.

Final Words

If there’s one key thing to remember when creating your personal brand, it’s to be authentic. A personal brand isn’t a persona or a facade to put on in front of an audience. People have a way of finding out if a person is being genuine or not. Your personal brand should be just that: personal to you. Consider your brand as an extension of all the good things about your personality, values, skills, and expertise.

Moreover, becoming an expert in your industry won’t happen overnight. As they say, there is no shortcut to success. You’ll need to put in countless hours of hard work, create lots of useful content, experiment with different techniques and tools, and above all, be yourself.

Author: Barbara Davidson

The Offical Rainmakers 2019 Dreamforce Party Guide

Dreamforce 2019 is right around the corner! I hope that everyone has their pitches rehearsed and their business card ready. Networking is an important piece of running your booth, but don’t forget that the networking doesn’t end when you leave San Francisco. You can’t forget the parties, and who has time to research all of them? Don’t worry – Rainmakers has created a 2019 Dreamforce Party Guide, sorted by date, so you can plan accordingly.

Register soon before all of your favorite events are filled!

Featured Event


All Events

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Simplus Power Up Party

Time: 8:00 pm

Hosted/Sponsored By: Simplus, Salesforce, MuleSoft, and Prodly

Summary: This don’t-miss party has everything you need to charge up and kick off the week in style! Whether you are looking to blow off some steam from all your Dreamforce prep or want to relax before a very important week, this is the party for you. Food, drinks, friends and great views of San Francisco await you at Cityscape at the top of the Hilton Union Square. The view alone will get you energized for the week ahead. Dance, eat, and game the night away upstairs. Then, when you’re ready to relax, journey to the recessed Zen Room for massages, shoe shines, and more. 

Where: Cityscape at The Hilton Union Square

Sign Up Here

Karaoke for a Cause

Time: 7:30 PM

Hosted/Sponsored By: PepUp Tech

Summary: We are back for the third year in a row with Karaoke for a Cause! Come out and meet PepUP Tech supporter Bret Taylor. Bret Taylor is the President and CPO at and co-Founder of Quip. Bret was also co-creator of Google Maps, CTO of Facebook, and is responsible for Facebook’s “like” button.

Your ticket purchase includes drinks, food, amazing company, lots of fun and will help PepUp Tech support tech training programs for underrepresented children and adults across the United States. Help us make a difference and have fun while doing it! 

Where: Pandora Karaoke (please note this is a new venue location at 50 Mason Street in San Francisco)

Sign Up Here

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019


Time: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM

Hosted/Sponsored By: Zennify and Salesforce

Summary: Are you interested in joing Zennify and Salesforce at Black Cat, a swanky jazz lounge, cocktail bar and New American bistro? They’ll be plenty of appetizers, craft cocktails, and a live band to accompany a night full of networking and connecting with like-minded individuals.

Black Cat is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, the historic arts and entertainment district once home to great supper clubs and fabled live jazz venues.

Where: Black Cat, 400 Eddy Street

Sign Up Here

Dreamforce’s Silent Disco

Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Hosted/Sponsored By: Conga

Summary: Sign up to be the first to know all the details of our highly-anticipated Silent Disco. Join us across the street from Moscone where we’ll transform ThirstyBear Brewing Company into a one-of-a-kind dance party you won’t want to miss. Enjoy sets from multiple DJs, complimentary food and drink, and an all around unforgettable night.

Where: ThirstyBear Brewing Company

Sign Up Here

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Party at Anaplan Headquarters

Time: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Hosted/Sponsored By: Dreamforce

Summary: Kick Dreamforce 2019 off right and join us for a blowout party at the Anaplan headquarters. Come for the refreshing drinks and delicious appetizers and stay for the live band, high-energy DJ, old-school arcade games, and more!

Where: 50 Hawthorne Street (Between Howard and Folsom)

Sign Up Here

The Concert for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals

Time: 6:30 pm – 1:00 am

Hosted/Sponsored By: Salesforce & UCFS Benioff Children’s Hospitals

Summary: At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, a steadfast commitment drives everything we do: to deliver world-class medicine to every child in need. But it’s not just what we do, it’s who we are. It’s clear in the doctors who expertly tailor care to each child’s individual needs, the researchers who discover new cures previous generations could not have dreamed of, and the therapists who use the healing power of music and art to give children the power to hope, dream, and heal. This commitment is also upheld by our generous supporters, who have partnered with us for more than 100 years to ensure that even the most vulnerable families in our community always have access to top-tier medical care. Together, we are moving medicine forward for kids around the block and across the globe.

Where: Oracle Park

Sign Up Here

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Party @ Temple

Time: 9:00 pm – 12:30 am

Hosted/Sponsored By: Demandbase

Summary: Leave the presentations and meetings behind and get ready to unleash your inner dance nerd! Join fellow B2B peers at this Dreamforce fan-favorite party for an unforgettable night of premium cocktails, tasty appetizers and a whole lotta boogie.

You don’t want to miss out on the hottest Dreamforce shindig, where the best of the ABM world come to party.

Where: Temple Nightclub, 540 Howard Street

Sign Up Here

How to Become a Successful Sales Manager

Your boss just promoted you to sales manager after years of working hard as a sales representative for your company. Now what?

Many think sales managers have it easy because they are devoid of having a sales number on their head. However the role is far from that. Instead of an individual quota, they have a whole team’s. Instead of being measured by their own performance, they’re held accountable for how each of their sales reps perform. Below, we’ll look at how to become a successful sales manager in your company by discussing these three key functions: support through coaching, prioritizing recruitment, and having good communication.   

Support Through Coaching

Coaching a sales team is one of the most important tasks a sales manager has. Coaching puts your leadership skills to the test by motivating and helping your sales reps refine and improve their selling techniques to elevate their results. Small Biz Trends explains how people with big egos may not make the best sales managers, because the role entails putting sales reps first. Successful sales managers want to see their team continuously improve and provide them with the right skills, mindset, and support.

Often, it helps to set individual meetings with sales reps once a week. These sessions should talk about how to put a sales plan in action, how to improve on weak areas, as well as how to bounce back when a sale doesn’t push through. It’s important that these coaching sessions also include feedback for the manager about how the rep feels the coaching is going and how the manager can better help them. Moreover, coaching sessions should also positively recognize the sales reps of their existing efforts.

Prioritize Recruitment

Being a manager means taking charge of the hiring and firing of staff. One thing sales managers overlook is the importance of allocating time for recruitment. It’s vital to make time for finding the right person for your team, and being familiar with the different types of recruitment strategies you can use. More often than not companies work with recruiters on either a contingency or retained basis. The Undercover Recruiter defines contingency recruitment as a set up where recruiters are only charged a fee when their candidate takes on a position within the company. This means recruiters are quick to refer candidates, sometimes at the expense of quality recommendations. 

Retained recruiters on the other hand charge an upfront fee to conduct a search, but take their time in thoroughly looking for the right candidate for the company. This type of dedicated search is common in all industries, whether it is business or law, in order to find the best fit. Special Counsel details how retained search engagement saves time and resources for a company, while still hiring the very best. Another reason retained recruiters are effective is because they will also have inside knowledge on the industry and where to find the best talent. Investing in quality recruitment ensures that you hire the right people who can achieve the results you need, and when your team succeeds, the whole company succeeds.

Have Good Communication Skills

During the sales process, teams spend a lot of time gathering necessary information about a client. Once a sale has been made and the clients are passed on to another department, these valuable pieces of information aren’t always turned over properly. Michael Ferguson reminds us that inter-office communication is important and can lead a company to having a successful relationship with a client. All Business states that integrating with other departments also helps facilitate a smooth integration for sales reps in their first few months at a company.

Ultimately, the task of chief communicator primarily falls on the laps of sales managers. They need to be able to articulate their teams’ needs to other departments and to the executive level. For example if there are times when the quotas being set are unrealistic, it’s their role to articulate this to upper management to resolve the situation. Not only does proper communication help you as a sales manager, it helps companies move forward as a cohesive workforce.

[Sales Class] How to Not Lose a Deal During the Close – A Lesson by Steve Benson

Closing deals is not a matter of luck, it’s about skill, perfecting your sales process, and overcoming any objections that would prevent a deal from closing.

According to Steve Benson, it’s the salesperson’s primary job to uncover the real reason why people are unsure about what you are trying to sell them. He explains to not let a prospect take time to “think about it” and attempt to follow up with them next week. Mastering how to avoid these “soft rejections” is a must for closing more deals and you need to gauge their interest in the moment and figure out what information they need to hear to better understand the value of your product.

What a prospect is hesitant on can be one of three things, says Steve. First, ask them specifically what they are uncomfortable or unsure about — once you get a better understanding of what they are truly thinking, you can re-engage and go deeper with them on the issue.

All types of hesitation typically fall into the following three buckets: Fit, Functionality, and Finance.

  • Fit: Give them a free trial or a demo of your product being used in an environment or with a product that is similar to your lead’s product or environment. Introduce them to a company that is already using your product and make a comparison for how it can be useful to them too.
  • Functionality: If they say they aren’t sure if it will work for them at their unique company, they may believe there is a risk that your product won’t work for them or their business. Uncover what they think the functionality risk is and then overcome the objection. They could be worried the product doesn’t work and need to see a demo. Or they could be worried about implementation and that their employees/customers won’t use the product – show other companies implementing the product. Provide references and case studies of other companies using the product successfully.
  • Finance: “This seems too expensive for me.” To overcome this, find out the real objection behind the price objection, since price might not be the real reason. Find out if they don’t think your product is valuable and help them add up the value to show them that your price is fair. Another tip is to show them the cost of not using your product, or how your product will save them time and money.

You may find that a prospect’s concerns fall into several of these categories. Try to narrow down what the primary objection is and focus on educating them in order of what is most important until all of their questions are fully answered. From there, you can continue discussing your service offerings and pricing.

Steve’s Steps to Overcoming A “Soft No.”

  • Gauge interest
  • Uncover true objection
  • Overcome objection
  • Ask questions like “if I can prove to you that you can master the product within a week, would you buy the product?

Through your questions and by reading into the prospects answers, you can uncover additional objections and address them as needed. Remember to include why your product is a good fit, how it will function properly to fit their business needs, and why it is a smart financial decision to use your product.

[Sales Class] How You Can Close Larger Sales More Consistently with Terry Hansen

How you sell is one of the biggest differentiators between you and your competitors. By using methods like the PIMAT discussed here in Terry’s video, you can overcome common sales speed bumps and maximize your potential to land larger deals.

Speed bumps in closing large deals:

Long sales cycles

Figure out a way to shrink the sales cycle. Decrease the amount of time between when you meet a prospect and make the sale. Sometimes this can drag on for months or years.

Tough sales objectives

If you can’t overcome the prospects concerts about your product the likelihood of you selling them on large deals is weakened.

Stiff competition

Getting into price battles with our competitors. Differentiate yourself from them with your value and not just your price.

Low value deals

Try not to focus on the smaller low value deals and instead on bigger deals that can move the needle. An example would be for a printer to take an order for a $50 business card order vs $5,000 for a catalogue order.

PIMAT – 5 important topics that we need to talk about with a prospect during the “Needs Analysis” stage of the sales cycle.

1. Introduction

2. Needs analysis

→ [P.I.M.A.T]

3. Sales presentation

4. Close the sale

P: Problem – When you start your needs analysis conversation, ask about the goals they want to accomplish and where they are currently. The gap between where they are and where they want to be is the “problem.”

I: Impact –  What damage are the problems causing to the company. This could be a financial oriented problem, time oriented problem, or employee moral/personal oriented problem.

M: Money – Figure out a budgetary range that you can use to create solutions for the prospect. GIve them different price ranges to solve the variety of problems that you have uncovered.

A: Authority – The “who” factor. Who is the decision maker and who else should be involved in the decision to approve a deal. Also ask what factors they are going to consider, if there is a timing perspective to the decision, and what process they go through when making the decision.

T: Technical – The nitty gritty details. If you are building a car, its asking what’s the make, model, color, and interior elements. You have to determine how you will customize what you are selling to suit their needs and create a win-win for both of you.

As you go through the PIMAT process you can eliminate any and all objections that the prospect has upfront and prevent any objections from coming up at the end of the sale.

[Sales Class] Understanding Buyer Psyche with Zach Barney

Zach Barney has valuable insight into the different aspects of a buyer’s psyche, and in this video he explains why understanding the mind frame of a lead can make or break your chances at eventually landing a deal with them.

If you’re familiar with sales and marketing then you know that a buyer’s journey is the process a client goes through when moving from being just a prospect to being a signed customer.

An example of a buyer’s journey is: Prospect -> Awareness Stage -> Research Stage -> Consideration Stage -> Decision Stage -> Customer. As a salesperson, you have to be their guide and take them through these stages while overcoming any obstacles that you encounter along the way.

The problem with the traditional buyer’s journey, Zach explains, is that it misses the analysis of your Total Addressable Market (TAM).

When you reach out to a company for the first time, you need to pay attention to the “signals,” that speak to their interest in needing your product. The signals can be conversations a colleague had with them, company press releases, public information, etc. These, along with your initial conversation with them, will help you gauge which of the below TAM buckets they fall into.

  • 30% of your TAM know they do not need you
  • 30% of your TAM don’t think they need you
  • 30% of your TAM doesn’t care
  • 7% of your TAM is open to a conversation
  • 3% of your TAM is actively trying to solve a problem you can fix

A lot of people think the purpose of their initial conversation with a lead is to take them through the entire buyer’s journey of not knowing about you to being a signed customer. Instead, Zach says, your job is to get them from “I don’t need you” to “I don’t think I need you.” Next, you need to get them from “I don’t care” to “I’m open to a conversation” and so on and so forth.

It often takes time to move a prospect through these stages, so focus on the long game. By understanding their buyer psyche, you can make them aware of the benefits they gain from working with you, address any objections they have, and take them through the TAM stages until they are your newest client.

[Sales Class] How to Build Better Sales Presentations with Alli McKee

Alli wants to help sales teams be better at three things: Develop a compelling narrative, present with better visuals, and use presentations to make sales more effectively.

Often times every rep on a sales team has a slightly different “franken-deck” that they present from, and most of the good marketing content goes unused. Instead, every rep should tell the same story using the same assets all while can customizing it in their own way to walk the prospect through their specific needs.

How to build your presentation:

There are several elements to building an effective presentation. First, Alli explains, is that you need to start your presentation off by showing how your product improves things compared to the “old way,” whatever that may be for your business. Next, discuss the value of your product and what they will gain by using it, followed by some type of proof like a reputable case study or testimonial. Throughout the presentation, there should be a compelling storyline to keep the audience engaged and interested.

Start your story with “Change” – Show the old way of doing things and the problems associated with it compared to the new, better way of doing things (and how your product plays into that). Focus on the pain of point A to show why getting to point B is valuable.

Talk about what is gained from your product – Discuss the gains from the perspective of the customer, not from your perspective or your product’s perspective. You want them to leave with a clear understanding of the outcome they can achieve with your product and the value associated with your service.

Show proof – It’s not just about volume (showing a ton of logos on a slide). Instead, say “everyone like you is using this” and provide relevant examples.

Add a storyline – Narrative matters, and pitches that include a compelling story have a higher success rate of bringing the discussion to the next stage.

How to deliver your presentation:

How you deliver your presentation is one of the most important pieces to the equation. This is where you get the attention of your audience and have the opportunity to take them on a carefully constructed journey using a clean slide layout, simple graphics, and a discussion that comes off as free-flowing.

Slide layout – When you have text-first slides, your audience is reading, not listening to you. When you have visual-first slides, your audience will look at the slide while listening to you talk about it.

Dont present directly from the proposal – Use slides with less text to help guide the conversation, as opposed to slides with a lot of descriptive text which can be sent to those who weren’t there for the meeting.

Simplify your visuals – Use easy to follow, simple graphics. Graphic overload can confuse the audience and lead to them being disengaged.

Keep it brief – Try to keep your presentation to under 9 minutes. If you go over 9 minutes, try to use that 9 minute point to switch to a demo or an interactive part of the conversation.

Following Up

By going through these steps you can show your audience that you’re conscious of their specific needs and not just going through the motions of a cookie-cutter presentation.

Follow up with a message laying out the audience’s situation today. Address their roles, teams, processes, tools, timing, and goals. Next, take the three biggest concepts/pain points that were discussed and show how specific benefits from your product will solve each of the three problems. This follow-up template can then be turned into their buying guide.

By taking Alli’s advice on building better presentations you can take your sales pitches to the next level, make an instant connection with those you present to, and land more deals.

[Sales Class] Negotiating Tactics and Countermeasures with Tony Perzow

In this course Tony Perzow lays out some of the most commonly used negotiating tactics and how to countermeasure them with authority and confidence.

Having a plan when going into a negotiation is the most important thing. Many of us go into negotiating overthinking everything that can go wrong, but good negotiators can push those worries aside and focus on shaping the conversation to get what’s best for them.

Tony also explains that negotiating involves taking risks and one of the biggest but most uncommon risks that a salesperson will take is saying “no.” Below he discusses how to use saying “no” to your advantage and to be an effective negotiator in the process.

Negotiating Tactics

The Nibble

One of the most popular tactics is called the Nibble. A nibble is a small and insignificant ask that isn’t a deal breaker and is usually brought up in the final stage of the deal closing.

Counter measures to nibbles:

-Saying “no, I’m sorry we never give that for free.”

-Saying “are you kidding?” which will catch them by surprise and not try to

-You can say “Yes, I’ll give you that, but since we are revising our agreement, i need to check with legal and it might take a few weeks” which will make them not want to deal with going through that process

-Say you need to speak with your boss first

The Squeeze

The squeeze is when a buyer nurtures and woo’s the salesperson, making them believe you are going to strike the perfect deal, but at the last minute say they need to have a better price.

When this happens, its suggested that salespeople stick to their original pricing and instead say they are willing to negotiate but can’t come down to the price they are asking for.

You need to speak with confidence when discussing pricing, this can include not over explaining pricing and taking a silent pause after quoting your price.

Countermeasures to the squeeze:

– “The Clinger.” The clinger is when you turn the focus of the conversation right to the 1 winning topic, 1 main pain point that you are going to solve for them, and remind them of the value you are already bringing at the original price.

-Buy more time. If a buyer is trying to get a better price off of you,  say “I understand that price is something we need to address, but before we do I want to make sure I understand your needs to make sure we can do everything we can to make this deal as valuable as possible for you.” By saying this, you open up the door to ask them more questions and take time to address last minute concerns and explain your value.

-Use the “if you” rule. Simply saying I will give you this if you give me this. A simple trade that makes the two parties even.

The Trial Balloon

The goal of the “trail balloon” is to say or do something to test the other party and get information about where they stand in the negotiation.

Try throwing a trial balloon at them like “can you help me understand what you’re looking to achieve with a 20% reduction in price.” Either they will give you a concrete answer that fully explains why the 20% reduction is warranted, or they will stumble over an explaination and show they are just playing a game with you, to which you can say “I’m sorry, the price is the price.”

The last tip and trick to counter measure someone’s negotiating tactic is to send a message that you are taking a few moments to genuinely calculate the price they are asking for to then come back and simple say “I’m sorry, I just can’t do that.” It makes your no a real and honest no because you showed them that you took the time to consider the offer.

Both new and experienced negotiators can benefit from trying out these tactics the next time someone tries to lower them on price. The key is sticking as close as possible to your original quote and don’t sacrifice anything without getting something in return.

[Sales Class] – How to Leverage Sales Automation to Land More Deals – A Lesson by Krish Ramineni

In this video course, Krish Ramineni explains that effective sales comes down to two things: your ability to be a great salesperson, and your drive to reach a large number of leads.

His theory is that the more people you reach out to and follow up with, the more chances you will have to be a great salesperson and close deals. To save you time and energy you can implement several easy sales automation tools and processes to manage and personalize your outreach messaging.

Sales automation has three main pillars:

The three pillars below are the main elements that will be in play when setting up any type of sales automation process, and each is equally important to make sure your strategy is successful:

  • Process: Your playbook, what you and your manager are figuring out to help you send out the right type communication to the right person.
  • Data: Your CRM needs to be updated, your leads list needs to be accurate
  • Tools: Leverage tools ot take advantage of the process and data that you have in place. Take 1 to 1 communication and turn it into 1 to 100.

Three key parts of Process:

Within the element of “Process” there are three factors: Outreach, Follow-ups, and Data Entry.

  • Outreach: Number of people you are reaching out to, number of emails you’re sending, “top of the funnel.”
  • Follow-ups: You need to follow up consistently, sometime up to 7-8 times, before finally getting a response.
  • Data Entry: Keep CRM and other systems updated so you know what your next steps after each outreach/followup.

Three key parts of Data:

Within the element of “Data” there are three factors: Conversations, Activities, and CRM.

  • Conversations: Qualitative information, asking questions, and insight into if a deal with close or not.
  • Activities: Actual actions you are performing. Number of calls you’re making, number of emails you’re sending, how busy you are
  • CRM: The CRM fields that tell you what stage a deal is, how big a company is, how many employees there are, what domain they are in, what job titles you are reaching out to, etc. This helps you understand and organize your information.

Three key parts of Tools:

Within the element of “Tools” there are three factors: Email Sequences, Dialers, and Scheduling.

  • Email sequences: Email outreach tools that allow you to create templates, craft personalized messages, schedule follow up emails, and track results.
  • Dialers: Power dialers that help you call outbound dialing lists and notify you when someone picks up.
  • Scheduling: Tools like calendly that help you schedule meetings with people without needing to email or communicate back and forth trying to pick a date.

Data tools:

Krish provided a list of data tool examples, including Clearbit, Fireflies, and Zapier.

  • Clearbit: Allows you to upload information from LinkedIn into CRM and do lead scoring.
  • Fireflies: Enters information from meetings into CRM by recording and transcribing the conversation.
  • Zapier: Allows you to take all the information that is collected from your apps and load it into your CRM.

How to be more effective at sales:

  • Outreach is important, but the other part of it is personalized and unique messaging. One way is to manually personalize the initial message, and automate the follow ups.
  • Leveraging new channels: Don’t just email and phone call, look at other channels that you can reach leads through. Examples can be through Facebook groups, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
  • Product Triggers: Reach people when they are visiting your website, or using your product. You can then send personalized messages related to their recent interaction with your product.

Sales automation helps you manage, optimize, and personalize customers journey. Even though it gives you the power to reach tons of new leads, it comes at the risk of becoming “spammy” so you must keep a balance of what is seen as friendly, personal outreach and generic and overly persistent messaging.