- Feel that excitement?
Feel that vigor?
How has everyone's day been so far?
You got keynotes, you got acquisitions,
you got Kelly McGonigal.
You've gotten everything that you could imagine
for day one of Clio Cloud Conference number six.
Can we give it up for that?
And I know that we're getting close
to the end of that day, and I know
that your energy's maybe getting a little bit lower.
You're gonna drop it to the floor soon in that second line,
but we still have a really exciting
presentation for you coming up.
Now our next presenter is, I would say,
a close friend of mine,
or maybe just someone I have met before.
He is our Senior Vice President of Sales at Clio.
He has brought a complete attitude to Clio
that has really helped propel us to where we are today,
and keep letting us do what we do.
He's going to be talking to you about how you,
as a lawyer, are also a sales person.
But you don't wanna hear it from me,
so without further ado I'd love to introduce
the one and only Steven Silberbach!
(audience applauds) (man in audience yells)
- (laughs) Thanks, Jesse.
Glad we don't have to cart you out of here on a stretcher.
You almost went down. (audience laughs)
All right, good afternoon everybody.
I'm excited to be here.
My name is Steven Silberbach as Jesse said.
I am the Senior Vice President of Global Sales here at Clio.
I've been with the company for over five years
and I've been to all six of our Clio Cons.
This one is undoubtedly the biggest and best.
It's been an amazing day so far.
I hope you guys are having a great time.
Yeah, let's hear it.
So we're in the big room, which is awesome.
This is a big room.
It is impossible to make this room look full
when there's three other amazing presentations
going on in the other rooms.
But I'm gonna do this for my LinkedIn profile anyway.
And we're gonna call it standing room only,
regardless of what it actually says in here.
Thank you very much.
All right, we're at it. (laughs)
My goal today is I wanna have some fun.
I wanna give you some new things to think about.
I wanna help you maybe get some more business,
but certainly think about your business
in a way that maybe you haven't thought about before.
That's our goal today.
If you come out of here and you've learned
something and had some fun then I'll consider
it a pretty successful 30 minutes.
So the official title of my talk today
was Every Lawyer is Also a Salesperson.
And I kind of actually completely believe that.
I'm not a lawyer myself, obviously.
I've been in tech, tech sales,
tech leadership, my entire career.
But because of that, I'm really excited
to talk to you about how I think about selling,
and more specifically how we together
can think about selling value.
That's where I'm gonna spend the first part
of my discussion, that sell high piece.
And in the second part, I'm gonna kinda flip it around,
completely change directions a little bit,
go to the buy low piece, move the negotiation table
to the other side, and give you some tips and tricks
about how to be an educated buyer
of cloud services and subscriptions.
I've been doing this nearly my whole career.
I'm gonna give you a little bit of the special sauce
about how to be a great buyer,
both sides of the relationship is what I'm hoping
we're gonna accomplish today in these 30 minutes.
Should be fun.
Let's dive in.
So this morning you heard an amazing amount
of new product that we're releasing,
that we're introducing over the next
quarter in the coming year.
Jack did an amazing job highlighting
everything that's coming.
We're excited about so much great stuff.
We're excited, obviously, about our Clio Grow
and the acquisition of Lexicata
and them joining us is going to be amazing.
There's so much great stuff
and so many great sessions for you to learn
about all the great, new things that are coming.
I encourage you to go visit the Smart Bar in the Clio Lab,
and the demo room where most of my sales team
that's here is hanging out today.
So with that, I am gonna commit
to spend this next 27 minutes
not talking about the product at all,
'cause I'm probably the least-qualified guy
at the Clio company to talk about the product.
I'm gonna talk about sales.
We're gonna kinda talk about it from both sides
of the negotiation table, no product talk today.
So I think the best way to dive in
and to begin this conversation is to use
kind of the Legal Trends Report
that I'm sure you're starting to hear a lot of
to frame our conversation this afternoon.
If you had a chance to attend George's session this morning,
he dove really deep into lots of really interesting
things about the Legal Trends Report.
He kind of created the narrative
that I think is so relevant in today
as our world kind of expands
and our marketplace morphs and changes.
I'm gonna spend a little bit of time today
talking about I think really two key pieces
of the Legal Trends Report that are really important
for the modern-day law firm.
We're gonna dive in and talk about only about two
and then we're gonna see how that plays in.
You've probably seen this slide a couple of times.
It's been in every Legal Trends Report,
or variation of it, since we started,
since our very first one three years ago.
It is the one that has formed
basically the narrative for all
of the three years and still holds really true today.
We know, and our data and our surveys tell us,
that of your eight-hour workday,
or you possible billable eight-hour workday,
only 2.4 hours of those eight are being billed to clients.
And as you move down that funnel,
you get to the bottom of that 1.6 hours
of actually being collected,
and those numbers kinda become concerning.
There's been a lot of great talks so far
and there'll be more coming up
that talks to you about how to address that.
I'm gonna take a certain angle to that,
but I think it's a really important piece.
So the big question is, where is that time going?
What are you doing with that six hours or so
that you're not billing your clients for?
And this data shows, and this is probably
the second most popular slide we've put up
in Legal Trends Report since we announced it,
is nearly half of all that time
is being spent on administrative tasks.
We see them there, office admin, technology,
sending out bills, trying to collect money,
doing all that stuff.
It's important work, but it's just
not work that's making you money
and I wanna talk about how we can
maximize the time that you are.
We also see that about 60% is being spent
on licensing and education.
That's probably a pretty good use of your time.
Probably should continue to do that.
But I wanna spend our time on that top orange bar,
the 33% that you identify as business development.
You like to call it business development,
I like to call it sales, 'cause that's what it is.
And what's really interesting about this 33% is
it's in many cases not being deliberately carved out
as business development time.
Most lawyers report that they are not putting
in their calendar "I am gonna spend 33%
of my day in business development work".
Some might do it, but it's not
a deliberate part of your day.
And if it's not gonna be billable time,
I propose that you spend as much time
as you can trying to figure out
how you can grow your business and earn more business.
So what I wanna do in the next few minutes
is take some time to figure out
how we can at least maximize that 33% you are spending
and maybe help you realize how important it is
to make it a crucial part of your business.
So my first order of business when I was doing
some research for this was to kind of dive in
and see what kind of rules governed
the selling of legal services.
It was actually pretty fun research to do.
I'm a tech sales guy, been in tech sales my entire career.
Our rule book is really thin.
It's like don't get fired and barring that,
try not to get arrested.
And pretty much everything else is open for debate for us.
So we've got not a lot of rules to govern how we do it.
But I was not surprised to see that the legal profession
has a lot of rules that govern it.
There's a lot of things you cannot do.
There's some things you can do.
We're gonna talk about that,
but things you can do aren't as exciting
as the things you're not allowed to do, but we'll dive in.
This information comes from the American Bar Association.
It's pretty common across all jurisdictions.
There are some slight differences between states,
but for the most part, these are the ethics rules
regarding selling as it is described
in the way we think about it.
So let's start with what you cannot do.
These are pretty fun.
So, no cold calling.
You cannot pick up the phone,
you cannot fill a room with 22 year olds
blasting a hundred calls a day
to all of your potential clients
in hopes that you can bring in some business.
You can't do it.
We can do it in sales.
We do it all time.
In fact, I have a room full of 22 year olds.
It's a nice room, but it is a room full
of 22 year olds making dials all day long.
You can't do that.
You can't go after your potential clients,
but that is an important distinction.
You can't go after potential clients.
We'll talk a little bit later about what you can do.
If you're a current Clio customer,
you've probably been on the receiving end
of one of those calls from my team.
I hope you have, and if you are,
I hope he treated you well.
You're here so it probably went okay.
If you haven't or you aren't yet a Clio customer,
we're probably coming for you, too, so expect that call,
but at least you'll know it's coming now.
This becomes really important with this kind
of limitation that your lead generation
activities become that much more important.
You really have to focus on the things
you are allowed to do to grow your business.
Okay, so we know you're not allowed
to cold call potential clients.
It turns out you're also not allowed to lie.
I know, I know. (laughs)
The rules say: no false or misleading communications.
That's rule 7.1 in the ethics guidelines.
You just can't do it.
I'm gonna stop for a minute.
You probably all have this joke rattling around
in your head about what legal salespeople
can or cannot do based on do not lie,
so figure out with you think is funny
and come tell me at the bar tonight,
'cause I'm sure I've heard them all
but I'd love to hear what you're thinking.
So what's interesting here is language
becomes really important for this unverifiable claims piece.
So you can't say, as an example,
that you're the best lawyer in New Orleans, even if you are.
You can't say you've won the biggest settlements
or the biggest judgements in New York City
even if you have because you can't back it up,
you can't verify it.
So this starts to build the narrative around
articulating value becomes that much more important
when you're living under these kinds of limitations,
limitations that most other salespeople just don't have.
All right, so you can't cold call, you can't lie.
You also can't spend too much time
patting yourself on the back for all
the great work you do to your potential clients.
You gotta be really careful about
setting expectations or putting clear disclaimers
around anything you say to your clients.
You know, it's interesting.
Every great salesperson loves
to highlight their track record of success,
and you can too, but you just have to be really
careful about it and you've got to wrap it
in a lot of really important disclaimers
or you're violating this rule.
So as an example, you can probably say
"I won a $5 million judgment in a case similar to yours,
although I can't guarantee that I'm gonna
get similar results for you".
That's a pretty catchy sales phrase.
You can say that, but I don't recommend that you do it.
You can't say "I won a $5 million judgment
and I'm gonna do the exact same thing for you",
'cause you're not putting a justification around it.
You can't say that.
That would be a much better thing to do, right?
I've got it, don't worry about it, go home.
I'm gonna get you that five mil.
You'd like to do it, but you probably can't.
Tech sales people, we can say whatever we want,
however we want it as long as we can back it up.
We're actually pretty good about backing it up as well.
But this also is particularly limiting
in the way that you can advertise and sell
your product and services.
So the actual list of what you can't do
is longer than this, but gets no more exciting than this.
But this helps us set the stage
for what we're gonna talk about
for the rest of the afternoon today.
So with that, let's kinda flip it around
to talk a little bit about the stuff you can do.
Again, not as exciting,
but important to frame the conversation.
So if your remember earlier, I said
you could not cold call potential new clients?
That's true, but you can cold call other lawyers,
and you can do it all day long,
and you should be doing it all day long.
This is where your opportunity
to create that referral network,
and we'll talk about it in a minute, comes in.
You can go back and fill that room full of 22 year olds now
and build your own boiler room of cold callers,
but they have to be calling
for potential business with other lawyers,
so you have to build those relationships.
And it very quickly becomes a very necessary part
of your business development plan.
It's really the key to your business development plan.
What I don't have time to do today
is talk about all the great ways
to do cold calling and all the methodologies
and all the data-driven stuff that sales people use
in order to make sure they're effective.
We could do other sessions on that
and I'd love to talk to you about it separately.
We don't have time to do that today,
but there are lots of great ways to mount
an outbound effort to build your referral network,
which is your version of cold calling.
I know I promised no product, but it would be,
it's one of those things I might
get fired for if I don't bring up.
So this was really important.
We announced this this morning.
This fits perfectly into this narrative.
Our new Clio Referral Network is the foundation
and the platform that's gonna allow you
to build that outbound, prospecting effort
to potential other lawyers who you can
both exchange business back and forth.
This is how you cold call.
And you can beat these guys up every day.
You can call other lawyers every day and say hey,
do you have any business you can refer
to me in my area of specialty
when I'll do the same thing back for you?
You can do that all day long.
I encourage you to take a look at that.
This is part of our new Clio Grow initiative,
and it's a pretty amazing way to kind of up your game
and get even a solo, having an active outbound effort.
All right, so what else are you allowed to do?
It doesn't get anymore exciting from here,
but we'll talk about them anyway.
You can describe yourself using non-comparable traits.
That sounds pretty exciting.
So here's how this sounds.
You can be a hard worker,
you just can't be the hardest worker.
You can't say I'm the hardest-working lawyer
in New Orleans, even though you might be.
You can be an accomplished litigator.
You can't be the most accomplished litigator.
It's like that precise.
You can be a strong advocate.
You can't be the strongest advocate.
You get the idea.
You just can't do anything that doesn't
put this massive disclaimer around you,
but you can start to talk about your value,
and that's what this is.
Tech sales guys, we be with we wanna be,
we can say whatever we wanna say,
we can back it up with our product
and we're not bound by these rules.
This is really limiting but I really kinda starts
to build on what we wanna spend some of the time.
And finally, the last thing that I think I'll bring up
today because it helps is you can talk
about the basics of your availability,
your responsiveness, your general abilities.
Nothing particularly game changing here,
but at least you can talk about and say
"I'll answer your phone call 24 hours a day if you need me".
That's probably some value that you could think about,
but still pretty limiting.
So what's interesting about all this
is if you wrap all this up together,
especially these last two slides,
these to me fall into a broader category
that I wanna spend the rest of the time talking
about today which is selling on value.
Because you're so limited in what you can and cannot do,
you have to be really precise about delivering
a value and a differentiated value that makes sense
to your clients and that will allow you to have
an opportunity to separate yourself from the pack.
What makes selling on value amazing
is the best salespeople are great at this.
You can be bad at every other aspect of selling,
but if you can articulate value in a really precise way,
you're pretty much guaranteed to be a great salesperson.
You also have to be willing
to make a hundred phone calls a day,
but when you're making them,
you better be able to say good stuff.
And it's really the key to great selling
regardless of what you're selling
and who you're selling to,
and that's where this is so effective
and so applicable to the legal industry.
The real challenge here is establishing
a value proposition that resonates
and then evolve it for a constantly changing market,
a constantly changing customer,
and a constantly changing market dynamics.
That's really tough to do,
and as we heard this morning at Jack's amazing keynote
about our own evolving value proposition,
that we're going from a practice management solution
that basically allows you to run a more efficient firm,
pretty good value proposition.
We don't talk about that anymore.
Now we're this platform for the client experience.
Just think about how far that came from where we were.
That's an evolving value proposition
that everybody needs to think about.
I spent eight and a half years
at Salesforce.com before I joined Clio,
and I still think one of the best selling
and marketing organizations in technology,
we evolved our value proposition once a quarter.
Just as we had nailed it, we changed it
because we always knew we had to say something different
to differentiate in a very crowded market,
even though we were the clear leader.
It's the same thing we're doing here at Clio.
We've got to change our value proposition
and add more value so that we can stand out from the pack.
And I think that's your challenge.
So what I'd like to do is play with a few non-legal examples
of how to think about value in a different way.
Nothing to do with the legal industry,
but I hope it'll resonate.
One is kind of an old-school story
that you may or may not have heard of,
and the other one is much more modern
around a technology that my sales team in Toronto,
who I think that a number of them
are in the room here, use every day.
Hopefully this will help
illustrate what we're talking about.
So the story goes something like this.
There was a new CEO of Black & Decker,
walked into a room full of his sales and marketing people,
kinda old-school folks, walked in there and held up a drill
and said to this room full of salespeople
and marketing people, is this what Black & Decker sells?
And he holds up this big drill and he watches everybody,
and they give the predictable answers.
"Yeah, that's like our best-selling model".
"Yeah, we sell drills".
"We sell those and we sell other power tools".
"That's who we are".
"That's who we've been for a hundred years".
The CEO was trying to get to a new place.
He was trying to get them to think deeper.
Sure they sell drills.
But then what he did was he held up a piece of wood
with a hole drilled in it and said, "this is what we sell".
"We sell the hole, right?"
This is the game changer.
This is that level one of value.
We use a selling methodology
at Clio called the Sandler Method,
and part of the Sandler Method is really
based on evolving value propositions.
So level one value is this, we're going one level deeper.
We don't sell drills.
We sell your ability to make a hole
for something that's gonna be important for you.
It's pretty common, but people don't think about it
and everybody looked at him kind of stunned like huh?
That makes sense, but I never thought
of articulating it that way.
That's kind of how the story ended for a while,
but as things got more modern and people had
to think about it in a different way,
I think they needed to go to a level two of value.
They needed to go even deeper.
And I propose that kind of this is the level
two value of that drill, is this.
We don't sell holes.
We sell this, we sell a lifestyle.
We sell a project, right?
So this kind of changes it,
and as we evolve our value discussion,
we get farther and farther away from the core product.
I can guarantee people talking and enjoying this deck
were not having a lot of discussion
with the guy who built it about the drill he used.
Guarantee it, but he couldn't have done it without it.
If you wanted to take this to a level three of value,
you might show that deck with a big party going on
or a wedding happening, or a barbecue,
and you'd say that's the drill's all about.
I can have my friends over.
That's how you start to think about value
at a completely different level.
The drill never enters into the conversation.
Okay, so that's a bit of the old-school one.
Has anybody ever heard that story before?
It's kind of a legendary story in sales.
It gets told in a lot of different ways,
but it still really resonates and it's still valuable.
Let me tell you quickly about this other story that I love.
So if the Toronto team's in here
then they're gonna know this one
and I picked it up because I'm fascinated by these guys.
So this company is called Ritual.
They're based in Toronto.
They're basically an app that allows you
to order food from local restaurants,
usually at lunch and breakfast.
You order it through the app, you pick your menu items,
you pay through the app through a card
you've already inserted, you place your order,
and then the app tells you when it's gonna be ready
and also measures how far you are in walking distance
from the restaurant and tells you when
to start walking to pick up your food.
You go to the quick service restaurant,
you pick up your lunch, it's got your name on it,
you come back, and they do all kinds of other stuff
that you can see there.
This actually their listing on the Apple Store, the iStore,
because this is what they do as their value to the end user.
Now, Piggybank, earn rewards.
It's a fascinating app and it's pretty simple.
They're already in a pretty crowded marketplace,
Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes, and others.
They have to figure out how
to differentiate in a tough market.
I had the chance to speak to the CEO a couple of times.
Pretty cool guys, he's a former Google guy, pretty young.
His company has raised over $110 million
in venture capital funding.
Everybody in Toronto in my office,
we have about 50 people there,
we live and die by this app.
This feeds us almost every day.
When I started to talk to the CEO,
I wanted to get an understanding
of what he viewed as value,
and what he explained to me as I was trying
to dive in and figure out what's level one,
level two value, and I assumed it was
the level one, level two for the user,
for us going to get the food.
And he said "sure, but that's not who I sell to".
"You buying food, you're not my customer".
"My customers are the restaurants".
"They're the ones who pay to use this".
"So I kinda don't care about what you think".
"I need to get them to adopt in order for you to do this".
So he said, "The way we sell to restaurants is simple".
"We go in there and we will sell you increased demand."
That's like a level three level of value.
It's not about any of this.
It's about I guarantee you I will deliver
you more business than you could ever imagine
if you didn't have this app.
That to me is kind of a game-changing way
to think about level three, level two value
in a very crowded marketplace in a very new technology.
This stuff fascinates me and I wanna kind of
wrap it up a little bit before I kinda
bring this part to a conclusion
with an interesting way to help you visualize this
as you go about doing this for yourself.
Here's a little takeaway,
a little test to pull it all together.
Call it the steering wheel test
and it works really well when you're trying
to help establish your own value.
So think about this, here's how it works.
Think about the last time you went to buy a car
and think about that situation.
If you haven't bought a car in the age of Uber,
you might not have one, but you probably
understand how the process goes.
Think about when you went in to buy a car
and think about the answer to these
kind of four basic questions.
When you went into the dealership,
how much time did the salesman proactively spend
talking about the steering wheel
in the car you were looking at?
Then second question, think about how many questions
did you ask the dealer about the steering wheel
and its features and functions?
Question three, how much did the steering wheel factor
into your decision on which car you were gonna buy?
So you went in there and maybe you're looking
at three or four different cars,
three or four different models.
How much did the steering wheel factor into the decision
of the car that you finally ended up buying?
And finally, would you have bought any of those cars
if it didn't have a steering wheel?
So the answer pretty quickly is almost none,
almost none, almost none, absolutely not.
So there's no way you're buying
a car without a steering wheel,
but I had zero impact on your decision
to buy a car, or which car to buy.
If you apply that test to how
you think about your own value,
it's gonna be easier to figure out how
you can get to your level two and level three.
I would propose the steering wheel is your law degree.
So you've got to take it a couple levels deeper than that.
Okay, so I dove in.
I wanted to see what lawyers actually thought about this,
and I certainly didn't have the capability
to do a survey, but we found one.
There's a great article written
by a lawyer called Jordan Furlong,
the Law21 Blog, and it was written
about five or six years ago.
And it was literally called "What Do Lawyers Sell?"
And what he did was he went out there
and he surveyed informally about a hundred lawyers
and asked them that very question, what do lawyers sell?
He asked a hundred of them, what do you think you got?
He didn't get a hundred different answers.
He actually got five answers that fell
into these basically broad categories.
It was informal, but.
So this is what lawyers said they sell.
Time, nobody buys or sells time.
Expertise, it's kinda table stakes.
It's kind of a little too
ubiquitous to carry any real weight.
It's a feature at best, maybe the steering wheel.
Excellence is maybe only slightly
better than expertise, not much.
Solutions kinda gets there in kinda level two,
like you sell solutions, but solutions kinda just implies
that every legal task is for solving a problem
and they're not always solving a problem.
So solutions sometimes don't work.
And then value which is funny to me,
because saying value isn't value.
Oh, I sell value.
What does that mean?
Value isn't value.
So they're all around but still people
weren't diving in and trying to get an understanding
of really how to figure out their own value.
So if you follow through the article a little further,
Jordan Furlong proposes what he thinks
is the best answer for what do lawyers really sell,
and actually gets pretty close
to a value two, and that's this.
That's actually pretty good.
Peace of mind is level two value.
You bring me a problem, you bring me a concern,
you're at a place in your life where you need help,
I'm gonna deliver you peace of mind.
I got it, don't worry.
We're gonna get it done.
That's pretty good value if you can
build it into a bigger thing.
Now I'm no lawyer, so I'm not one to propose
what better ones could could like than that,
but not surprisingly, lawyers who read the article
chimed right in and if you read the comments
on this article, they came up with a whole pile
of other ones which are pretty interesting.
I actually like number two a lot.
It sounds like it's as a result
of something tragic potentially in your life,
but that's a pretty good value proposition.
And some of the others are good,
some are not so good, but I think this is a really
interesting way that people are starting
to think about how they're gonna articulate their value
because they know hey, I'm a lawyer with a law degree.
I can solve your problems and you can
get it done in today's modern world.
Pretty impactful, pretty fun.
So I wrap it up with that.
That's the part of the value propositions
that I hope, if nothing else, got you thinking
about what you do and how you're gonna articulate
what you do to your potential clients.
I hope you go out there and prospect and talk to them,
build some networks, talk to other lawyers.
They'll help you, and establish your own compelling value.
I'd love to talk to you about it later.
I'm pretty passionate about this stuff.
It's what makes great salespeople.
It's what we think about a lot.
We think about it a lot at Clio.
I think Jack did a fantastic job this morning
of articulating Clio's evolving value.
I think he did amazing.
Think about yours and I hope this was helpful.
Okay, got only about five minutes left.
I wanna switch it around a little bit.
I wanna completely change trajectory here,
go to this buy low part.
I'm gonna switch the negotiating table around
and tell you how to make your best.
I'm gonna give you a few tips,
a little bit of the secret sauce
on how to make your best deal
when you're buying technology,
when you're buying subscriptions,
when you're in this cloud world.
Pretty much anything to do with tech,
these are gonna be pretty important.
I'm not gonna give you any secrets I'm scared to give away.
I want you enabled.
You may have already bought Clio,
and we probably had some of these go down between us.
You may not have, but now you'll be better prepared.
But you'll absolutely be better prepared
when you go out and buy whatever else it is
you're gonna buy to add to your tech stack,
which I know you're gonna buy more of.
I'm gonna kinda just riff on these
really quickly 'cause I'm running out of time.
I got five things I wanna bring to your attention.
So here we go, let's start with number one.
Okay, compelling event and timing.
Sales people care about timing.
You may not, we do.
We're not gonna try to make
your timing not be good for you,
but we're gonna ask about it
and we're gonna ask you to commit.
The compelling event portion of timing
is we're gonna help you work backwards
from whatever it is important
that's driving your decision to move forward.
Compelling event being I'm opening a new firm,
I'm hiring some new people,
I'm doing a year-end audit and I need new software,
I wanna start something new in January,
I'm deprecating old software.
Any of these things might be compelling events.
They're important for us 'cause they help us
work with you and establish a timeline
that allows us to secure resources.
So we're gonna ask you for a timeline
and I hope you have one, and if not,
we'll help you establish one by working backwards.
Okay, that's number one.
Number two, up-front contract.
Lawyers in the room probably get
pretty excited about a contract.
Sales guys, we don't love contracts,
but in this case, this is really helpful.
What an up-front contract is in various forms is
your salesperson's gonna say hey,
let's agree on how this sales engagement is gonna go, okay?
I need you to commit that when you promised
to get on a demo with the rest of your firm
that we can actually get that done,
that you will work hard behind the scenes
to get those people on the demo.
And I'll commit to bring the resources
to make sure we make it a compelling demo.
When we ask you to give us access to decision makers,
introductions, give us a timeline,
all of that stuff just so that we can be on the same page.
Not gonna force you or ask you to do anything
that you're not comfortable with,
we just want an agreement that this is how it's gonna go
and we should all do our best to get there.
Things happen, let us know.
It might not be presented to you "hey,
I'm now going to ask you
to do (laughs) this up front contract",
but we are gonna ask for some commitment
or we're just gonna say are we good on that?
Can we agree that we're gonna go through these milestones
and on the 15th of this month we're gonna
come to a decision and we're gonna make it move forward?
That's what we're hoping for.
Usually it happens verbally often followed up with an email.
What I found over my career both at Salesforce and Clio
is our best sales engagements happened
when we had an up-front contract,
both for the buyer and the seller.
They were much more satisfied
with the engagement and so were we.
Okay, buying process.
Not dissimilar to the up-front contract,
we need to understand how you buy.
What do you need to do in order to get to a decision?
We just wanna know so that we can work
through those elements and help you be more successful.
We need to understand how have you bought
software like this in the past?
Who needs to sign off on it?
Who might need to see a demo?
How do you normally handle payment?
What's your payment cycle?
How do you plan to roll this out?
We want and need to know all of it,
not because we're digging in
and trying to make you uncomfortable,
because that's how we're gonna help you be successful.
Every technology salesperson's gonna wanna understand this.
If you don't know it, which happens often surprisingly,
we'll work with you.
We'll help you understand how we do it
with other companies and we'll help get
through this and make that up front contract
and the buying process that much easier.
I know this one sounds weird.
We want you to buy the max that you need,
but don't buy any more than you need.
And that sounds kind of obvious.
Like sales guy trying to get maximum dollars out of you.
And to some degree that's probably true.
That's why we're paid to be salespeople.
But the beauty of SaaS and cloud is you never
have to buy more than you need, right?
If you have six people on your firm, don't buy seven.
No good SaaS sale guy will ever try
to sell you seven, even if you're growing.
We'll sell you that seventh one when you add that person.
But buy all that you need so we can give you
all the value that comes with buying that.
So we can get resources, train everybody together,
and deliver on the value that we bought.
If you come and say I've got a 10-person firm,
you agree that you're gonna buy 10,
at the last minute you say we're gonna try it with two,
it denigrates the opportunity for you
to get really successful with our software early,
and that's what we care about most believe it or not.
We want you on it, we want you staying it,
we want you loving it, and we want you getting value
and buying the maximum allows you to do that.
And finally communicate your decision to us.
I know this sounds obvious, but this is one
of the things that drives salespeople insane.
We do our up-front contract, we get to a point.
We agree that on the 15th of the month
we're gonna execute on this deal.
You guys are excited to go and then something happens.
All we want you to do is communicate with us.
We have a bit of a mantra in sales
and the mantra goes like this.
We absolutely want a yes when it comes to decision time.
We want you to say yes, we want you to buy.
That's what we're hoping for, but we'll accept a no.
We're okay with a no as long as we understand why.
Maybe makes our heads explode,
and especially if it's maybe at the last minute
when we think we're getting to that place.
It's okay to change your mind.
It's okay to need more time.
It's okay to all of those things,
but just communicate it with your salesperson
who is advocating on your behalf
for the rest of the company.
My sales team works with me and their managers
to say hey, I wanna do this deal with this customer.
We wanna give this kind of resource.
That's important, and if this decision
isn't articulated to us clearly,
it's harder for us to deliver on that
and the salesperson gets caught in a spot
where it's viewed as they didn't
know their customer well enough
and they've advocated to you and now we can't deliver.
So that's really important.
And that concludes the five.
This list could be a hundred things long,
but I think these five are pretty applicable
to everything you're gonna do
and every technology you're gonna buy.
I hope it helps you understand better how to work with us.
We're very open.
We often will talk about these and say this
is how we're gonna work together, I hope that's okay,
and it always makes those sales
engagements go that much better.
I'm at the end of my time.
I really appreciate you spending
time with me this afternoon.
I hope it was informative.
I hope you had a little fun.
I hope you learned something new.
I hope you were happy that we didn't spend
this 30 minutes talking about product.
Enjoy the rest of the conference.
Thank you everybody.