• Karl Schmieder

Don't Be Overwhelmed, Sell Something

Let me tell you a story:

A few weeks ago, a post-Series A biotech company called and said, “We need a public relations agency.”

My stock answer is, “We’re not a PR agency. We help clients grow. Public relations is just one of many growth tactics. Let’s figure out if that's what you really need.”

During the course of the conversation, the person from the biotech company, whom I’ll call L., admitted they had made several sales. They had done this by calling prospects ON THE PHONE, setting up meetings, and closing deals. They were kickin' ass because...

Sales cure all ills.

L. and I agreed that she would need a news release in the future (PR), but right now, she needed follow-up sales materials and an educational email sequence (sales collateral and content marketing).

Japanese rock garden

Another story:

Earlier this month, I attended BIO in Philadelphia. My goal was to develop initial relationships with European biotech companies and identify decision makers. I did that by speaking to booth staff and asking for introductions to decision-makers. It worked.

One of our clients spent all his time at BIO in face-to-face partnering meetings with prospects he had identified ahead of the meeting. He was very successful because he had zeroed in on high-opportunity markets (for his company) and differentiates himself by initiating relationships with their ideal buyers. Now, he starts playing the follow-up game, which also has been successful.

If you’re reading this you’re either running a life sciences company, developing a product for the clinic, launching a product or something in between. If you haven’t done any of those things before, you might be making up some of what you’re doing as you go along. You might be overwhelmed because you’re being tugged in a dozen directions.

One way to decrease the sense of overwhelm when it comes to sales and marketing is to keep it simple.

The easiest way to make sales is to select your targets, develop relationships and follow up.

In Mike Weinberg’s NEW SALES SIMPLIFIED, he describes creating and deploying assets - the marketing materials you’ll use to initiate and follow-up on targets. (He also suggests - and I agree - having a plan in place and implementing that plan.)

We recommend talking to people - on the phone or in person. This forces you to tell and retell and refine your story. (Steve Blank, author of THE FOUR STEPS TO THE EPIPHANY, calls this “getting out of the building.”) It’s the essential step that will pave the way to your success.

Getting out, telling your story will reinforce the idea that storytelling is the lifeblood of your business.

Sales are made by telling your story over and over again. The more complex, the more expensive, the more disruptive your service, product or process, the more you often you will need to tell that story.

Sales decks, blogging/content creation, email sequences, website, press releases, and every other marketing tactic are all ways to tell your story to a wider audience. But start by identifying a few people who are likely to want to hear it, and tell it yourself.