Wolfgang Allisat, CCO – Unbabel – Where Sales People Are Underdeveloped Today – Sales Confidence

Good evening everyone. The beauty of not having slides means I can do whatever the f*** I want! I came thoroughly unprepared but there’s my third beer now and I’m getting warm. My name is Wolfgang Allisat and I’m the CRO of Unbabel, and just in case you’re confused because that says CCO, it’s a little sales trick chief customer officer, if you’re talking to clients and prospects and CRO if you’re talking to salespeople, you don’t want to scare them in the first meeting.

What does I’m Unbabel do, we’re an AI technology company based in Lisbon and San Francisco, and we basically, we enable companies to communicate with their customers in any language. So we’re like the Uber of translation so the drunker I get the cooler my explanation gets so what we actually do, but we’re a translation as a service company.

I was going to talk to you today about globalisation how important it is, but I think it’s much more important to talk about you know what it takes to be a good salesperson. Not drinking beer in front of your speech is a good star, just joking. So I had dinner yesterday, and really good conversations, Notion Capital is one of our investors and by the way everybody had sponsors the event thank you so much, but please invest more so you get better speakers than myself and the beer remains free throughout the evening. So we had dinner yesterday and you can stop me anytime, and I was asked sort of you know why did you go to sales and what’s important to you and, you know, do you know NLP and I said yes I’m mirroring you right now and I’m so bored, I’m anchoring right now thinking I’m in paradise, and NLP works it really does but, be careful that you know you don’t get caught doing NLP on somebody right that’s the end of that meeting, the end of that business. So really and I go back to what Elaine just said unless you’re northerner, be authentic just don’t try and be somebody else that you’re not so even as a northerner, you can speak northernish, if people understand you that’s fine, if they don’t speak differently. But if you try and use NLP, and you’re not a master like myself you will get caught and people will think you’re fraud. If you come over overly enthusiastic about a product that is actually bloody boring, people will look at you strangely and think like why is he such an energy bundle this is not that exciting. So don’t overdo it be yourself be authentic right, be passionate there’s a huge difference between passionate and energetic and and an over over-the-top.

Let’s go over to globalisation because I’ve got another couple of minutes to kill here, and I’m anchoring myself again. I moved 24 times, then speak a couple of languages and I’m German and see I’m German I’m being authentic I drink beer! So my first interview I was one of the first employees at Omniture before we blew out and then got acquired, and I met with Josh who’s a mormon, and we had dinner and he ordered a glass of water and I ordered a beer. And he said what the f*** wolf you know I’m Mormon, and what f*** Josh, don’t you know I’m German, and he hired me anyway and so the story goes. But globalisation goes beyond just understanding different cultures and being authentic, and but fitting in you know I’m not being an ass all the time. It also really takes a strain on your budget your time you travel so a trip it sent me my 2018 stats, and I traveled 340 days over 360,000 kilometers so I have an ex-wife here as you can imagine and the girlfriend in Barcelona, and I live in Lisbon, yeah that doesn’t help. Man there’s a long seven minutes you’re asking here!

So going back to the resource and strain on your time, you’re not enjoying myself, it’s a tough crowd here, really focus before you go out, so we’ve just you know we just opened a San Francisco office we hired twelve people they cost more than then then all of Lisbon together pretty much, but it took huge strain on my time on going out there finding the right people and getting them trained up, and then you know I’m always on calls at midnight because they don’t want to get up at 7:00 and so you know, really focus on the right candidates on the right countries to go into, so only go into countries where you actually have a good market fit where you speak the language and where you know you’re gonna do business. Don’t don’t try and go to Singapore in month 3 right because you will not be successful, it’s just too far away from home, you don’t speak the language and you know business is really hard out there. Then who goes is it the founder is it you know the CRO like myself, find the right person you’ll find something that wants to be out there because if you’re miserable and you’re away from family and friends you know that that’s not much fun either. 

Prepare prepare prepare! I really hated when when sales people go into meetings that you know not prepared haven’t got a clue who they’re talking to you know go to LinkedIn if you have an account, imagine you do, have a little have a little wander around right look at the people you’re seeing you know understand their hobbies know which school they went to you might look at all the mutual contacts but but be prepared, and I’ll leave you with you’ll just be better prepared than I am for this speech thank you.

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