After reading Eric Sink’s work, my eyes were opened to his ideas on the Tenants of Transparency. In a very small nutshell: it is possible to run a small software business without a salesman by allowing the customer to come to you. This can be achieved by achieving transparency with the customer.
ie. The more the customer works with and knows about the company the greater the comfort factor and the more willing they are to purchase from said company.
When Directory Wizards started we had a similar vision. To this day we do not have (nor ever will) a salesman. All contact with the customer is initiated shortly before the end of the software evaluation period. If we don’t hear back, that’s it: no cold calls or emails. This has actually worked very well today, but I think we can take transparency further by following some of Eric’s ideas.
Two of these tenants have now been put into operation:
- Downloads of all evaluation software can now be made anonymously. You do not need to enter your name, phone, email address etc. For Profiler downloads, the download itself carries a 30 day eval key.
- A blog has been started (you are reading it..) to keep you aware of developments in the product as well as enhancement ideas etc… An RSS feed is also available. We always encourage communication, 90% of our product specs are based on customer feedback to our support department. We do not charge for product enhancements.
Over the next few months there are going to be a lot of changes to our approach to software development and our relationship with you, the customer.