Okay, a bit off topic here (and a little weird, but that’s how my mind works), but hang with me…..
I was thinking last night about how much gets written about sales and startups. I consider myself a pretty decent sales guy with the conferences (and I did selling of enterprise software at Ping), so I thought I’d throw in my two cents.
To that end, I think you can view the salesman (I use that term generically to mean both genders, and purely for literary impact) through four lenses or modes: The farmer, the merchant, the artist and the warrior.
The Salesman as Farmer is the seed-planter. The person that fosters long-term, future relationships and partnerships. Often this gets called “biz dev.”
The Salesman as Merchant is transactional. They’ll focus on negotiating a price that sells, and make value for features the name of the game. Often, they want to default to “discounting.”
The Salesman as Artist is inspirational. When the artist sells, you feel inspired. Together, you’ll create something special.
The Salesman as Warrior closes. This is the trickiest mode, as it can be used for “good” or “evil” - the good warrior knocks down objections until your only option is to close to a yes. The bad warrior bullies the unwilling into buying something they might not want or need.
Here’s the thing: the BEST thing, and the thing that all salespeople should be striving for, is to embody all four modes simultaneously. The “perfect sale” fosters a long-term relationship, focuses on price for value, inspires and creates, and removes all objections (through mental aikido, not karate). The perfect sale is simultaneously farmer, merchant, artist and warrior.
How’s that for a little Saturday morning start-up wisdom?
btw: come to defrag.