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Starting in B2B sales

It occurred to me that perhaps there are some newer people here who would like some advice, and since the average sales guru just tells you to go for a run and have a protein shake before work, as advice. I thought maybe this is a lot more needed than I originally thought. If you find this helpful, let me know and I'll post some more. All this advice is just what I do, it's by no means a definitive guide, and of course you have to be able to take this info and make it your personality, so it works for you.

 

So you’ve just landed an AE job, you founded a company, or fell into a SDR/BDR role and for whatever reason you are in a new city, you’ve never heard of LinkedIn and you have no money. I’m gonna walk you through some real basic stuff that I do to gain clients and the theory behind it.

 

Schools/Churches: Super easy businesses to get into. You know how many calls a principal gets a day? Like 2, probably both from his wife. He can’t wait to hear your shit. Give the school/church a call and ask to speak to the principal/priest/reverend/whatever. They would probably love to talk to you. Returns are small though, these companies are going to struggle to scrounge up 100k. Churches are the better ones, as some struggle financially, some really, really don’t. Especially in the US.

 

Government: Giant pain in the ass. Pretty much all government operates on bids. So you have to find those tenders, depends on your country where they are kept, but usually a website. You put together a package, bid on the job, and probably gets awarded to someone who had given money to whatever political party is in charge. However, if you get one of those jobs, you’re set. Especially a Standing Order. They have to buy from you all year.

 

Energy/Large bureaucratic type companies: These usually have a vendor list. You fill out a ton of bullshit, get your name on the list. This does basically nothing, unless you are literally the only one on the list that provides your service. HOWEVER, say an energy company is building a new power plant and you know about it. Assuming the project manager isn’t listed anywhere, call the front desk. Ask for the person working on the project, you’ll probably get transferred a few times. When you find the correct person, you want their email, not number, so really try to get that. The reason is: you know how busy important people are? They don’t wanna hear your voicemail, they don’t want to take your call. Get them to agree lightly first in email. The other way, as long as you have their name and company they work for, find them on LI. Follow them. And start adding value to their posts.

 

Comment intelligently, don’t say dumb shit just to comment. No “Good job”, “Agreed”, “Fo sho”. Say something like, “I really like what you said here, and you may like this related article over here, it talks a lot about that point you made there.” After doing this one or two times, then try to connect, wait a few days before trying though. When you connect have a note like “Hey, really liked what you said over here and we seem to be on the same page, would love to connect and keep up with what you’re getting up to”

 

Once you get connected, find a way to get them on a call. Some people use the I like to have a quick chat on the phone with every connection I make sort of speech. It works, and I have definitely had those chats before. It varies from person to person so this is a little harder to do, but if you can’t find a reason to chat with them on the phone, fall back to, “I just like to get to know my connections.” That call is when you ask what they’re getting up to, they’ll say building a new power plant, and you can get into it then, “oh that’s super cool, we’re actually on the list, we provide chairs, I’m sure you’re a ways away from chairs, but could I ask what you’re looking for in the chairs for this project so we can put our best match forward when the time comes?” (whatever, you get the point)

 

If LinkedIn fails, hit them with an email. Be short, and definitely include a picture of the product you sell. Make sure you look/sound unique compared to everyone else. You have like 2 sentences, to say who you are, and what you sell and why they should consider it. Then simply, end with, “Would you be interested in talking further?” If they respond yes, schedule a call.

 

Large Companies that operate properly: Find your target, VP and up is my favorite. Most AE’s will go after a Director of whatever they sell, when directors like a guy but their boss says “Nah, this AE is my buddy so we’re going to buy from him actually” guess who wins. Find one that has similar interests to you and is on LI actively. The reason for this strategy is that say I sell office chairs, and this is a VP of finance. He isn’t in charge of the furniture in the office. But does he sit in a chair? Does he go to boardrooms and sit in their chairs? Guess what happens when VPs bitch about chairs being uncomfortable. They magically get new chairs. So it almost doesn’t matter what VP/C-suite you pick, if their chairs suck, guess who’s suddenly going to message you and say, “Hey, you sell chairs right?”

 

You follow the same LI strategy as above with these companies, but they’re way easier to make sales with, because now you don’t have to apply for a vendor list and deal with that shit. It’s just nice and simple.

 

Now, all of these strategies depend on you having a hobby. The best hobby to have, is a side gig. Not F-ing Scentsy or some other stupid MLM. Start a real business, around a real passion and sort it out. Start a podcast about corporate culture. Start putting together a team to construct a weird co-working space that favors tech guys. Whatever. But you don’t wanna look like a yahoo to a VP. If he sees you as a gogetter and someone that has drive and ambition, you’re in.

 

An old Social Engineering trick is to get social proof that you’re verified. So if I look like I’m coming from your bosses office, you’re going to assume I’ve talked with her and she told me to come see you. If your boss sees you talking with me, she’s going to assume that you verified me. But nobody verified me. You can use this trick, with less malicious intent. If you add a founder of a tech company. And then go to connect with his friend, he’s going to see his buddy already connected with you. So you must be alright if he connected with you, right? This gets easier and easier, and the more you treat founders and CEOs like Pokemon cards, you’d be surprised how many people will add you if Aman Verjee connected with you, because you MUST be someone if he connected with you.

 

Next step is to find a nice suit. Just one. Check out Atelier Munro or if they’re too expensive check out SuitSupply. Both are fairly reasonable and will look good enough to get you into pretty much anywhere. No one checks for a Brioni tag at the door, but if your suit fits and doesn’t look like something a professor would wear, you’re in. Avoid anything white/super flashy color, anything super thick, or tweed. And get shirts that match your palette. If you’re a straight guy, and don’t know what season you are, google Am I a winter? And find one of the guides, find your palette and buy a shirt/suit in that color.

 

Next thing you spend money on is a club. Don’t go for a sports/yacht club. They’re great, but do you have 50k a year for a yacht club? Probably not. Can you cobble together 3k a year for a dinner club? Hopefully. Wear your suit, get into a club. Go for a tour, try to win them over. They might tell you to meet with a few high up members for dinner one night and make sure you’re not a clown. This is where the suit comes in, be the same person connecting with LI people. Share interesting info about you, show ambition and not MLM bullshit. Once you get in, you have direct access to the club members, but you have a place to take people for dinner. Now the fantastic part about this is, you don’t even have to take them for dinner there, if you’re offering to take them to the club, it goes back to the social engineering trick: if this premier club verified you, you MUST be someone! Most people think private clubs are a lot more than they actually are. So even if it’s 3k a year, they are going to assume it’s 50k a year.

 

Now the rest is up to you, you’ve got to be able to take people out for dinner and not be a complete jackass. Hopefully this helps get leads, and once you do your first year like this, you should be able to live off the compound network from there. Anyway, let me know if this helps you and maybe I’ll write some more. Feel free to drop some more knowledge below too, this is to help new people, not start the Prizrak Sales Guru career.

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👑 Sales Strategy
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7
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
Appreciate your time in laying this down. 

Just one tip - this can be written much shorter (I mean the same message can be delivered with half-size text)

Good luck in the relentless world of sales!
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
Haha, appreciate it. Usually I spend a bit more time on copy cutting everything out. I feared being vague like the sales gurus so I kept a lot in. Thanks for the feedback, I'll try to keep it shorter next time. :D
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
You've so elaborately explained. First, appreciate the time taken to post for the community

Second, the insight given in terms of large comps - perfect
Lastly, you ended on a high🔥🙌
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
Thank ya sir. Glad to help.


Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Thanks for taking the time to write this all up. Some really good tips in there about how to have success as a salesperson.
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
I'll try to do one for B2C next. Thanks for reading.
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
This is brilliant! 
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
Thanks, I've had a pretty interesting sales/entrepreneur career, unlike Gary Vee, so I'd like to give people real advice they can use step by step. Hopefully I'm more bearable than Gary Vee to listen to as well. 
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
This is the type of stuff I wish I would have been told when I first got started. And 6 years in, still very helpful!
Nairobi
Politicker
+7
BDR
Nice thanks, where do I subscribe for more of this?
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
Haha right here. Maybe one day I'll start a newsletter like those big VCs do. But for now. I'll just post on here.
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In a Sales Rut during ramp. 🆘
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