With the all buzz around fintech the past few years, you’d probably think that fintech dudes were marketers par excellence. Nope. You’d be dead wrong there:
“Nine out of ten fintechs that talk to me fail within five minutes and I can’t work with them,” he said, when speaking on the ‘The Art & Science of Sales’ at the Fintech Global Summit 2017 in Singapore on Thursday.
“If you can’t sell your product, then all you’ve done is built software for yourself.
The “he” here is Neal Cross, DBS Bank’s chief innovation officer, who as Deal Street Asia points out; is unimpressed with the fintech startups world’s corporate sales game.
The reason behind this is plural: firstly, fintech entrepreneurs – most of them, at least – purportedly lack the soft skills needed to seal the deal. They either (a), fail to pay attention to nuances, or (b) they simply can’t sell themselves to potential investors.
“The single most important thing that you sell is yourself. Companies don’t buy from companies. People buy from people.”
Lastly, entrepreneurs also have a habit of being a little cavalier when it comes to meetings. Sure, they come in with a solid pitch and all, but a solid agenda – including the firm’s and the investor’s next steps – is sometimes absent. As you can imagine, this doesn’t always lead to successful deals.
There are ways to counteract these, though. According to Cross, having a detailed meeting agenda should be a priority. Better yet, startup founders should block meetings weeks – not days – in advance to prepare themselves. That way, not only would they their pitch cold, he says they’d also get to learn how to read a room better, including “the spoken and unspoken elements during an interaction.”
As for trust, well, that’s obviously an incredibly nuanced skillset. Having a specific and transparent plan however, should help.