A few words about me. I registered my business at the age of 18 and have been a salesman ever since. Starting with small promotion jobs, I sold everything from breakfast cookies, chocolate, Coca-Cola, Glaceau vitaminwater, ZICO coconut water to car2go car sharing memberships (and much more). I had so many jobs that I can’t even remember all my clients and brands I worked for.
With all these jobs, I learned early on how to approach people, how to deal with rejections, and how to inspire people for a product with my enthusiasm.
I quickly realized that I was excellent with people, and I was pretty skilled at selling. Since I didn’t get a single cent in sales commission for my first jobs, I wondered one day why I was actually earning just as much as my less motivated colleagues despite my sales talent and dedication. So one day I decided to only do jobs with attractive sales commissions.
I’m sure you’ve noticed at some point that a consumer electronics store not only employs its staff, but also numerous salespeople from specific brands. For a few years, I was one of those salespeople, for example, for ECOVACS vacuum cleaner robots, LIBRATONE speakers, and the Oculus Rift VR headset. Finally, I earned a pretty attractive commission for students and realized how addictive it was to earn money with each sale.
Looking back, these numerous jobs were probably the best sales training I could have ever received. Who can say they were literally a vacuum cleaner salesman?
Then, while still in college, I founded my first B2B start-up. My co-founder and I developed a digital signage and augmented reality solution for entertainment and advertising in bars, cafés and restaurants. While my co-founder developed the technology, I was mainly responsible for selling the solution and getting the first customers.
To validate our idea and get the first customers, my co-founder and me, personally, walked through the entire Old Town of the city of Düsseldorf to talk to every single owner of every restaurant, bar, and café we could meet. So within half a day, we not only gained enormously valuable feedback, but also acquired our first pilot customers. Of course, this didn’t scale, so I got involved with cold calling for the first time. I quickly realized that cold calling, while somewhat similar, required specific techniques beyond the face-to-face selling that I had mastered so well up to that point.
So, I started learning everything I could about cold calling and began using and testing all the strategies and techniques. Everything that actually worked, I incorporated into my sales repertoire.
I then joined a young technology start-up as its first employee. My main task, over the past four years, was to sell the developed technology to other companies. Using cold calls and systematic visits to trade fairs, I succeeded in generating an enormous number of leads for the company, to whom I sold the technology together with the technically oriented founder of the start-up. This is how we managed to win the first major B2B customers, which brought the company to profitability.
This book is not about theory, it’s about practice. I’m giving you everything I’ve learned over the past ten years. With the goal of giving you, as a start-up founder, the most important tools that work in the real world so that you too can reach profitability in the shortest possible time, through the targeted cold calling of your dream customers.
On your way to your first or your next customer, I wish you success and all the luck in the world.