Cargologik, Marketing, Product-Market Fit, Relationships, Startup Sales, Uncategorized

The Joys of Early Stage Sales & The “Soft Guidance” Ask Gone Awry (CS#1!)

Decide to do a demo for a good friend of mine who belongs to a global leadership group. Members share their needs across the group.



My buddy, a member, upstanding entrepreneur, and fellow logistics stakeholder & entrepreneur here in Miami. We collaborate w our peers on city-wide initiatives w the Beacon Council.



We level set expectations….”not exactly what we do, but some of that functionality you’re looking for.” Nonetheless, the entire exec team hops on.



Sons of the owner/IT hop on first. Super personable, friendly, considerate.



Pops takes a few minutes to join, and when he does the conversation starts great. He starts sharing his problems and his needs.



I explain to him what we do, and explicitly mention PO management software – knowing that this likely wasn’t a deal in the first place (wanted to learn).



Father, who sees the demo for a whole one min, talks about how they don’t need new software and that they can just “trust” the broker/forwarder to hold up their end of the bargain. And meantime complaining also about how in 30 years he’s experiencing his first major transit delays trans-pacific.



He leaves 25 min into the call. I always appreciate being mindful of each other’s time, just like anyone else.



I DO NOT appreciate someone telling me that this is a useless demo and leaves abruptly, zero regards for his team who stay on and politely say bye to me.

It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, with regard to whatever industry, we can all benefit from having productive conversations. Even if “not a fit,” individuals should always be striving to have conversations that help stretch their thinking, perspectives, assumptions.

Especially companies that have been around for “30+ years.” In the same way, we seek to maximize conversations and ideas with larger, more enterprise players that we also know we have nothing to sell to.

It provides a trajectory, almost a “soft guidance input,” as you seek to define and flesh out your strategy over time. Especially the go-to-market, where things are fluid, and shift all the time.

Have you guys had any issues similar to the above where you encountered someone with the wrong mentality in a sales conversation? How do you navigate the scenario? Have you ever been able to salvage these types of interactions/relationships? Or do you just pass on them?

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