Pricing fuck ups. Lessons on the wrong approach to price from the indie side of biz. Pitch, pitch, pitch.
The way to get more deals is by wanting it more. Bullshit advice.
Lima. 2016. Sales meeting with an expanding mobility startup. We go into the meeting… and got into presentation mode. It’s all about pitching what we can do and the usual, vomiting blah blah blah. “We can do this. And do this other thing. Oh! And this other thing too. We’re expert generalists.”
We tried to get a sense of what the budget was. Of course we didn’t get it. “You’d have to sign an NDA” (a nice way to put “You’re out”).
We got over excited to get a lead into a big business. Instead of focusing and choosing where we could nail it, we went broad trying to get as much surface was possible. Kind of fishing for whatever bites.
The meeting was mostly us on pitching mode, trying to convince them “we were worth it”.
Would’ve done different:
Know if decision makers were involved and if there was a good fit.
Assume everyone is a bad fit till proven the contrary. Find out if there really was a business case to help with, instead of trying to guess what could be done.
Know if there were just shopping around or if they were ready to get things done (was there an allocated budget?).
Take a pause and think together if they needed a more pro approach (high-level, strategic) or just hands to execute? If it was execution, it would only come with strategic work. For executing, there would always be someone cheaper.
What didn’t happen
Getting to know even the budget. The approach we took was simply bad. We didn’t let silence to take over — we filled it with “more things we could do”.
Getting the deal.
What did happen
Put ourselves into a vendor position.
Sent mixed signals. Were we really the ones who could help or were we trying to fit into whatever thing they “wanted”?
Enter the meeting as a conversation. Find out if you’re both good fits for each other.
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Be ruthless and honest (especially with yourself) in seeing and not ignoring red flags.
Be true to yourself ahead and know if you’re willing to walk away or if you need the gig.
Whatever decision will be fine. Just be clear from the beginning.
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