hey hey! - I'm 6ish months into Meow. I'm leading our go-to-market engine. But it bleeds into product / ops too.
However, my most important job is closing sales.
For the uninitiated, Meow helps startups earn more yield on their cash with ~5% US Treasury Bills and a ~4.3% checking account.
Our most important metric?
Assets under management (aka dollars on the platform).
Well in my first 100 days, I closed $100 million.
I've been drinking from the sales firehose - but also studied the best and stole the rest.
Here's my 10 Principle Manifesto for closing sales - it's free of fluff, hyper-specific, and devoid of bullsh*t.
This is the manifesto I wish someone gave me 6 months ago.
So here it is...
1) Idle Time Kills All Deals
After your first meeting, every second makes the deal more likely to die.
Example: A Head of Finance was in for $10M. He gets fired the day before onboarding. Then, the CEO punts a treasury management decision. The deal dies.
Treat every passing day the deal isn't done as an existential crisis.
Concretely, this means fight to book your follow up meeting for the next day not the next month.
And reply to a customer email within seconds to tighten your feedback loop.
2) Create Credibility Quickly
I sell to CFOs and founders.
Do you know who has 0 credibility?
A rando sales guy from a company called Meow that they've never heard of.
How do I handle this quickly?
Start with a 60 second background which includes Yale, Goldman and that Meow raised $30M from top-tier investors.
Immediately establish credibility or no one will listen to your pitch.
3) Never Leave Without the Next Step
Never. Ever. Ever leave a meeting without a clear next step.
99% of the time this means booking the next meeting while you're in the current one.
You also avoid wasting time on calendar gymnastics so you can follow Principle #1.
If they're hesitant, they will make an excuse to "follow up over email".
This kills momentum.
In that situation, your best option is email immediately after the call with next steps summarized with decision points.
Or you can do this...
4) Beg for Objections
You may be crushing a pitch. But when you talk about next steps, the person is dodgy.
They have a few secret hesitations.
So this is what you ask:
^ They will offer objections that you've heard 100 times before.
Transparently handle these concerns.
And then follow Principle #3 by booking the next meeting or submitting an application.
If you don't do this, you lose the deal or another stakeholder will voice the concern and your point of contact won't have an answer.
5) The Soft Touch
Do you know what pisses people off?
Bothering them every 3 days with a "Hey friendly follow up here!"
You need to be persistent... but also you need to avoid being too annoying.
After you get ignored a few times, toss in a "soft touch":
- Request to connect on Linkedin + like a few posts
- Follow them on Twitter + like a few tweets
- Add them on Slack
I can't tell you the number of times these "soft touches" prompts the person to remember me.
And follow up on our conversation via email :)
6) Kill Friction
I'm so obsessed with friction I wrote a whole post on it here.
The main point: If you want more customers, kill friction.
What I mean: Treat every action a customer takes towards using your product as a miracle.
This is how carefully you need to design your onboarding experience.
One trick I love:
Get the onboarding application done live on a Google Meet or IRL.
Realize that your product is not their #1 priority... so book time to get it done or it never happens.
7) Arm your Champion
For Meow, our more mature customers have VPs of Finance that make treasury management decisions.
That Head of Finance will likely need to pitch Meow to their CEO or board.
Do you think a random VP of Finance will pitch your product better than you?
Of course not.
Arm them with the ammunition to succeed... make it a few bullets in an email.
Or a simple 1-pager or sales deck.
If you don't do it, all the key points get lost in translation.
8) Fearless Pursuit
Let's be blunt. Sales boils down to grit and persistence.
Example: I followed up 27 times across email, phone, text over 3 months before a CEO wired $2M.
Was he still interested?
But you'll be ignored for 100 different reasons. Don't take it personally. And don't give up.
9) Be the Last One at the Party
Most of the time your prospect will take multiple pitches before choosing a product.
Do you think they have perfect recall of all the differences?
Of course not.
Therefore, make sure you get in the last word:
Example: A founder raised $13M and was ready to use Meow for $10M. The next day, he talks to my competitor. He decides he wants to use our competitor. I immediately call him and point out all the obvious flaws - we win the deal and he wires $10M.
Always get the last word in.
10) Get off Email ASAP
Know who blows up busy people's emails?
Random people they don't know.
After a good meeting, get someone's phone number, Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, or connect on Slack.
It's much harder to ignore you. And you will compress the response time so you can follow Principle #1.
Okay, we made it!
What did you think? Hit reply with a 1 word reaction.
See ya next time,
p.s. if you loved this, forward it to a friend. If you hated this, forward it to an enemy.