Why Thinking Like A Salesman Gets You Ahead

Any developer knows that good software programs take time to create. Even in the advent of no-code platforms like bubble.io and Honeycode, nothing spectacular is achieved overnight. Despite that, visual programming tools continue to revolutionize the face of technology’s evolving landscape.

Given how innovative the app development industry has turned out, experts will still point out how crucial one positions new technologies in marketing products and services and better convey ideas and solutions.

Because the foundation of impacting enterprises shapes how money and time are spent, it’s essential that one remembers always to sell the solutions first. As advertising gurus push for primarily selling lifestyles and not commodities, the same goes for software development.

Don’t sell technology. Sell solutions.

Sales skills benefit anyone. It doesn’t matter if what you are is a copywriter or a customer service agent. Anyone who knows how to get the point across and persuade an audience thoroughly is sure to find his way in life. This reality is equally true when it comes to the software industry. A developer’s ability to sell quickly sets them apart from the existing pool of developers.

Present arrangements often leave the selling to marketing departments and sales experts. And while this is the obvious thing to do, developers who have a penchant for sales don’t only up their chances of raking in more freelance cash, but they’re also more able to sell ideas that matter.

Ultimately, the capacity to sell solutions is what matters the most.

When you speak with traditional entrepreneurs who want nothing more than to realize a brand and vision, you’re more likely to succeed in closing deals. Amplify the advantages of a solution versus discussing the bits and details of technical fluff.

Identify areas of opportunities before building solutions.

Similar to changing your car’s oil, you’re less likely to give in to a gas boy’s offer if you feel that your vehicle functions just fine. That being the case, if someone makes a sale that isn’t particularly tied to a significant problem, then there is no urgent need. Although a change in engine oil may benefit you now, you can never honestly know unless a diagnosis has been made.

Case in point, if there isn’t a clearly defined problem, no solution is warranted.

This aptly applies to the world of software.

It’s true when they say that invention is the mother of necessity. Entrepreneurial developers don’t build software in the hopes of it finding an audience. Instead, they look for problems and create solutions for them. You significantly reduce your ability to sell when solutions arrive before a problem is even made known.

Dialogues are important

Any superb salesman will tell you that the first step to making a sale is to emphasize the need for a product or service to be bought. When approaching clients, make sure they know you understand exactly what problem they’re trying to fix. And for that to happen, you need to master your line of questioning.

What’s the reason for the project’s inception? How large a problem are they working with? How broad or specific is their market? What initiatives, at present, are they taking to help solve that problem outside of an app if any? 

Clients aren’t used to conversing with developers who help them take care of the problem, so they’re most likely to approach you with a solution in mind. Work backward to gauge how fair, reasonable, and feasible a client’s problem is, and restate it when applicable. “If my understanding is correct, the fundamental problem your app is trying to fix is (x).” When you get them to agree with you categorically, you know you have a good grasp of their issue. Otherwise, keep a conversation alive to ensure everyone’s on the same page. 

Once you’ve identified an ethical problem, examine the solution at hand. There’s a fifty-fifty chance your client’s answers to a problem are wrong. Respectfully assert your thoughts when you feel that specific solutions don’t fly, but never deprive an approval when your client’s explanations make sense. As you may already know, validation goes a long way in app development.

The way you phrase your words play an essential role, too.

Be very meticulous about your technical knowledge. Developers are most likely to overshare and use jargon when they feel like a project is well within their horizon. Focus on a client’s solutions, and don’t ramble about new technology. For instance, instead of saying, “Have you considered technology z?” Say something along the lines of, “If the problem is taking a lot longer to remedy than expected, better solutions are available. In my experience, technology x does the job quite well because so and so and so and so. What do you think?”

People like your clients are used to being the problem-solvers in their organizations, and that can be a handful. When you aggressively approach them with solutions of your own, this may impact their confidence on a project and re-think if reaching out to you was the best choice. Make them understand that you’re a partner to them and that you know just what to do.

At the end of the day, letting clients understand that you share their vision and are taking active steps to build actionable solutions is the best sales tactic any tech industry insider can use.

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