Vision Software is Australasia’s largest developer of commercial property management and corporate real estate software with offices in Mount Maunganui and Auckland and a total of 21 staff. Mike Dennehy bought shares in Vision in 1995 and took it from a two-man operation to its current size, while building and selling two divisions of the business – Residential Property Management and Veterinary Management. The number one sales tip seems to be to “know your product or service very well”. What’s your experience with your products? You need to understand what your products do and are capable of. At Vision I’ve been involved in the development of all our products from the beginning and have learned a lot about the corporate real estate industry along the way.
How do you deal with rejection? Rejection is a fact of life and salespeople probably have to deal with it more than most. I never let it worry me and don’t take it personally – unless it’s something I’ve done in which case I have to take it on the chin and learn from it.
How do you prepare for a major sales pitch? Very thoroughly – it’s vital to understand your prospective client’s business, their risk profile, their challenges and pain points, and what keeps them awake at night.
What’s the best deal you have ever closed?
Winning the contract to supply ANZ Bank and National Bank as part of their merger, against a strong incumbent and major international opposition was a real thrill. We worked extremely hard for that deal and they’ve been a great client. Do you remember the very first deal you ever closed? Like it was yesterday. I sold our Real Estate and Residential Property Management software, plus some hardware and services, to The Professionals Papamoa Real Estate.
Have you ever used a psychological trick in closing a deal?
No, and I never will. Psychological tricks, smoke and mirrors have no place in the repertoire of a professional salesperson, and are highly likely to backfire.
Would you encourage your offspring to go into sales? I certainly wouldn’t discourage them from a career in sales. The reality is that we’re all selling, all the time. There’s a perception in New Zealand that sales involves elements of trickery, deception, or at least manipulating people into doing something they may not want to do. That’s rubbish, and no salesperson would last long in the business if they behaved like that.