One of the challenges I face as an “educator” for software products is that the developers want me to sell the software, while I want to teach people how to use it. Sales and marketing people don’t get that. They think that the teaching should happen after the sale. My contention has always been that the teaching is a much more effective way of selling the product.
Often times we demonstrate a product with lots of sample data so that you can see all of the bells and whistles. This can be effective and it can also backfire. Where it backfires, especially when you have a robust product is that while it all looks amazing, the “would be” buyer can quickly become overwhelmed and think things like, “yeah I’ll never be able to do that.” More than likely they will be too embarrassed to admit that. I have found that it is much more effective to first find out what they are trying to solve, then show them how the product will do just that (and nothing more) for them. Get them interested and then you can add as you go in terms of the other benefits.
One of the problems with selling is that you’re selling. I know that sounds circular. The point is that people don’t trust a sales pitch. They do, however trust an educator. The educator is there to help you while the salesperson is there to make a profit. Whom do you think the prospect will be more receptive to? I don’t need to sell a product because I don’t get behind a product unless I know it will do an amazing job at solving a problem or filling a need. The product has to do those things well and that also means there has to be an amazing team behind that product. Obviously I feel this way about BQE Software or I wouldn’t be here writing this. I would be somewhere else writing something else for someone else.
Based on the foregoing I thought it would be useful to do a series of short videos on BillQuick teaching you what it looks like when you start with a blank company. This gives you a much better context for what it will look like when you start out with a product. I am going to point this one at the bookkeepers out there. I think that group can benefit tremendously from a product like BillQuick and we have just the group on Facebook where I can let them know about this. It’s called Accountants, Bookkeepers, and Business Owners or ABBO and if you fit into any of the categories, please feel free to join me there. It’s an incredible resource with an amazing and large group of people in there who are only too happy to answer your questions about QuickBooks, BillQuick, Payroll, Project Management, and anything else you can think of that may at times present challenges for small businesses.
I am going to skip over the initial setup because I’ve already done videos on that. We’ll start with a blank BillQuick file and set up a customer and a project. This will take several segments because I want to do this for a sample monthly bookkeeping engagement.
Next we’ll set up a budget for this. Then we’ll enter some time and expenses. Then we’ll bill the customer in several ways. We’ll also pay our subcontractors and we’ll look at how to pay employees.
My aim here is to go beyond the claim I am making. I want to demonstrate by showing how many bookkeepers within our group get interested in using BillQuick to manage their practice. Then they will be that much better equipped as well as motivated to recommend BillQuick to their clients.
This is how you sell a product. By not selling it. Instead you show it to someone. Let them try it by putting it into their hands. With software you have to get over the intimidation factor and you do that by teaching your prospects how to use the product. Then they get interested because they see how to use it and start getting specific ideas about how THEY might be able to use it. That’s when prospects start asking questions aimed at getting closer to a buy.
There is much more integrity to selling this way because you’re not just trying to get a sale. You’re actually trying to help people. When you are coming from a place of wanting to help people first, and make money second, your stock goes way up. People will be much faster to trust you and then recommend you to others.
Let’s see how this goes and I look forward to getting your comments and questions as I embark on this journey right here in the BQE Software blog.