Why we don’t try to sell people on using Schedulefly

As we’ve mentioned before, we don’t have sales people – nobody trying to convince restaurants to use Schedulefly. Why would we? How do we know if it’s right for them? We don’t know how they operate, what issues are important, etc. Or if the timing is right. Maybe they want to deal with scheduling a year from now. Why would we try to convince them to do it today?

Instead, we focus on taking great care of the people that use our software, and we are easy to find. It’s 2015 – all anybody needs to do is search online for restaurant staff scheduling softwares and they’ll find us quickly. Or they can ask their friends in the industry what they do for scheduling. Or they can ask employees who’ve worked elsewhere what other restaurants are doing.

Anyway, I thought of this the other day when a sales person emailed me multiple times in a 24-hour period to try to convince me that we should use his marketing tool. He asked what we do to try to stay in touch with people who signed up for a trial but didn’t become customers. Here’s my answer:

“Nothing. They will come back to us when they are ready. That’s how it’s always happened for 8 years now. We have no sales people and completely leave people alone unless they need us. We solve an explicit problem for people (restaurant staff scheduling sucks), and when that problem makes its way to the top of their list of problems to solve, we provide a good solution. They’ll find us.”

He replied and wrote “That’s interesting” – and proceeded to infer that what we are doing is maybe “interesting” but certainly not the smartest thing to do, explaining how some of our competitors use his tool and it helps them get more customers, so therefore we should use it too. Here’s my answer:

“Name- our approach may seem “interesting” to you. To us it’s one of the pillars of how we do business. We will never do it another way. Man, I’ll be straight up with you – the fact that those other companies do something one way makes me even more determined never to do it. We don’t follow other people’s playbooks, we write our own. I don’t want Schedulefly to be like everybody else. I want it to be like Schedulefly.

I appreciate your persistence. I’ve been in sales. I know you believe passionately in what your company does and how it can help businesses be more successful. And I’m sure y’all do help many companies. But I can save you the time of following up with us, because we are not going to change the core of how we operate this business.”

I was as polite as I could be, because in a short period of time, I went from not knowing about his company to being annoyed by them. Even if we changed gears today and decided to start using a marketing solution, I would look elsewhere for a provider. Why would I want to work with somebody who is trying to convince me at the wrong time (when I have no identified a problem in our business) that what we are currently doing is “interesting” but certainly not the smartest thing to do because my competitors do it differently? Not gonna happen.

So this brings me back to why we will NEVER have sales people. We never want to try to convince people at the wrong time that what they are currently doing is the wrong thing to do. Rather, we will wait patiently for them and welcome them with open arms and take great care of them if they decide at the right time for them that we have the right fit for their restaurant.