Tag Archives: salesman

Meeting tips by Captain Obvious – Day 109/139

Now that I begin the final 30-day countdown of my project, it’s a good time to return to the topic of sales. I’ve never actually wanted to be a salesman. But I’ve wanted to learn about salesmanship and it seems I constantly end up giving sales speeches anyway. The single most useful thing I’ve learned from all sales training it is this:

Always start a meeting with the following steps.

  1. Small talk. Just something to avoid an awkward silence. I’m not particularly good at this but it helps if you think of a topic or two in advance.
  2. Available time. No matter what you’ve agreed previously, recheck the available time. After the schedule has been confirmed, neither party should be in a hurry.
  3. Target. Every meeting must have a target. Preferably one simple understandable target that can be mutually agreed upon.
  4. Agenda. To get to the target there has to be an agenda. This can be a written agenda or just a verbal agreement on how to proceed to the target.

To remember this, there is a good mnemonic from the initials: SATA. Following these steps is not only useful in a sales meeting but in all other meetings as well. If you’re attending a corporate meeting, it never hurts to ask these questions. If you’re invited, you have the right to know why you are there.

The salesman and the engineer – Day 26/139

Allow me to generalize a bit

The Finnish people are probably one of the best R&D people in the world. We are persistent, trustworthy and loyal.

The American people are probably the best salesmen in the world. They are extrovert and audacious.

The Finnish mentality creates a number of technology startups every year. With a few years of government subsidized R&D we usually have a product at hand. Then we start selling our products.

The American mentality creates startups with a dream. They decide what they want to do and then sell their idea to investors to make it happen:

The startup: We can generate a million per year cash flow with this new solution.

The investor: But it will take you years to develop that technology and it is very risky and could cost millions.

The startup: Don’t worry, we’ve found a Finnish company that will do it for $10,000.

Don’t be the engineer. Be the salesman.