Solista – 3 years of Lessons

3 years ago this week our Co-founder Noel handed in his notice in from his full time role to
start Solista, next month Solista turns 3.

Today, we want to look back on the past 3 years and share a few lessons that we have learnt on the
journey.

  • You can’t win them all!! No matter how much we love the technology it won’t always be a fit……
    and that’s fine. Lose fast – customers respect us for walking away when it’s not right for both
    parties. Many of our recent client wins said no to us the first time round.
  • Celebrating the little wins is as important as the big ones – we have often learnt more and solved a
    more pressing problem from the small, strategic wins.
  • What we don’t do is as important as what we can do – our customers need expertise, precise
    product knowledge, demonstrable experience and good service, not lengthy product data sheets or
    service catalogues.
  • Competition is good – embrace it, don’t fear it. For example, the noise and competition in the
    storage market has validated our strategy, without us having to spend too many advertising dollars.
  • Turning up is half the battle. Being proactive, picking up the phone and making the extra effort to
    meet people, beats days strategizing on a white board. Clients will tell you what they want when
    you see them.
  • Listen, Listen, Listen……. customers are smart!! Decision making in the digital era has changed
    the way we sell and people buy. Over 60% of the buying is done before we meet our clients,
    whether we like it or not.
  • Cold calling is not dead!! 78% of sales started from a cold call or LinkedIn invite. If you have
    something of value and relevance people want to hear about it.
  • Work closely with your suppliers. We resell other companies products, so it’s imperative that the
    supplier and reseller are on the same page. We can’t possess all the knowledge. Win and lose
    together, but always work in lockstep.
  • Keeping a very relevant portfolio is vital to meet growing demand and onboarding new customers.
    Many of our clients had a good relationships with their pre-existing vendors or resellers, but their
    offerings were not relevant to the needs of the customer anymore.

It’s been an amazing journey, here is to the next 3 three years, many more customers and lessons to
be learned.

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