A lot of my SaaS pals often ask me what is the best way to sell into FinTech companies.
But honestly, it’s not rocket science. It’s also not that different from any other industry.
These 10 tips will give you a leg up when you’re reaching out to people in roles like mine at companies like OnDeck.
If you’re selling to FinTech, cut them into stone. If you’re selling to other industries, take a look anyway. This is just good sales advice.
10 Tips for Selling to FinTech
- Learn about what we do before reaching out.
- Don’t get deleted right away.
- Don’t try to guilt me.
- Do the work to sell me.
- Make it a good fit.
- Make the business case.
- Timing is everything.
- Offer white-glove service.
- Share your road map.
- Make security a big deal.
1. Learn about what we do before you spam us.
Regardless of what type of FinTech company you’re approaching, they have a website. Study it before reaching out.
My company has a strong technical element, but our sales team sells small business loans and lines of credit. If you throw out a generic pitch, I probably won’t take the time to connect the dots for what that could mean to me.
On the other hand, if you go to my website and send me a specific application of what you offer, we can have a productive conversation.
2. We delete things that look like SPAM.
We get so many emails, we can tell from the look of it that it’s spam –– before ever reading a word.
Want to break through? Personalization is key.
We are all busy people, but when I see someone who goes the extra mile I am going to, at the very least, respond to say, “No thanks.” Often, I will set up a demo just to learn more.
PRO TIP: A lot of us get asked by our peers to recommend solutions. Having insight into yours –– even if I don’t currently use it –– can still benefit you. If I’ve seen what you do and like it, I’ll recommend it.
3. Don’t try to guilt us.
It’s bad form to lay on the guilt if we don’t respond to your attempts to reach us. If we haven’t replied to you, it is because you have not given us a reason to reply.
There is an alarming new trend in emails that I refer to as the Entitlement Response. It comes in a few forms:
- An email that has no information except to reference another email I never read
- An email with a semi-hostile tone rebuking me for my lack of responsiveness (It’s your job to sell me and I owe you nothing.)
- A silly email that goes through all of the options of why I have not responded (Same answer: You haven’t sold me.)
PRO TIP: How to write an email I will always read:
- Reference something that I shared via social media recently.
- Reference someone I actually know (not just a random connection).
- Ask me a thoughtful question about the function of my role or our sales process.
- Share information about how your company has helped someone in my role whose company does something similar to mine.
4. Do the work to sell me.
Here’s the deal: If we take your call and you pitch before asking any discovery questions, you’ve already lost us.
FACT: We all like to talk about ourselves. We want a custom solution, and that means you need to know how we work.
If you have me on the phone, I already expect to give you that info. Relax your demo, turn off your PowerPoint, and have a conversation with me about how my business works.
Take notes and dig into the pain points. That’s the best way you can find your opening to close the deal.
5. Make it a good fit for my company.
Our sales process is transactional, so serving up a list of customers/case studies who have a different process makes you seem like a bad fit.
While it is very nice to see your list of logos, that doesn’t win us right over. Try finding our top competitors and sharing how you have made them more successful.
“Here’s how we have helped other FinTech companies do X, Y, and Z” would get my attention faster than the list of F500s who use your tech.
6. Make a strong business case for saying “Yes.”
“No budget” is our favorite smoke screen and probably means you haven’t sold us. (We are scrappy and know how to build a business case.)
There are a lot of escape hatches from a bad selling process, but my go-to has always been “No Budget” because it seems finite and out of my control.
You need to understand, those of us who own budgets are scrutinized for our spend, but we also can make a case for a new line item if we can show a return on investment.
7. Timing is everything.
Our buying process requires getting the green light from busy stakeholders. A big pain point is having to wrangle more than a dozen people from Tech, Product, Revenue, etc., for a demo and you don’t follow up or are not flexible with scheduling.
That tells me all I need to know about how your treat your prospects.
Which brings up another point…
8. White glove service has become the standard.
You can be out-sold by lesser vendors who care more.
Almost every vendor in our stack has taken the time to come to our office and meet our team. They have given us generous resources to ensure a successful launch, and their customer success teams have been true partners.
That is what we expect from vendors. Well, that and some great swag!
9. Your road map is as important to us as your current features.
We put the Tech in Fintech and need to know what’s coming, because most of the time, we do have the option to build things ourselves.
Vendors are partners, and knowing where they are going helps us plan where we are going. Proactively sharing your roadmap and proving that you deliver on schedule is a HUGE selling point.
10. Security is generally our deal-breaker.
It doesn’t matter how great your tech is, we deal with secure financial information and our security team can take a HARD PASS no matter how much any of the rest of us want to work with you.
Have your security documentation ready if we get to the first call, and prepare to put us in touch with you CISO.
Selling to FinTech companies is easier than you might think. But you do need to consider the key drivers of the people you’re selling to.
Study the 10 tips I’ve shared in this article. Memorize them. And USE them. Because bottom line, if you don’t follow them, you’re going to struggle.
What’s worked for you in FinTech sales? Share your best tips for success in the comments below.
Also published on Medium.