Noel Allnutt gives 9 pearlers of what he learnt during his 3 years at Solista
Today, I want to look back on the past 3 years and share a few lessons that we have learnt on the journey.
- You can’t win them all!! No matter how much we love the technology it won’t always be a fit…… and that’s fine. Lose fast – customers respect us for walking away when it’s not right for both parties. Many of our recent client wins said no to us the first time round.
- Celebrating the little wins is as important as the big ones – we have often learnt more and solved a more pressing problem from the small, strategic wins.
- What we don’t do is as important as what we can do – our customers need expertise, precise product knowledge, demonstrable experience and good service, not lengthy product data sheets or service catalogues.
- Competition is good – embrace it, don’t fear it. For example, the noise and competition in the storage market has validated our strategy, without us having to spend too many advertising dollars.
- Turning up is half the battle. Being proactive, picking up the phone and making the extra effort to meet people, beats days strategizing on a white board. Clients will tell you what they want when you see them.
- Listen, Listen, Listen……. customers are smart!! Decision making in the digital era has changed the way we sell and people buy. Over 60% of the buying is done before we meet our clients, whether we like it or not.
- Cold calling is not dead!! 78% of sales started from a cold call or LinkedIn invite. If you have something of value and relevance people want to hear about it.
- Work closely with your suppliers. We resell other companies products, so it’s imperative that the supplier and reseller are on the same page. We can’t possess all the knowledge. Win and lose together, but always work in lockstep.
- Keeping a very relevant portfolio is vital to meet growing demand and onboarding new customers. Many of our clients had a good relationships with their pre-existing vendors or resellers, but their offerings were not relevant to the needs of the customer anymore.
It’s been an amazing journey, here is to the next 3 three years, many more customers and lessons to be learned.