I spent twenty-some years selling security technologies and solutions to a wide range of buyers. Without a doubt, technically savvy buyers are the most difficult to close. They know what they want and they expect you to understand their problems. I endured numerous brutal grillings from these kinds of buyers. They were awesome experiences.
Technically Savvy Buyers can include 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. If you want to close the deal, that is the person you need to convince.
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 that (with details)
- Why it is unique or special
- Who else has been successful using it
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”
What are you selling? Yourself or a product? Insecure, incompetent people sell themselves. Capable people sell ideas and products.
While you may need to dumb down your products for a broad audience, do not lose sight of the technically savvy buyers. There are more of them than you think and in many organizations they are more influential than you may realize.