aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

The Secret to Successful Sales

Posted by Ellen on April 26, 2008

Sitting in a coffee shop on Friday with a representative from a company that has developed a content management system, I heard him say something toward the end of our conversation that floored me. After an hour of show-and-tell on his company’s system, I was pretty sold on it. I was in the midst of calculating the ROI in my head when he mentioned a free alternative.


Yes, FREE. It wasn’t available yet, but would do what his system does, and would probably suit our needs.


Was I hearing correctly? Was he steering me away from giving him money?


Yes, in the short term, maybe he was.


But in the long term, he solidified his credibility and cemented my trust in him. And anyone in business knows that the relationship is always more important than the sale.

2 Responses to “The Secret to Successful Sales”

  1. Jeff Cobb said

    Amen, Ellen! There are many reasons why good “free” options will continue to emerge and evolve in the world of software – and in many other places for that matter. Any salesperson worth their salt – and really, that means any organization with its salt – is going to have to get better and better at articulating and delivering on a value proposition that makes it clear why payment is justified. The best sales people (and organizations) won’t try to hide the free options. They will recognize that in most instances the core of a relationship with a customer (or member) is not the product but, well, the relationship. – Jeff

  2. Ellen said

    Jeff – I agree. It’s essential that value be embedded in all that we do, regardless of whether something is offered for free or for a fee.

    Watch for an upcoming post about a free (yes, you heard that word from me) course/content management system that I’ve been testing lately… 🙂

    And as always — I appreciate your reading this blog and posting your responses, Jeff!

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