Using Coffee (And Tea) To Close Deals

ROI Overload Sales & Marketing Newsletter

In this constantly evolving newsletter, I try and keep things fresh.

So…. I’m changing things up…

I’m killing the entire marketing section….

For this week.

Here’s what I’m going to try and do.

Do one marketing case study, and then one sales case study and then I’ll be able to write a newsletter once per week, instead of packing everything into one bi-weekly newsletter that takes me far too long to write.

So you’ll get 1x newsletter per week and it will flip-flop back and forth from sales content to marketing content & case studies.

I’ll keep the extra stuff weekly as well, as that’s less work to put together.

Let me know what you think!

Anyways, here’s what’s coming up.

  • ☕ Sales: How Michael Bloomberg Sold His First Terminal

  • 📈 Marketing: NEXT WEEK

  • 💻 SaaS Of The Week:

  • 🎧 Things You Should Listen To: Zach Nadler, CEO of VaynerSpeakers

  • 📚 Things You Should Read: Grit

  • 🧠 Scott’s Thoughts: We Need To Daydream More

☕ Sales: How Michael Bloomberg Sold His First Terminal

When we think about sales, we generally don't think of Michael Bloomberg. And when we think of Michael Bloomberg (MB),  we may think of money, we may think of him being the ex-mayor of New York, a democratic candidate in the 2020 election or a billionaire with a net worth of roughly $69 billion, but we don’t all think of how he got there. 

How he hustled and sold his first ever terminal.

But Michael (and the Bloomberg terminal) started somewhere.

A quick history of MB - he was a Harvard MBA, and started working at the investment bank Salomon Brothers.

When Salomon Brother’s was acquired by Phibro, MB was pushed out with a nice $10m dollar paycheck.

This first career milestone gave him the capital to develop the Bloomberg terminal.

He spent over $4m creating the first terminal, with the only money he had at the time from his exit from Salomon Brother’s.

(Does taking the proceeds from an initial successful foray and reinvesting it in another successful future endeavor ring any bells? cough*musk*cough).

Now keep in mind, he had now spent $4m, was sustaining a fairly upscale lifestyle, and still didn’t have a single customer yet.

This is where our sales story starts.

Michael Bloomberg did not rush his first customer, think of the next three years of his life, as the type of work a company should do, over the course of a sales cycle with a customer.

These are the steps he took to land his first customer.

Year 1 (Step 1)

Sales Steps Taken: Build the relationship. Land a small deal to establish rapport with the customer.

MB was doing odd consulting jobs, and one of his clients was Merrill Lynch & co. In terms of being the ideal customer, Merill checked all the boxes.

The goal of this consulting work was entirely to establish a relationship with the company, and start to form relationships with champions and decision makers within the organization.

For MB, Merrill was the ideal customer profile. 

Over the course of the year, consulting paid MB roughly 100k, and allowed him to continue his sales process.

Year 2 (Step 2)

Steps Taken: Identify buyer persona / decision maker. Build rapport with the decision maker to increase wallet share (the amount of money spent & products/services purchased from MB.)

MB didn’t have the resources to develop relationships with all potential buyers of the Bloomberg Terminal, so he decided to double down and focus entirely on the company he already had built some relationship capital with.

He still had access to Merrill Lynch’s offices from the consulting, so every morning at 6 am he woke up, drive to the deli across the street from Merrill Lynch's headquarters at six a.m. and buy coffee (with and without milk) and tea (with and without milk), plus a few sugars on the side.

He roamed the halls and looked for anyone who was in the office reading a newspaper. He’d walk in and say…

"Hi, I'm Mike Bloomberg. I bought you a cup of coffee. I'd just like to bend your ear."

His rational?

No one was going to tell him to go away, if he brought them a coffee (law of reciprocity).

The effort paid off. He got a meeting with Ed Moriarty, a managing director at Merill Lynch. This was the decision maker he needed to convince.

Year 3 (Step 3)

Steps Taken: Pitch, mitigate risk & go above and beyond the buyers expectations.

Bloomberg finally had a chance to pitch.

It went horrible.

The Merill Lynch executive team saw the terminal as a great idea, but also as something they could do themselves.

They forecast, that in 6 months they could build an alternative, internally…. even better than what MB pitched.

MB took a bet, and eliminated all downside risk associated with his own product.

If it can’t install it, and you don’t love it in 6 months, you don’t have to pay for it.

If you want to sell more, take notes. Eliminate risk.

It was one of the easiest decisions the firm ever made. And the exec team immediately signed off on the project, giving MB 6 months to prove himself.

When the 6 months was up, MB tested the first iteration of the Bloomberg terminal at Merill Lynch, although there were some software bugs (which were quickly ironed out), the Merill Lynch team loved that he had fulfilled in the time frame they allotted and saved them the trouble from having to produce a complicated product from scratch.

They proceeded with the entire order of 20 units, and even added 2 more.

With MB selling his terminal to one of the top 5 banks in the world as his client, this was just the beginning of the Bloomberg terminal and Michael Bloombergs legacy as a business leader and magnate.

📈 Marketing: NEXT WEEK

💻 SaaS Of The Week:

I’m a big fan of tools that let you work more efficiently, more effectively, at scale, or at a higher quality, so when I saw it was a no brainer to try it out.

It’s easy to see why it was rated Product Hunt’s product of the week, several weeks back.

It’s a no-code, aesthetically pleasing drag and drop website builder.

Solopreneurs (or marketers), there is literally no excuse for you to have a beautiful website. There are a ton of tools out there, but this is definitely one you should check out.

🎧 Things You Should Listen To: Zach Nadler, CEO of VaynerSpeakers

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Zach Nadler, CEO of VaynerSpeakers. He was originally Gary Vaynerchuk’s talent agent when he worked for CAA, before moving over to the VaynerX and leading the expansion of the new VaynerSpeakers subsidiary company.

Here’s what we get into…

  • Why did Zach get into managing talent?

  • How did Zach get to know Gary Vaynerchuk?

  • How professional speaking has evolved.

  • What is the goal of VaynerSpeakers?

  • How can someone get into paid speaking?

  • What makes a great speaker?

  • Covid & virtual events.

  • How to master (virtual) public speaking.

📚 Things You Should Read: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

I was chatting on a podcast last week, and the question came up regarding some of the most important personality traits I see successful entrepreneurs manifest, and my answer was (and always is) Grit.

What is Grit?

A special blend of passion and persistence.

This is the book, where I originally learned about the concept ideated by Angela Duckworth, and it’s definitely a book I recommend any entrepreneurs or intrapreneuers read.

In this New York Times bestseller, Angela shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

It’s a very powerful book. Grab it on amazon here.

🧠 Scott’s Thoughts: We Need To Daydream More

What is creativity?

Creativity is independent of training, expertise, or even common sense. There are no experts in it. 

There are no recipes or newfangled drills that facilitate it. It springs from the insights of the mind.

Creativity is fundamental to effective design however its scarcity leads us to waste time and energy looking for solutions. 

Creative solutions cost less and often are solutions already present in the ideas of others, if only we recognize what they are. 

The most important thing is to notice them. 

One of the worst waste of time is finding suggestions that we know to be inherently bad, then trying to fix them.

Anyone can learn to be more creative. 

It may require a lot of work, but in the long run, more creativity pays for itself.

But where do we start, if we want to be more creative? 


A recent study by the Netherlands’ Tilburg University suggests that daydreaming is a more productive way to think than brainstorming. 

The researchers assigned participants to five separate five-minute blocks, with half designated “task blocks” where they had to solve the task they were given–things like drawing a picture of an object–and the other half designated “fluid blocks” where they had to spend a minute daydreaming about whatever came into their minds. 

By breaking up the time between thinking and doing, the participants had a chance to relax and escape their stresses. 

“This allowed their brains to generate novel and original insights that were not available during the work time,” the researchers explain.

The act of thinking can be energizing and exciting, but there are many ways you can take that energy and turn it into concrete actions. 

Incorporating a little bit of day dreaming & creative thinking into your everyday routine has been shown to help you accomplish more than you would have ever imagined, so don’t be afraid to take a few minutes out of your day to break out the brainstorm pad. 

Let your thoughts wander and let your imagination flow.

Have an awesome week, y’all.

- Scott ✌️

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