Mike Taber: “How to Sell Anything to Anyone” – MicroConf 2013

The MicroConf Europe 2013 Hub Page with all the information can be found here

Speaker: Mike Taber (@singlefounder)


A few Caveats

  • Sales is a Learned Skill
  • Sales is a Process
  • Sales can be used for Good… or Evil
  • It’s NEVER too late to iterate on your sales pitch

Emotional Triggers

  • Greed
  • Altruism (Red Cross & other NGOs)
  • Pride
  • Fear (AuditShark – fear of being hacked)
  • Envy (People will think I am stupid, if I don’t buy)
  • Shame (People will think I’m a douche if I don’t buy)

The Power of First Impressions

  • First 0.2 seconds -> First impression
  • First 2.6 seconds –> most influential time
  • Make sure your copy is great – good first impression
  • Website speed matters: +100 milliseconds load-time results in 0.2% lower conversion rate
  • “First impressions last forever”
  • To overcome first impression, you need to overcome it in multiple contexts

Stop Selling Software

  • People don’t buy software, they buy solutions to their problems
    • They buy ways to overcome pain
    • They are outsourcing processes
    • They choose to allow other people to build things they need
    • They don’t prescirbe to the “Not Invented Here” syndrome
  • Feature – Benefit – Valued End State (example: buying ski helmet with bluetooth)
    • Billy the kid: Bluetooth – Music/Phone Calls – Self-Esteem
    • Billy’s Mom: Bluetooth – Music/Phone Calls – Peace of Mind (call Billy at any time)
  • 2 people you need to pay attention to
    • the ones who just bought your software
    • the ones who just CANCELLED your software

Why are People moving towards your Product?

  • Ask new customers:
    • What other things have you tried?
    • Why didn’t those things work?

Iterate on your Startup Pitch

  • First Pitch is often aweful
  • “Buy a kazoo for a dollar and help Camp Good Days” – problems:
    • What the hell is Camp Good Days
    • Sales pitch is too long
    • People are conditioned to say “No Thanks”
    • Kazoos are worthless!
    • Kazoos in the hands of children are annoying
    • No relationship with the customer (==> you have to be upfront, tell about perks)
  • Revised sales pitch: “Would you like to help little kids with cancer? (Just buy a kazoo for a dollar)”
    • No one says “No Thanks” to this anymore
  • Bonus: Be a sexist. When approaching couples, talk to the woman (She’ll look at the man and he’ll be under pressure)
  • Use Remarketing & Google Adwords
  • Talk to people (They love to tell you how much their job sucks)
  • Use A/B Testing

Does Website Speed really Matter?

  • Yes, but it’s Google’s fault
  • It’s a perception issue, NOT a speed issue (Google is fast, so your site should be fast too)
  • Reframe Perceptions (“Do you want to search the deep web?” + 1 minute delay makes people value search engine MORE)
  • Flight search engines are delayed, because people think that the algorithm works harder for them & value results more
  • Sometimes lack of insight into what is going on, makes people angry & leave
  • Don’t tell customers how hard you’re working. Show them!
  • Change the basis of comparison (Don’t get compared to Google!)

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About Christoph

Christoph lives in Munich, Germany and is bootstrapping his own SaaS application as a part-time entrepreneur.

He likes to write on this blog about anything of relevance to single-founder bootstrapped software startups.


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