Don’t make me think is traditionally a strategy used in UX design, but I strongly believe that the same applies to sales as well.
To cut through the jargon, Sales is about selling something which the buyer needs (or sometimes you just create a need). But unfortunately, many of startups/SMBs sell what they have (without giving a damn to what the customer needs).
As far as sales strategy is concerned, there is a huge difference between push and pull – i.e. you expect your customer to send you the ‘exact’ information (i.e. pull), vs.
To give an example, I recently tweeted about us looking for a designer (for UnPluggd brochures etc) and out of ~15 responses (on twitter+other channels), only 5 companies sent us an email. And out of those 5, only 2 sent us an email with their brochure (and earlier project) details.
First of all, expecting me (i.e. customer) to know what I need (i.e. complete design) is in itself a big flaw! Customers don’t know what they want and if you are a serious businessman, you’d know this much before the customer!
Secondly, expecting me (i.e. customer) to think what one wants is I believe leaving a lot of money on the table. Of all the other things I am handling, thinking about the design is probably the second last I have in my mind (last one is where is the beer
Who wins here? The guy who is providing the solution, the company which knows the theme of UnPluGGd and what design can suit the event (I give free hand to all our partners and let them decide and completely trust them on their decision) or the company that expects me to figure out everything (and give them the final version)?
The key here is to provide a solution and do consultative selling and not become so transactional in nature. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask – Is this the most important decision for me? If not, they what do I need? Somebody to just give me (credible) recommendations vs. somebody who asks a lot of questions?.
As a startup/SMB, your business is the most important thing for you – but need not be for your customer. And the earlier we realize this, the better is it for (y)our business!
What’s your take?