I spent twenty-six years selling security technologies and solutions to a wide range of buyers. The most difficult to close was always the technically savvy buyers. They know what they wanted and they expected you to understand their problems. I endured numerous exhausting grillings from these buyers. They were awesome experiences.
Technically Savvy Buyers can be anybody, with any title, and from any background. That the quiet, nerdy person in the back of the room with pink hair and tattoos might be the real decision maker, even if they do not have the title. Their technical expertise makes them hugely influential. That is the person you need to convince if you want to close the deal.
One way you can tell you are working with a Technically Savvy Buyer is they ask a lot of specific, pointed questions. Answer them honestly. They can see through marketing fluffery.
Recently, I was advising a cloud security startup on their go-to-market strategy. I will share with you the advice I shared with them regarding selling to this prickly batch of buyers.
Things Technically Savvy Buyers Care About
- Why are you in business
- What specific problems does your product/service solve
- How it does it solve those problems (with details)
- Why is your product/service unique or special
- Who else has been successful using it
- What are the risks or potential ways things could go wrong
Things Technically Savvy Buyers Do Not Care About
- Who is on your board or an executive
- Who invested in the company and why
- The awards you have won, especially vanity awards
- How many “influencers” you know
- What you accomplished ten years ago at a different company
- Numbers or statistics you made up that lack evidence
- Any mention of the word “Musk”
Mediocre salespeople sell products. Good salespeople sell themselves. Great salespeople sell ideas.
What are you selling? Talk about big ideas, how you solve them. Do not sell your products. Rather sell an idea that your product helps achieve. Technically savvy buyers want to have engaging conversations about tech. They do not want to hear about what you did in the 1990’s at some dot.com.
While you may need to simplify your products for a broad audience, be on the look out for technically savvy buyers. They are more influential than you may think.