Startups · Sales Strategy

How did you make your first sale?

Benjamin Bertelsen MSc in Digital Innovation & Management

September 27th, 2016

No question that we all treasure this memory and that I am sure it was for you a very special moment. How did all go down on your end?

Kyle Bailey Managing Director at Frontburner Marketing, Speaker, Author

September 28th, 2016

I will differentiate between two things: my first sale and my first significant sale. I am in the services space, with Integrated Digital Marketing as my over-arching demo. Specifically, I offer Sales Process, Content Marketing Strategy, and SEO & SM services.

I made many small sales starting out, but they were not to the correct market. My pricing was not correct, and I was taking any deal I could get. As I learned more about my market, I began to understand that certain people, even if they wanted to buy from me, were not a good fit either because of the nature of their business or because of incorrect expectations.

My first significant sale occurred because of a change in my positioning, from one of speaking to "nuts and bolts" of the service, to changing to "benefit delivery" language. What will the customer experience? What problems will this solve? I had also dramatically increased my prices, and at first, this customer balked and turned me down. But when I asked him one question, he went from balking to buying.

Here's the question I asked him: "What is the lifetime value of a customer for you?". We talked about a few details, then worked it out that it was about 10k. "So if I bring you, conservatively, 1 new customer per month, that's 120k of value per year, correct?". He bought.

Because I spoke to the benefits he would receive, instead of the common mistake that we sales people commit of trying to defend price (aways a mistake), our discussion stayed on his side of the table. Because I had done my research and had absolute confidence in my value, I was able to communicate that to him.

Kyle Bailey