Well, before you mentally paint a rosy picture about bagging big-ticket sales, by offering prospects assorted varieties of doughnuts, think what's stopping you from expressing yourselves as a honest & value-driven business the first place? This post throws light on a first hand account of the author's experience and a lesson well learnt, on why every single prospects matters! Any views personal. Typos regretted!
Talking about pricing, one recent find what we wanted to share was how illogical, and unassuming few startups assume clients to be fools. Ghost, a free-headless CMS, dubbed as a Non-profit, increased their prices from $19/month for 3 blogs, to $36/month for 1 blog. Medium, another competitor, decided to treat paying customers, paying content creators/writers like "containers", and that did not go well with blogs like HackerNoon, and Medium has lost more than writers in the process. It's best to stop writing like a bot, and stay disconnected from the noise. Disclaimer: As a paying customer for both of these platforms, and it's rather discouraging for content creators to pay intermediaries (like Ghost/Medium) for a creator's original content to be consumed by people/subscribers. Not that we love complaining, but when you start paying for your own content, its a massive rip-off, seriously!
Frankly, no one cares about the number of leads you generate per day, be it content marketing or plain vanilla writing. It’s about generating better leads and providing sales with more context on those leads so they can reach out with their insights. Most startups, romp up so much in promotions, that they forget what they are selling, and forget how they reached their the first place. Would recommend reading this post before you commit on your pricing strategies. More good posts coming up. And, kindly do subscribe!
Here's a good story,
Recently I'd participated in an event, a rather premium gala, with an entry ticket upwards of mid-5 figures. A new startup, touted as India's next big unicorn (and yada), just raised a series funding for a few millions from some VCs, had put-up a massively decorated stall, & was too busy handing out luxury pens for free, and a sign-up form.
When we hear the word FREE, its a human weakness to forget who's luring you into what, and take the bait. I approached the stall, and waited few minutes to speak with the founders, After 2 hours and 2 meetings, post lunch session, it was rather shocking none of the ex-IITian founders could explain how their products could benefit a small company (like mine).
Having read about their startup's funding, and news about how unique their product was pitched in the press, PR and marketing, I called up their sales team, and setup a 1AM meeting via Zoom. A bit surprised to find the salesmen squatting in prime real-estates of an island nation, chilling behind glass-door cubicles, with sun basking on horizons, when they should have been down at this event explaining prospects like us about features. A rather cold start "what's your budget!" The call went for 2 hours, overly-positive prospects of the company, and its funding, and 15 minutes all about increasing our curiosity, as if we really loved snake-oil talk! 2 hours, no product demo, and utter lack of modesty.
The call was a supposed to be a formal one, and a good 80% of time was wasted on praises for their startup's uniqueness, patents, and how they got a VC loan they nearly can't afford to payback, and how big their offices were! After a while, they begin to position themselves as multi-national corporate entity working only for big-ticket sales, and not small clients (like us!). Big question – Was it my mistake not to ask them in the first place "Would you work for small startups like us?".
The moment, these cocky salesmen started "lampooning" startups with their funding stories, rather explaining the product, they'd lost one client. Client relations are built on the right conversations with prospects. And, it does not take an expert mind to figure out the startup had no tangibles, but brick-batting their way to showing-off how successful their company runs. Every call is an opportunity that reflects the business. And, respecting good prospects is the key.
While the marketing bozos back at the event were focused on offering bribes, rather explaining even a little about their product at the event, many enterprising participants bagged this opportune moment to pocket a few dozen cases of free beer, and luxury pens. Sigh! Thanks to the freebies, and what a make-believe. In sales, this is called the law of unintended consequences, & check out this good story about what made Brits say India was a land of snake chambers!
And, having spent so much on freebies, the next move of this startup will be to make more money by raising on their false belief of having generated "organic sign-ups". Talking about opt-ins, although they heavily relied on using this data for prospecting offering bribes, to votes who would never convert! No, Thank you!
"... Make your buying process easier, even if few prospects chose not to buy from you, they will respect your business process."
The bigger problem is how fast they raise a bar on their prices, and start losing out small and long lasting clients. The price of any product is determined by "irrational beliefs" and expectations of market participants.(Ref. Greater fool theory) Example: Buying a investment property is a speculation someone will buy it later at a higher price. And, if some of these well-educated fools believe having bribed people with freebies, they would sell more of their worthless produce at a greater profit margin than what they had.
"... Your yardstick is how somebody treats you back!"
The key is to believe in your products/services. Inspire your customers to believe, too! If you don't treat your prospects when they aren't in your market, how do you think they'll treat you when they in theirs? Stay lean, and act small. Find the man with the problem, that's prospecting.
"... 65% of marketers report being unsure of what price is best for each stage in sales funnel."
Not everything needs a reaction. Tune into the noise, and only react to what truly deserves your attention. Live in purpose. Do what needs to be done. Your products speaks, not your marketing efforts. Whoever said sales was easy, is still lurking around doing marketing!
"... Its a commitment in sales to helping every single prospect, small or large, make the best possible buying decision."
Serve the buyer's needs, and sales will follow. If you are into sales, treat every prospect as if your career depends on them (because it does!). Treat each day like you're auditioning for your own job. What you're paid does not define who you are, or who you will become.
Stay motivated, Always!