Without sales you have no business. No
matter how brilliant your product or idea.
How do you do it with class? These 7 tips
come from notes gathered in a Seattle
conversation with: Do My Reminders
co-founder Sally J. Vilardi, Skytap’s chief
marketing ofﬁcer Steve Brodie, and Zango’s
senior vice president of worldwide sales Rip
Warendorf. The ideas they shared in 2008
hold true today more than ever.
Ditch bad ideas.
Don’t get caught up in emotion.
Set measurable targets for your
sales. Be willing to adjust and re-
assess to the reality that emerges
when you check numbers down
the line. Getting too many re-
quests for small projects? Con-
sider a self-service option that’s
available only online. If something
isn’t working, lose it.
Take the long view.
Sales and marketing are different.
Stay attuned. Sure, at the end of
the day it’s important to get cus-
tomers. But it’s also about keep-
ing them. Think beyond getting
your ﬁrst dollar in the door. Think
about how to offer great service
to the customers you already
have. Customer retention pays
Know the customer.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy proﬁle.
Can you identify your customer?
Can you tell us what they like to
do on a night out, where they
want to vacation, how they like
their eggs? Maybe it’ll take some
time to work this out. Be willing to
step out of a predetermined box.
Later, be able to stay on track
with what you know about your
Do what you say you will.
Know what you’re about, but also
be clear what you’re not about.
Be able to say, “My product does
this. And no, it doesn’t do that.”
Many people try to sell something
they plan to develop “eventually.”
Don’t do this. Deﬁnitely don’t tell
people you’re going to do some-
thing and then not do it.
Know the problem.
Find out where the pain point is.
Customers see you as a guide.
Do you know what problem
you’re trying to solve for them?
How can you be most useful? You
want to hear them say, “Wow, you
can do that? That’s exactly what I
need.” These people will be your
Build a case.
Build relationships. Build trust.
Tell a good story. Be willing to set
up “introductory pricing” to get a
few clients on board. Then build
your case studies. Ask people to
write references. Nicely.
People want to be heard.
Great marketing isn’t about
pushing sales. You don’t need to
get on the phone and press mes-
sages into the ears of other peo-
ple. That sounds like, “Blah blah.”
to them. Remember all those tele-
marketers who call at 5pm on the
dot? Good salesmanship is about
listening and learning. Not so
much about you, but them. Talk
to people. Ask questions. Learn,
Want to know more? Read this
book Integrity Selling for the 21st
Century, by Ron Willingham.
For more on well-rounded brand
design, talk to Design Kompany.