I’ve been asked What makes you so special? It’s a good question. Allow me to provide a good answer. No false modesty, just the reality:
Experience. I have 30 years experience selling and building teams. Over 140 so far. Big deal… experience alone is worthless. Someone can have 100 years experience doing the wrong thing and all you get is an expert in screwing things up. I have 30 years of progressively doing more things right than wrong, and then doing them better the next time. I know what I am doing and like doing it.
Real-World Research. I think when I sell and when I work (not everybody does so). I see what works and what does not. I test my assumptions. I experiment. I take risks. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve accumulated a huge amount of hard-won knowledge. I wrote it down. I edited, refined, added more, and continue to do so.
I Sell Dreams. CEOs are passionate and enthusiastic about their business, products and visions for the future. If I share your enthusiasm, I will sell your dream, probably better than you can, to the sales team and others (like investors). I know how to package reality and spin it. I will convert skeptics into evangelists. We will work together to accomplish this miracle. Sales reps, like everybody, want something to believe in. A place to belong. We will give it to them.
I Sell Value. Pricing is more often than not completely variable. For invisible products, like software and website-centric services, hard costs are mostly for development and infrastructure and are amortized. Variable costs, costs that are incremental for another unit sold, are miniscule. The key here is to sell it for as much as you can get. This is only accomplished if you know how to sell, can communicate value, and do it inspirationally. I can create a team that can sell more units at higher prices. My fee becomes invisible in that you will net more with me than without me regardless of my margin requirements.
Time to Market. For many products the only defense against the competition is to capture the market first. Patents are worthless, there’s always a work-around. Forming relationships (the best being when they give you money) is a better strategy. I can grow a virtual team way faster than a traditional salary + office space + overhead approach. With less risk and better results.
I Speak Geek. My first career was in engineering. I have a degree in physics (and some others too). I will understand you at whatever level you care to communicate. Better yet, I can translate so a 12 year-old will understand. That my friend, is non-trivial task. I can create realistic spreadsheet models so that we don’t walk of a cliff. I can recruit propeller heads if that’s what we need to reach your market.
Closers Like Me. Why? Because I’m one of them. We speak the same language. I have earned the right to be their boss and they’re down with that. I make them money, and they really like that.
I Write. I wrote every single word of this website (and many others). I built the sites myself with no outside help. I create my own training manuals and everything else needed for my projects. This may not sound like a big deal until you consider the alternative. I also wrote the eBooks on sales training and teams that you will find in the Resources section of this site.
Track Record. I have had huge successes and also projects where the results were disappointing. The former is because I know what I’m doing and found a viable project. The latter because I will take on unproven start-ups and other unpredictable situations. Like a senior heart surgeon that takes on patients that other surgeons won’t touch, the mortality rate is bound to be higher. I was however always successful in finding out what works and what does not.
I’m Still Hungry. I have no “comfort zone.” I’m not fat and lazy. You best be sure that the guy in the foxhole with you has something to live for and will do whatever it takes to make it home alive. I’ve got your back. Some of you know what I’m saying.
VCs Like Me. If you intend to raise money you should know that investors look at your management team first. Not products, dreams or fantasy spreadsheet projections. Adding me to your team makes the VCs feel warm and cozy knowing that I will make sure sales happen and fast. They like sales because without sales they are required to dump their good money into the black hole you created or walk from their investment. They don’t like that.
Fun. I retain a sense of humor even when things get difficult or just plain weird. You may as well enjoy the journey because your million dollars at the end of the rainbow won’t buy you an extra second when your clock times out.
No Bullshit. I will tell you exactly what I think. You may not always like it, but if you’re as good as you say you are you’ll appreciate it. Would you rather have some head-nodding, ass-kissing sycophant?