In one of my early college internships when working inside sales and cold calling, someone told me “Sales is getting as close to a lie, without ever telling one”

Having aged a few years, and having helped make many of the buying decisions for Viddler, I could never disagree more.

It’s all about authenticity.


What traits does an authentic sales person have? I came up with a list of things that I would suggest to all future salespeople that contact me and other entrepreneurs like me:


1. Listen
If you are going to read a sales card and spew off facts for 10 minutes without asking my needs, maybe that will work on people that you are cold calling, but dude. I called you. I don’t need everything I read on your site reiterated again. Take a few minutes and ask “what are you looking for?”.


2. Respond like you listened
This is a good dating rule too! But not only respond like you listened, meet me on my level. If I am not talking big-game corporate wiz, don’t talk big-game corporate wiz.


3. I don’t care
I don’t care if you got your SVP of global operations to approve a deal.
I don’t care how great your CEO is.
I don’t care if you climbed 5 levels up the chain to get authority to get a discount.
I don’t care if you are going to get the VP of product on the line to reiterate what you just said.
I don’t care if you tell me how much you love my product, especially when you don’t use it
Not only do I not care but these “big company” things but they make me kinda worried you are not the right fit for my company.


4. I do care
I do care if you say I am going to need a few days to work this out with people on your side.
I do care if you shoot me an email during downtime that you may have noticed.
I do care if you noticed another Tweet about Viddler.
I do care if you actually use the site, and have insightful feedback on it


5. Respect your competition
Having respect for competition says alot about someone and character of the company. Saying “they may be good for this, but this is how we differentiate” is an authentic answer. Just remember the competition has references to offset anything myths that may be said.


6. Don’t repeat my name
“Well Rob, this is how much I know your name, Rob. And you know what Rob, I have salesforce pulled up and am reading our entire history of our calls…. Rob” This is what I interpret if you say my name over and over again. It’s just tacky. May work with others, but not me. Sorry.


It should be noted my inspiration for this post was when choosing a Managed DNS provider to help add another layer of Viddler redundancy. We ended up going with DynDNS and sales talent, Josh Delisle.


Viddler has not hired any sales people outside of the original team. When Viddler does hire this person, my hope is that we can find people, like Josh, that know how to talk on this authentic level with customers.

6 Responses to Authentic Sales

  1. Todd Troxell says:

    I hackernews’d you

    This is an awesome post, and I think lots of this stuff applies outside of sales.

  2. Erik Sandie says:

    Great post, Rob! I really appreciate the insight, Rob. =)

  3. Adam DesAutels says:

    Great post! I deal with people pitching me all day and you pretty much summed up what I look for too. Give me a sales person that will talk to me like a friend (honestly and genuinely) and not like a project/robotic task and they will make the sale.

  4. Doing an article about HTML5 and video embeds, re iPad. Would love to chat. How about adding an e-mail or phone number link to your website?


  5. Casey Schorr says:

    Totally agree. We started off with NeuStar Ultra DNS and their sales guys are THE ABSOLUTE WORST.

    You should have seen when we tried to cancel. They almost took us to collections even though our contract was up. Not to mention they couldn’t have cared less about our account over the contract term. We ended up switching to another service about 1/20th the price and after a few years with them this new service is fine, they are nicer, and we’re saving a boatload of money. I don’t care if you have as a client, how well are you going to service/ help a small business!!

    After dealing with hundreds of sales guys I almost always prefer the companies that focus on selling to smaller businesses/ the self-service model.

  6. barbour uk says:

    Great post, Rob! I really appreciate the insight, Rob. =)

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