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An Open Letter to Simon and Schuester CEO Carolyn Reidy

Hi Carolyn,

Sit down before you read this.

We've got to talk.

Look. This is going to piss you off. This is going to look like I'm causing problems.

I'm not causing problems. I'm just pointing out where problems already exist.

Learning to Sell: Part 2

On Lawrence He

Since Part 1, I’ve been trying to ramp up my sales skills and actually close a sale.  So I bought 3 sales books.  The problem with these sales books is that they are mindset oriented rather than action oriented.  I’m looking for a technique or a script I can use today, whereas instead these books give general advice on trying to understand the customer.  I agree that this is something that I should know, but is not directly applicable. 

One of the key things I learned is that selling to VITOs (Very Important Top Officers) is a lot different than selling to common small business owners.  VITOs are hyper-busy and want you to be direct about your offer.  Small business owners on the other hand, appreciate small talk and compliments.  They like formalities and building friendships before buying. 

I also learned some copywriting.  It’s surprising how difficult writing a simple email copy is.  It’s also surprising how little material there is on teaching writing small business email copy.  I’ve asked Sebastian Marshall and Daniel Odio and they’ve offered suggestions.  Sebastian told me that I needed to shorten my copy, and to have a stronger call to action. 

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