Selling it is not the only way

Years ago we decided that we just didn’t like trying to sell people on Schedulefly. We decided instead to just let them try it (when the timing was right for them) and if they liked it – they would become a customer. Our course we do work hard to make sure that it is clear what they need to do when they sign up to try it and how they can reach us if needed. But other than that, it’s up to them. In fact, there have only been a few times that I have actually mentioned Schedulefly to people when I am at a restaurant. I even recall one time – sitting at a Mellow Mushroom bar – chatting and being asked by the bartender what I did for a living. I told him I worked at a bank.

The main reason we decided to just let them come to this conclusion on their own (versus us bothering them via phone and email about signing up) was – well because it just seemed annoying to do it any other way. I mean it’s really as simple as thinking about ourselves in their shoes and trying to treat them just the way we would want to be treated. We didn’t liked to be bothered by a sales person when we tried new stuff – so why would we do that to those trying Schedulefly? We even decided to discourage larger organizations that liked us from requiring their restaurants to use Schedulefly. We just felt so much better about those restaurants making their own decisions – because – again – that’s how we would want to be treated and it’s just a more natural way to do business.

There were other reasons such as understanding that timing is everything and that selling stuff to people is sort of old school. Today, most people (that we are trying to serve) seek out a solution to their problem – when it’s the right time for them and when the problem is actually there. And then – when they do buy – they feel good that they made the decision and that it’s the right one – versus being sold on it.

The reason I am thinking about this again today is because I noticed a few more franchise customers come on board that are a part of a large restaurant organization with over 400 locations. We started serving one of them about 7 years ago and as of today we serve 138 of them. 138! I just think that’s awesome since we’ve not had a single conversation with any corporate office about mentioning our product to those who run their restaurants. And since they have not been forced to use us – they like us. They chose us. They didn’t have to use us – but they decided to. Isn’t that they way life should be?

I understand that most businesses can’t operate this way. They are under pressure to sell more and acquire more customers and reach goals that have been set for them. An opportunity to serve over 400 locations most certainly can’t be left to chance. I am just so thankful that we get to do it another way….that we get to let them choose us and let them decide that we are the company they want do business with. It makes the relationship we have with them so much better.


p.s Wil has talked about this before (about 4 years ago) and did a nice video blog talking about it. Our strategy has not changed. You can
watch that here
if you’d like to hear more on this topic.