Let’s be real - nobody wants to take a meeting of a cold call or cold email.
What are you trying to do? Go 0-60 in one conversation and get complete strangers to tell you all about their problems, their weaknesses, and what keeps them up at night? It's like, I barely know you, you just called me out of the blue, and you want me to tell you all of that? Get real.
But what else can you offer to get these conversations booked?
Delivering Value Instead of Discovery Calls
Instead, your prospects are looking to be educated. That’s what they value. That’s how you can make the sales process less one-sided. They don’t usually expect a full, deep-dive demo on the first call, but they do want something for their time. That can mean info on industry trends, benchmarks, or assessments you’re providing - but it needs to be something they actually want.
So considering what you’re offering when you’re trying to get a meeting - is that a trade you’d take, if you were in the prospect’s shoes?
Probably not. Actually, it’s probably a hell no. Want proof? Look at your email archives or all the super-friendly connection requests you’ve gotten in LinkedIn and ignored completely. That’s what’s happening to your offer too.
So… if you don’t want to do a disco call with a complete stranger, why are you making your sales reps ask prospects for one?
A Better Way to Connect
Here’s what I’m doing with my asks instead these days. I legitimately need insight as we launch our product - I need to find out what the market wants, what the market is missing, and what the market doesn’t even realize it needs. I have plenty of questions: I don’t know if marketers or sales are my initial ICP, I don’t know which pain point or value prop will land the best yet, and there are a hundred thousand other things I don’t even know I don’t yet (my unknown unknowns).
So I’m asking experts to fill in that knowledge gap for me. While I’m having these conversations, I’m cataloging the answers and generating info on best practices and trends. I’m literally benchmarking as I go, and inviting the people I’m talking with to engage in thoughtful dialogues that will probably help both of us think about how we do our jobs - and sometimes (rarely, but still) that does lead to a selling conversation.
Conversations That Convert
That’s how we need to be thinking about selling in 2020, people. Stop asking for what you want if it only benefits you - instead, lead with what you have to offer that’s of value. Provide information. Then you’re earned the chance to ask for some back. And if it looks like a fit? Then you proceed into the selling motion. If there’s no fit, you’ve both benefited from this info sharing session and discussion, and you can both learn and grow. No one is left feeling frustrated or like they’ve wasted their time on either end.
Those emails - “I’ll trade you a demo if you do a disco call” - they have close to a 0% hit rate this year. You need a new plan. So what are you offering instead?
The Reprise Roundtables
Our Reprise Roundtables have been one big thing I’ve been offering lately - the chance to get in a (virtual) room with other industry leaders and talk frankly about what’s going on, what’s working, and where the problems are.
So far, I’ve met over 400 people through various avenues to talk about demos. Some are super interested in what we’re doing, and they have ideas and insights and a curiosity about what we’ll build next. These are the people who get invited to the roundtables.
What are the roundtables like? It’s an hour with about five of your peers - I group CMOs together, and CROs too, and I put SEs together with their peers. I organize the topics to be highly specific to your function and your expertise, and then together we hash out the details of those topics.
Before the session, I’ll share an update on what we’ll cover that day. Once the roundtable begins, we’ll have a very friendly, informal, informative chat about the day’s topic where we all learn something new. Afterwards, I’ll write up the content we talked about with credit (and thanks) to you for the valuable insights you shared. Sometimes our learnings go into a blog post, like when I talked about the current sorry state of SaaS demos, and sometimes it’s just a quick LinkedIn post. Either way, it’s saved for posterity and credited back to you.
It’s a ton of fun - and it helps us all out. It helps me nail down my target audience’s needs so I can serve them better. It helps our guests meet and network with other experts, and asks them some thought-provoking, tough questions they might have been avoiding.
Join Us Next Time
We do these roundtables pretty much every month. If you’re on my list already, I can’t wait to get you into a Zoom room. And if you’re not, but you want to be - please just reach out! We’d love to have you join. I promise you’ll learn something, you’ll teach me something, and we’ll all have a good time.
Really - here is a list of our upcoming sessions. If you’re interested, shoot me a dm:
- Your primary website CTA: what buying experience your customers want
- First call demos: is there an ‘overview’ approach to resolve buyer tension during discovery calls?
- Demo strategy: best practices on demo structure/how to segment and how many demo versions you need
- Demo maintenance: the art of building and keeping your demo environments up to date
- Free Trials in SaaS: how to condense cycles and cut costs ‘pre sales’
- AE/SE collaboration- best practices
- Product Experiences throughout your customer journey
Can't wait to have you join us!