Tried-and-Tested Script For Preselling Your B2B SaaS Product
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Tried-and-Tested Script For Preselling Your B2B SaaS Product


Hey there. I’m Dan Martell, serial
entrepreneur, investor, and creator of SaaS Academy. In this episode, I’m
going to share with you how to pre-sell your software. The exact script, flow, and even
a little bit of a filter you need to add on who you
talk to so that you can pre-sell your
next software product and use that money
to actually build it. And be sure to stay
to the end where I’m going to share with you how
to get access to my free mini course called Idea to Exit. It’s literally not
only how I go deeper in building a clickable
prototype and pre-selling, et cetera, but
even going into how to raise capital and exit
your business at some point if you choose. I’ll share more about
that at the end. [MUSIC PLAYING] So here’s the deal,
selling your software before you build it is
a very attractive idea. I mean, if you think about
it, no money out of pocket, I get people to pre-commit,
I take that money, I build the software,
and then I launch. And I kind of go from there. I first heard of this
concept back by Steve Blank. So he wrote a book called The
Four Steps to the Epiphany. It used to be kind of
like, mandatory reading in the valley. I feel like people have
now moved on to like, The Lean Startup and
many other books. But The Four Steps to Epiphany,
it’s a bit of a hard read. Steve literally– I think he
sat down and just dumped it out of his mind, no
editing and then just published it, self-publish. Get the book. Everything I’m going
to share with you today is from that book. In my experience–
so like, when we were selling Flowtown, or
trying to pre-sell Flowtown, like, we stumbled. We thought we were doing
customer development. We’re actually just selling. OK. We were just really
good salespeople. We made a ton of mistakes. And what do I share with you is
the lessons learned from that. How to think about the two
parts of the conversation so that you not only
learn, but you also get a commitment so
that you don’t end up in a scenario worse where you
can’t get anybody to commit, or I think even worse than
that is you take money from people that
were never going to be great customers
for you and ask you to change your priorities. So let’s get into it. Number one, early adopters only. So the way you need to think
about this is in a market, there are people that
are early adopters. I’m not going to get into
the technology adoption curve where this comes from. But there’s a chasm. Before that, there’s kind
of like, your early majority and your early adopters
and your innovators. The early adopters are people
that are willing to wait. These are people that are
looking for innovation. They’re looking for an edge. So if I’m trying to pre-sell
my technology, my innovation, my software, I can’t be
talking to people that are not early adopters, or
I’m going to end up making concessions for
my vision of the product to meet them
specifically if they’re late adopters, laggards. Then I’m going to get a
false signal from the market. How do you filter
for those people? Think about what are
the characteristics of an early adopter? What’s true about the person’s
life, their environment, other tools they might
use that might give you any inclination that
they’re an early adopter? So one example I used a
lot back in the day– now I use Snapchat– is if
they had Instagram account on their business profile,
that might tell you a little bit about
their early adopters. If they’re a
corporation and they have a corporate
social responsibility program in their
organization, CSR, that tells you that from
a cultural point of view, they’re really trying
to be progressive and they’re trying to be
involved in the community. So you want to look for what’s
true about the business. So here’s where I see
all the mistakes people make as if I would sell
restaurant innovation software, and I live in a town of 100,000
people which is where I grew up, I’m pretty sure nobody in
my town at a restaurant level is winning awards
for being the most innovative progressive
restaurant in all of Canada. If that’s the case, then
trying to pre-sell my software to those restaurants is going
to be not only frustrating, it’s going to fail,
because they’re not going to be a true indication
of what’s possible in the market because these are
not early adopters. So that’s step one. Add that filter. It will save you so much time. Number two, offer value. So one of the things
holding people back from reaching out to potential
companies is they’re like, why would this person
get on a call with me? Well, here’s the way
I’ve always framed it, again, from Four
Steps to the Epiphany, is if I was building a marketing
platform that helped people run better Facebook ads, I would
say to a potential target, I would say– target’s such a bad word. Let’s call them like,
opportunity or prospect or a client. Just feels better. So if I was trying to reach
out to a potential client, I would say that
I’ve been talking to a dozen of other companies
and people in your role and other organizations
just like you. I’ve learned a lot about
what’s worked for them. I would love your advice on how
you’re dealing with this today and how you see this
potential as a solution. And as a gift, as
a reward, I’m going to share with you
the top three lessons I’ve learned from talking to
other people in your industry. All I need is about
eight minutes. How does next Tuesday
at 2:00 PM sound? That’s the ask. That’s the email. That’s the conversation. You can cold call. You can send an email. You can go to an event. But that to me is
really saying look, I know that you probably
have this problem. So that A, they have
to be problem aware. If they’re not, you’re
doing a double sale. You’re selling
them on the problem and you’re selling them on
even evaluating your call. So you don’t want
to double sales. So are they problem aware? Are they somebody
that wants to learn from other people
in the industry? That kind of filters them
out as an early adopter, because early adopters
want to learn. And that’s the give. So eight minutes on
a call, you ask them about their situation,
their structure, I’m going to walk you
through that next. But that to me, is
you’ve got to offer value to actually get them to engage. Number three, part one– so there’s two
parts to the call. So when I say a script, it’s
kind of like talk tracks. It’s not necessarily a script,
because I want you to use it for your specific product,
your customer segment, your language. But here’s the idea, part one
is all about understanding their problem. If you’ve ever done any sales,
it’s very similar to that, where you want to ask
them– it says well, what do you currently– So you want to kind
of like, audit. Like, what are you currently
spending on Facebook ads? How many leads are you
generating per month? What’s your current
conversion rate from those leads
to opportunities? What’s your return on ad spend? You want to be
sophisticated enough to ask them questions
that they should know the answer to so you can
understand the context of where they’re at. Then you say well, what
are some of the challenges that you’re facing
as you manage that? So you want to understand
the problem space. What are they facing
as they manage ad spend and lead gen, et cetera? You want to surface
those challenges and you want to learn. So part one is all
about learning. It’s customer development. It’s not about selling at all. It’s literally, I’m
having a conversation with a potential
client to teach me even more about
the space I’m in. Other questions
I’ll ask is do you know of any other products
in the market that solve the problems
that you’re facing? I want to get some
competitive understanding. They might say yeah. There’s actually
these other products. And we didn’t decide
to move forward because they’re very expensive. Perfect. Well what would your budget
be to solve those problems? Again, you’re trying to learn. And then the last
question through that series of kind of
customer development questions is asking them to– I call it– well, Steve Blank
calls it the IPO question. It’s waving the magic wand. If you could wave a magic wand
and have this problem solved, how would that look? And hopefully, hopefully–
and this is why it’s such an important call– they describe the product
that you want to build. Because if they describe a
totally different solution, you might be in trouble. But it’s good to know. I want to know. I want to learn. So you ask them if
you wave a magic wand, the problem is solved et cetera. And the reason why it’s
called an IPO question is because if you
could actually deliver that magical experience, you’re
going to be on the right track to IPO. If it’s truly a big pain point
and enough companies have it. That’s part one of the
call, is you’re there just to learn by really going deep
on where they’re at today, what problems they’re having
around that thing, then asking them
about the competitors, and also asking them
the IPO question. Part two, the sell. Now if you did part one
and you learn everything about their organization, the
problems faced, et cetera, and you feel like,
you know, they could be a potential
customer for your product, meaning that they’re
connected to the pain and all this other stuff, then
you just ask them. It’s like, hey,
we’ve actually been working on a prototype
product that we’re thinking to bring to market. Would you like to learn more? And if you do your job right
and they feel understood and they feel like you really
understand the problem, they’ll probably say yes. That’s the bridge to the
next call which is the sell. So the sell is really
about just doing the demo. So when you’re asking them
about their challenges– well, this frustrates me, this
frustrated, this frustrates me. When you present your
product, you say well, we built it because of
this, the origin story. Real quick, you know,
we had this problem. We solved it. The way it works is you
mentioned this problem. We also experienced that. And here’s the way our product
is going to solve that. You mentioned this problem. Here’s how our product
is going to solve it. You mentioned that problem. Here’s our product
is going to solve it. And so what do you think
about our approach to solving that problem? And then you’re
looking for feedback. And they give you the feedback. Here’s the key–
this is when you know you have a client that’s
going to be involved is when they start giving you advice. When somebody starts
giving you advice on how to improve your product,
your solution, your service, then it tells you
that they’re committed to you and your outcome. If they don’t care
about you, if they don’t think that it
could ever work with you, they’re not going to
give you the advice. Why? Because there’s no reason to. There’s no upside. But if they do, it’s means
that they want the product, they’re interested
in, they like you, and they want to support you. So if they start giving you
feedback about like, what do you think we could do
better, and da, da, da, da, da, and they start giving
you that advice, that’s when you
go for the offer. And the offer essentially,
is saying hey, here’s what we’re doing. We’re looking for a dozen
early adopter clients. So I called it the EAP program,
the early adopter program. And that program
essentially gets you 50% of the annual
price in perpetuity. So essentially, you
get that half price. The product be
launching on this date. And what we’re also
looking for is companies to be part of our
CAB, our Customer Advisory Board to give
us product feedback. So not only are we going to be
launching this on this date, but we have a roadmap
that we’re looking at. And we want to make sure that we
have clients like yourself that can support that and get on
calls and give us some feedback and review some of
our product designs. We would love to have you. It sounds like you really
understand the problem. You understood the market
and kind of where it’s going. And we’re really
committed to solving this. Do you want to be part of
that early adopter program? And you go for the ask. And then you stop
talking and you wait. Now they’re going
to have objections. This is we’re salesmanship
is into place where they’re going to say well, what
happens if I don’t get a built? Or what’s the investment? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’re going to have to
be able to deal with that. So write them down. Have really good answers
to those questions. But that is how it works. Part one is all about learning. Part two is all about
essentially, enrolling. That’s what I like to use is
enrolling them into your Early Adopter Program. Number five, take the money. I can’t tell you how often– I was just on a coaching
call the other day with my growth
accelerator clients. These are people that are kind
of pre-revenue, pre-product market fit, and I have
one client John say to me, he’s like, yeah. We did the customer development
calls and it’s validated. People think it’s a great idea. And I was like, how
many calls did you make? He said three. A, that’s not enough. 10 is the minimum. And you know, one of my clients
Max, pre-sold 37 clients into his SEO product and
was able to not only fund the development, but have even
more left over for advertising. So you want to at least
have 10 conversations to try to get three
or four that’s a part of your EAP program. That being said, if somebody
says they’re interested, you want to take the money. If somebody does
not invest– when I did Flowtown
and I did Clarity, it was all about
getting paid upfront. If you truly believe
there’s value here, I want to see your
financial commitment. So the way it works is they’re
going to pay for the whole year upfront. But it’s 50% off. So if you’re going to charge
$100 a month, that’s $1,200. They get it for
$600, but they’re going to give you the whole
$600 to be part of that program. OK. So that is how it works. If you’re not taking the money– I mean, I’m talking
PayPal, wire transfers, I’ll show up at your office. You can write me a check. Get paid, because
as soon as somebody gives you money, all of a
sudden the conversation changes. All of sudden they’re going
to ask real questions. They’re going to ask questions
about does this integrate with our security system? Does this integrate
with Salesforce? Does this allow for
multi-user accounts? What’s the reporting
going to look like? And those are really
important questions that they might have otherwise
not asked or suggested or even talked about when you were
learning, doing customer development, because
the mental model changes from dollar in to
all of a sudden OK, now I really need
this thing to work. So they’re going to ask
really good questions. And that’s when it
all comes together. So get paid. Take the money. So, quick recap on
the exact script to use to pre-sell
your B2B software, first, you’ve got to filter
out early adopters only. Number two, you need to offer
value to get them on the call. So you’re essentially
going to tell them what you’ve been learning. Number three, it’s part one. The whole conversation is about
understanding where they’re at, what they’ve tried,
what they’re frustrated with, what are competitors
out there, et cetera. So we’re learning. Part two is the pre-sell. That’s where we really go into
the demo of the prototype we’re building. And this is we’re clickable
prototypes come into play. And then going for the offer. And then number five is
you’ve gotta take the money or doesn’t count. As I mentioned, at the
beginning of this episode I want to share with you my
Idea to Exit mini course. I talked about clickable
prototypes and MVPs and pre-selling EAP programs. I go even deeper in the whole
setup in that free mini course. I even talk about how
to scale your marketing, how to get your customers
to prepay and use that to hire key employees
like your developers, and also talk about
the exit strategy so that you understand
that there’s only 21 people in
the world that would have an incredible meaningful
impact on your life. You can click the link below
to get access to that training. And if you like
this video, I would love for you to smash
the Like button, subscribe to my channel, and
let me know in the comments below what insights you’ve
taken away from this episode. And if you are still
watching, I want to encourage you, as per
usual, to live a bigger life and a bigger business. And I’ll see you next Monday. Oh my God, I gotta stretch! Oh! Fudge pickle stuff.

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

5 thoughts on “Tried-and-Tested Script For Preselling Your B2B SaaS Product

  1. Want to pre-sell your SaaS before you’ve even made it? Check out this 5-step script to start selling without ever being out of pocket!

  2. Hey Dan, great roundup for pre-selling. Heard one or another thing in another video from you.
    Sounds so easy if you tell it like that.

    I'd love to have an example for B2C in the next video or videos. B2B sounds so logic and problem-oriented. How would I convince a stressed out mum to get on a 10 minute call with me? I don't think she would like to learn how other mums would have solved her problem?

  3. Hey Dan, great episode. I have a feeling that this can be applied as well for service based subscription business. But the only difference with that is the pricing. Since it's a service. The pricing goes from $400 – $900 per month. Is it still a good idea to collect the 50% off early adopter payment for 12 months? Thanks you so much

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