So I was chatting over a cheeky pint or three with a landlord of a couple of desirable pubs in Central London.
There’s apparently a new app rush in their world;
“Order your pint from your chair.”
Competition has emerged between at least three players heavily promoting themselves around the bars of the capital (Orderella, Bar Pass, QikServe).
The landlord I spoke with was dubious towards their product. Even more scathing about the way it was sold.
One particular vendor has a salesperson and a technician walk the streets to pitch.
The salesperson was described to me as “too salesy”.
Which is never a good sign.
Yet the technical partner was considered “much better than the rep”.
The gist is that the salesperson was pushy, talked too much, didn’t listen and was incredulous that she couldn’t see the alleged wonders of their miracle app. Whereas the techie was diligent, tried hard to explain it all and although not polished, was genuine.
I couldn’t help be struck by how this sentiment prevails far and wide beyond this licensed trade example.
There is significant skill required to properly pull off the teamwork required in rep-techie duos.
Indeed, the first step is to acknowledge that such a format is actually beneficial to what you’re selling.
Buyers trust techies. Buyers are wary of reps.
(This, by the way, is especially true for “new” products.)
So to pitch in such fashion is pretty much always a winner.
How you combine the roles into a seamless successful pitch can be the key.
In my Nineties selling-on-patch days, I experienced working with several demo dollies.
That can be used as a pejorative term, or a teasingly praising one.
Sadly I did suffer from being paired with techies that avoided rehearsal, didn’t bother bonding with our audience and rushed headlong into demos. All without allowing me to establish even the faintest of remote need. Rendering futile my attempts to try tend the barren land that was the dried out riverbank of promise where the torrent of salivating juices should have raced forth.
A good techie, on the other hand, is priceless.
They add credibility you alone cannot gain.
They open doors into real needs you could only guess at or assume.
They know how to let you concentrate on the selling process.
They crucially distinguish you from any other form of competition.
They make the post-sale working partnership visual and attractive.
If you operate as pilot/co-pilot, then are you flying towards such exotic horizons?
If you are not, then here’s three initial steps you can take to smooth turbulence.
1. Approach: Get the set-up right. Ensure the roles are fully accepted. The later you leave the specific technical show, the better. Sensing when to shut up is rarely as vital as in tandem selling.
2. Structure: What are the meeting’s trigger points, gateway moments, closing routines? How do you recognise the signals and pass the baton between the two of you?
3. Results: Know what the outputs and outcomes should be from the session. Understand the variations that can occur. Deduce how to navigate when a meeting doesn’t go according to the preferred perfect route.
I guarantee you’ll then be way closer to success than London’s beer app boys.