Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Please elaborate on when to talk and when to remain silent. East med has been a commerce route for centuries, if not millenniums, is not strange that it is embedded on the culture.



I don't think that this can be fully communicated in a few lines on a post in HN. Selling is a contact sport. You really need to be there with the customer and develop a feel for how things are going.

For example, I've had sales calls where it makes complete sense to say very little and force yourself to be respectful of what your customer might be saying during the conversation, even if sometimes what they are saying is wrong. I've also had cases where I've had to put one of the people in the room down hard because they'd come off as "experts" when they really didn't know the subject very well. So, you have to forcefully (verbally, I mean) establish yourself as the alpha dog and then the rest of the pack calms down. I've also had cases where not a bit of business was discussed at all. We'd go grab a cup of coffee or lunch talk about all manner of things personal but no business. And then you go back to the office. The next day a purchase order shows-up along with a thank-you email.

You can't teach these things in a few hundred words. You have to experience them and, depending on who you are, your personality and your upbringing it could take anywhere from six months to two years to pick it up. Because I spent a good part of my young life in Argentina I picked it up very quickly. Argies are pretty fast.

I should also say that I saw this cultural thing play out when it came time for me to hire sales people. I really wanted to focus on engineering so, eventually, I set out to fire myself as a salesman and hire someone in. I must have gone through seven or eight people. Men, women, younger, older, with and without experience. They all sucked. It was frustrating. That all changed when I found this Iranian guy who was hell-bent for selling. He had that middle-eastern drive to make a deal and he delivered. He wasn't super-polished, but he could certainly sell. On more technical sales I'd just tag along to deal with whatever he couldn't handle.

Hiring a good sales person has been one of the most difficult experiences in my entrepreneurial career. Most people who call themselves sales-men are order takers. They can grab fish if they jump into the boat. A real salesman knows how to find and catch fish. Huge difference.


muchas gracias!, it is a very useful pointer.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: