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Week 6 – Possibly the most boring week

Faizan Patankar on 15 August 2020

This post is part of the Building It series where I share my journey building a startup, Amygda. Published weekly and as transparent as our customers, investors, and partners would have us be (read: legally allowed).

I tried to write this opening line 5 different ways. And I just couldn't try to phrase it any better than this.

This week was hard (and boring).

Generally, boring weeks are harder as you have to find a substitute for adrenaline.

There is a lot happening on the customer side, pitch deck, and product roadmap. And it is hard to manage. I am spinning a lot of plates right now. That's the best way to describe it.

I didn't expect anything else. But nothing prepares you for this until you go through it.

What happened this week?

Lot's of follow-ups. We are a small team and at the start, the sales have to be founder driven. And I am trying to be a sales person without any sales knowledge.

Yeah, take a guess how fun that is 😅

But I am learning. Selling is an important skill-set for founders.

Because sales aren't just about selling the product. but as a founder, I seem to be constantly selling!

Selling to investors, to the team, to customers, to my family (yeah, don't forget they will always be thinking why is someone a nutcase to do this).

So let's talk about sales a bit more

Actually I don't like the word sales. Because it seems like a transactional relationship. To some extent it is. But we want to go beyond that.

But this isn't the time to discuss what I think of sales as a term.

Anyhow, as an engineer founder I only have second-hand sales knowledge. And lots of information from books! Books, voila, they really help you find yourself.

One of the books I highly recommend is "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek. I understood more about building something with this book, than any other.

Another way to do sales (in enterprise B2B space) is to observe enterprise account managers or customer success managers. I came across 2 excellent ones in my time at Rolls-Royce and they worked for different orgs, but were excellent.

I learnt so much, just observing how they did what they did. And their communication methods and touchpoints. They were always on top of everything that was going on and all the different communications they were having.

Following up is as important as making the first contact, if not more

The hardest thing for me is the follow-up. It's easier to send the first email. Because there is nothing to begin with.

After that, you have to think of the timing of the follow-up. What will you follow-up with, the exact wording? And what is the next follow-up after this one, if no replies? etc etc

Following up is a minefield. And it's a topic not often discussed.

Don't forget about it.

How is the fundraising coming along to build your startup?

No update this week.

OK, what else happened last week?

Nothing else really.

As I said, a pretty boring week for me.

. . .

What do you think of this week? Let me know via messaging me on LinkedIn or tweet me @faizanpatankar. I love talking, just mention you read my blog.