It seems that every sector and city in the world are starting to see the benefits of these entrepreneurial communities. Whilst it’s obviously not for everyone, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be over 3.8 Million members of coworking communities worldwide.
With a vast majority of those members being involved with some kind of small or growing business, it’s no surprise that sales and bizdev folks are getting overly-excited about selling into these communities.
As we represent the interests and strike deals on behalf of members at 250+ communities worldwide we get inundated with requests for “tips on selling into these workspaces”.
And so, we’ve decided to put out a quick shortlist of tips, to save us all a little bit more time.
- Stop thinking ‘selling’, and think ‘supporting’.
Almost every community is run by hard-working people who are passionate about enabling entrepreneurship in their local ecosystem. Going in trying to sell something is going to come off as false, but putting together a truly supportive offer makes their job easier and creates real value.
- Stop mass-mailing.
Not only is this going to be illegal in most of Europe (and hopefully elsewhere in the world too, I mean c’mon how is buying email lists still a thing!?) but it’s insanely annoying and 80% of the community managers we’ve asked just ignore these types of ‘deal’ pitches. Every single community is different, and so their needs, wants and likes would differ too.
- Stop hounding the community managers.
Have you ever had to run an office where worrying about the safety, wellbeing and comfort of sometimes 100s of companies is your number one priority? Well it’s the day-to-day for the people you keep bombarding with calls and ‘follow up’ emails. Their priority is their members, not promoting your service.
- “Dropping off flyers” doesn’t work.
I’ve visited so many spaces where somewhere, in some corner, is a selection of flyers from companies who’ve asked so very very nicely to be able to leave them behind after a meeting. Without context or peer-recommendations, your flyers would probably serve a better purpose being dropped in the recycling bin.
- Stop pretending to be interested in joining the space.
This comes in as one of the most complained about tactics. Community managers and workspace operators aren’t stupid. So stop wasting their time on tours or viewings, if your only goal is to try sell in some product or service; a whole community is relying on them! How about joining a community and actually working from there? You’ll land up learning so much more and probably build up better business relationships organically through being a value-creating community member.
- Your user acquisition costs VS community managers’ time.
If you had to start now and reach out to every single of the 25,000 spaces that will be operating by 2020, spending just 3 minutes per space; you’ve already wasted 1,250 hours (or 52 and a bit days) for both your team and the collective of community managers. And, as you’re not the only one calling them, you can see why more and more community managers are turning away inbound sales altogether.
- Be smart, and create real value that scales.
This is exactly where included.co steps in to help. We make sure that your offering makes actual business sense in the long-term for both members and operators of 250+ coworking spaces. Over the last 2 years we’ve helped coworking communities build great business relationships with companies who a) truly understand the needs of these unique ecosystems, and b) step up to support them.
So if you’re serious about supporting coworking communities, whilst growing your own business, apply to become an included.co vendor today; and let’s see where we can help.