The Art of Reverse Sales: Why I Schedule a Call With Every Sales Person That Spams Me
If you are any type of entrepreneur you are probably inundated with cold emails, LinkedIn messages, and Facebook messages from salespeople at other SaaS companies. Every recruiting agency, web development agency, software tool, etc. is reaching out to you and flooding your inbox.
This probably irritates you, and you probably ignore it. Just leave me alone!
What if I told you that every one of those messages is not just a lead, but a hot lead.
Ok I lied, not every single one is a lead but a lot of them are. Here at Loop, we have a higher close rate and average account value of inbound sales than we do from organic channels. Huh?
What I am saying is that the average chance of closing a random sales spammer for one of our team members is higher than someone that naturally found us, went to our website, and started our inbound sales funnel. Even better, the account value of inbound sales leads is higher.
Why? Because companies with sales people that have a cold outbound program pumping tend to have money to spend and can afford another tool or service. With inbound sales, that is not as much of a guarantee.
So what is our process? First we qualify the lead. A lead is only useful if they or their clients can use one of our products or services. If you are serving a specific niche then you may be out of luck in this regard. If you make software that runs a very specific automation process in a factory, in a certain type of industry, then web development agencies spamming you are of no value to you because they can’t use your product or service. However, if you offer something that a web development agency can use (say an SEO service, software analytics, tool, etc.) then they may be a candidate for a reverse sale.
Make your Intentions Clear
The second step is make your intentions clear. Equivocally tell the salesperson we will not use your service unless you use ours. Make this clear to them on the outset before the call and don’t take no for an answer.
Calculate Expected Value
Next, estimate the expected value of their offering and the expected value of your offering. The expected value of your offering should be higher or equal to theirs. What this means is that if your product has three tiers of $49 a month, $289 a month, and free, and their service costs $150 a month, you should force them to sign up for minimum your $289 a month package. If you are paying more than you are getting, it is not a sale. The exception being if they are offering a replacement for a service you already use that is better or cheaper or are offering something you really actually need. Both those things are at your discretion and be careful. There is a fine line between a reverse sale and a reverse reverse sale.
Finally you have to close. They will set up a sales call with you and this sales call is your sales call as well. Your job is to buy into their offering and counteroffer your own offering. They either accept or they don’t. If they refuse to accept your offering, the interaction is over and tell them why. If they accept your offering, congratulations you just made a reverse sale. You closed the closer.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Just a Salesperson
The beauty is that, though you will often get a lot of bs back, the person you are selling to is strongly incentivized to accept your proposition because they want to close their side of the sale as well. One of the most common excuses you will get is that they are just a salesperson and that they don’t decide what tools or services the company uses. Any objection like this just accept what they say at face value and say “well that’s unfortunate but using our product is a prerequisite” and stay firm no matter what. Often, the person will magically get the power to accept a product or service offering or will “go talk to the person” who will end up approving the transaction.
Another tactic that will be hoisted upon you is that someone like the CEO or VP of marketing will message you but then, once you respond, they will try to defer you to someone else in the company, often an account executive. Save yourself the trouble and ask to speak directly to the person that originally contacted you. Otherwise, you will have to talk to the account executive first who will then have to set up a meeting with the decision-maker after, doubling your time to close the sale. Ask to speak directly with the decision-maker to start.