Startup Essential Workshop #5 – The Art of H2H
Today we start the second half of the Startup Essentials Workshop series with „The Art of Human to Human“. Next to Stefan Steiner from Venturelab, Christian Schaub – co-founder and CEO of Redbiotec – joined to explain the art of negotiation in a nutshell.
First Christian Schaub reminds us that the heart of a company is of course the offered product or service. However, sales and negotiation are essential if you want to be financially successful. Even if you offer the best product – with bad sales you will not be successful. But what are the key factors for successful sales? This is the question that we will focus on tonight.
Christian Schaub first introduces the four pillars of successful sales:
1) REALLY understand your customers
2) Find YOUR OWN way to success
3) STAMINA – be prepared for a marathon
4) Be radical – KILL leads FAST
Number one has already been emphasized in a past Startup Essential Workshop: who exactly are your customers and what is your offering to them? Knowing your customer and your market structure is an important factor for successful sales.
Pillar number two is not an easy one – you will encounter many people who will tell you that they know better. However, no one knows your market better than yourself. So don’t stop only because someone tells you that you cannot make it. Get inspiration from advisors and experts but be proud of having your own, independent vision.
You need a personal motivation that keeps you running through the long journey. Furthermore, make sure to choose the right pace for this journey, as you need to be prepared for a long marathon. If you are happy with what you are doing now, if you make sure to keep your batteries charged and if you have the right pace, after running for a long time you will eventually cross the finish line. All of this makes up the third pillar: Stamina.
The last pillar is: Kill fast – or in other words, seek for the best shot and walk away from unpromising leads. You will quickly recognize which customers are the best ones for your product or service and which ones are simply a waste of your time.
Now we know the background of successful sales and what needs to be considered. So we continue with the actions needed for that. The first thing we discuss is the “cold call”. Here one trick from Christian Schaub: “Ask yourselves: what would I ask if I was the customer? Then prepare answers to exactly these possible questions and practice answering them.” During such calls you should always keep in mind your main goal, which is to get an appointment with your client.
A successful cold call will then be followed by a sales meeting. During this meeting you should always be in the role of learning and exploring your client’s interests and problems. Optimally, you should be listening 70% of the time and talking the other 30%. Never try to interrupt or push your client and make sure to take notes during the meeting. Christian Schaub also emphasizes: “Impress your clients with your personal motivation. They want to feel the power and eagerness of the startup!”
After learning about how to have successful sales meeting, participants get the chance to implement all the tricks with a simulation. For that, one of the participating groups tries to sell its idea and gets grilled with challenging questions from the rest of the group, which plays the role of the clients.
After almost four hours, also the fifth workshop comes to an end. With our heads full of new inspiration and ideas, we are now ready to face upcoming challenges.
– Cristina Mercandetti, ETH Entrepreneur Club