I love helping small businesses design better sales processes and systems, and implement new tools. I still sell everyday! I’m actively and consistently selling $2M+ annually, across FL and the Caribbean. - Active Campaign admin. - SPI graduate - 3x Salesforce admin - Early start-up experience - Experience with Asana, Trello, G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and Consultative Solution Sales. ”Funcle.” Sailor. Runner. http://linkedin.com/in/stevejohnsonfsu
Hi! Having sold a number of different products and services to companies ranging from one man operations to Fortune 500 companies I believe I can help you get some clarity, despite not being an expert on retreats.
First- I'm willing to bet you have more questions than you listed. Is that accurate?
Do you think it'd be easier to talk it through over a call?
If so, schedule a call, and I'd be happy to talk you through these questions and assist with your whole sales process, your funnel, and goals, as well as the tools and tactics needed. One key strategy is at the end of this answer.
We're missing some key info, including - What type of retreat you're trying to sell, what's the price point, who are the target companies, etc... which would definitely help.
Absent these answers, I'll do my best to address your questions.
- Design the sales funnel after you have a lot more information about your customer and their buying behavior. I’m happy to help with this over a call.
- Prequalifying depends heavily on a lot of different factors we don't have just yet, but here's some general sales insight. The two best pre-qualifiers are: A) can they afford your product/service and B) do they have both an actual and, more importantly, a perceived need for it?
- Should you cold call/email? YES! That’s an emphatic yes. You can and should cold call/email/follow/connect/DM your target customers!
-Who to contact will be something you learn quickly when you get some more info.
-As far as what companies look for in a retreat - I have guesses, but I’m sure you know that answer better than me. Better yet, let your customer answer that for you.
To wrap this up, I’d say there’s a key strategy that would benefit you greatly at this stage.
Do some Sales Dev. Find a number of companies (I’d suggest at least over 100) that you’d believe could be your customers and get the contact info for the key roles that you think would be Power Sponsors or Decision Makers- I can help you with this step if you’d like. The best next step would be to set up calls to get more information (not selling, yet!) and the second best would be to email them a survey/form(I can help you set this up if you need). The goal of this action would be to find your questions above plus get all the extra information that will help you sell. Sometimes just having a contributing voice in a yet-to-be-developed product or service is cool enough to the participant that they don’t need extra incentive. It’s typically best if you incentivize their participation with some type of value add. Examples a % discount off the service when it’s offered, pre-sale discount pricing, access to aggregated information that’s valuable to them, and sometimes even a starbucks or amazon gift card.
Please let me know if this helped. This sounds like a fun and interesting business. I’d love to help out.
Hi! A lot of my customers in the construction industry run into the same problem. The dollar amounts, any legal considerations, and other factors, should all be considered, and I'm sure will make a difference in how applicable these suggestions are to you.
I would look into, or test, the following:
1. Changing your receivables process may rely on key Sales Process improvements. I'm happy to talk it through with you, and help you find the right solution.
2. You said it, but the first/best option is to make your customer the bank. Have them pay in draws/milestones/stages (whatever lingo their comfortable with) to cover your costs, and ideally pay you, as you go.
3. Offer a discount for paying the job up front and in-full.
4. I understand the bank offered a very small line of credit, but I imagine you'd do a bit better with a credit card. Estimate the monthly debt servicing cost per job, and charge your customer accordingly. This gives you the option to offer a discount if paid in full and upfront, without affecting your actual price or profit. ONLY exercise this option if you are disciplined enough to use the credit extended to you as intended and responsibly.
5. If you have a way of securing the short term debt, or maybe even if you can’t secure it, see if anyone you know who has some cash would be willing to buy options on your jobs’ profits or keep a running secured line of credit with you. If you don’t have anything with which you can secure a line of credit, see if working with an investor with small amounts at first, will lead to a trust and understanding of your business, that could lead to bigger amounts.
Examples- You win a job paying $100K, but it will cost you $50K before you collect the payment in full 30-60 days after winning the job.
a) You own a work truck worth $130K - use it as collateral to borrow $50k from an investor at a reasonable rate, for 30-60 days at time, to cover your costs until you can collect the full amount rom your customers.
b) Sell an Option on X% of the profits. In this example, the investor buys the option for $50K, and you guarantee, let’s call it 3% of the profit, plus their initial investment. When you get paid the full $100k, they get $1,500 plus their $50K original investment back. If you make more, they get a little more. If you make less, they get a little less.
I'm happy to jump on a call to talk through more solutions that fit you best or to follow up.
I’m not a legal or tax professional or expert. Do your own research and consult with someone who is a professional before using any of the ideas above.