Dating, Sales, and Startups

Steve LudwigHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

two people gazing into each other's eyes

Dating sucks.

Okay, let’s refine that one.

Dating sucks, except for the genetic freaks that would qualify to be on Love Island. They are not bereft of choice. Still, even for them, the odds may be good, but the goods may be odd. 

For B2B tech startups or any business looking into new markets, the behavior of potential clients is often not that different from the pretty people with perfect abs.

Like dating, clients can seem to have endless options and are bombarded with requests to match.

That’s why it is important to find your niche in the marketplace. While those with a spray-on tan and veneer-capped teeth might initially stand out, that won’t get you much past the first few dates.

It’s what’s under the skin that matters most. You need to let people that are looking for a match know that you and your firm are someone that is worth establishing a long-term relationship with. Clients need to know that your company and your people are of high caliber and worth taking a chance on.

We all know people that are better at dating than others. They are not necessarily the best-looking or wealthiest, but they just have a relaxed attitude about going about the process in the search for the one. 

Some people do great when they are in a relationship; getting there is the hard part. It’s the same regarding startup sales or looking to forge new territory for an existing business.

There are many talented and highly successful salespeople that do great when things are established, there are routines, and there is a “playbook” to follow.

Others thrive in the unknown and create something new. 

Like people that date with the mantra, “If you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong.” 

They are not afraid to keep at it when many others throw their hands up in frustration. We call these people “Pathfinders.” 

History shows that Pathfinders have the right vocational skills and mindsets to be successful first sales hire for startups and for companies that need people to break into new markets.  These include:

  • A strong ability to deal with ambiguity. One never knows what a first date will be like, but the Pathfinder takes each meeting as an opportunity. The first sales hire is one without a playbook, and, by definition, such an early startup lacks the support (e.g. lead generation) of other later-stage companies.
  • A willingness and excitement around building the processes and procedures necessary for a successful sales operation as an organization scales, which is similar to building new habits in a relationship.
  • A curiosity that allows for creative solutions. Which is necessary in both sales and dating.
  • A hunger motivated by something quite different to most other sales types. We’d characterize this motivation as intrinsic rather than extrinsic. They are looking for something that is deeper and has a personal meaning for them. 

So, how do you go about finding these Pathfinders? The Right Five has developed a simple process that allows:

  • Quick and painless hiring process: The Right Five automates the candidate assessment/scoring/communication leaving you simply with the selection of those Pathfinders you want to interview.
  • Fast on-ramping: Because your first Sales hire needs to be a Pathfinder (the clue is in the name) their need for on-ramping is minimal. It’s their job to develop the repeatable Sales process that will allow you to scale, so they won’t expect red carpet treatment.
  • Reduced risk: The Right Five reduces the risk for you because our online assessment/rules engine identifies Pathfinders, i.e the candidates who will be successful as the first Sales hire.

Want to find out more? Watch this five-minute overview and demo of The Right Five or send us a note and we will set up a meeting.

Curious to know more about the assessment? Want to see if you are a Pathfinder and a good match to be the first sales hire of a B2B tech startup? 

You can take the assessment here for free but make sure you check out the notes at the bottom of that post before you start. 

Your results are yours; we don’t share them with anyone or post them on your dating profile.

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