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“Lean" selling: How a really long Selling Cycle could be Actually a Success Story

In the last couple of months, we had many celebrations in BreezoMeter's HQ: We were selected to participate in the Global Emerging Entrepreneurs Event at the White House (which was addressed by President Barack Obama) We moved to new offices, launched our new website, and most importantly had our first costumers.

One of those customers was Yad2  which use BreezoMeter’s real time air quality widget on their real estate websites (Just a reminder: Yad2 is Israel’s largest online real estate platform with more than 2 million unique visitors per month and is valued at $200 million). Now, for the first time in Israel, anyone searching online to rent or purchase their dream home can literally see the air that they can expect to breathe on moving to that property. Bearing in mind that we breathe 3000 gallons of air every day, that is a crucial piece of information.

What makes it such a great story is that the first sales meeting with Yad2 took place back in 2013.
Let me explain: BreezoMeter’s technology maps air quality in real time and provides street resolution air quality data, together with personalized, tailor-made health solutions for children, people with health sensitivities, athletes, adults with allergies and the like.

Our novel technology took us more than two years to develop, and during that time we worked hard on the challenges of both engineering and business development (The old proverb, “if you build it, they will come” happens only in the movies). Even before we wrote the first line of code, we mapped all of the different sectors that could use our technology and immediately contacted all of the companies that might possibly be future clients, setting up meetings with those who agreed to talk with us.

I clearly remember my first meeting with Yad2’s CMO. At that time, we still didn’t have a real working product. But we still went confident to Yad2 HQ to present our “product in the making” as though it were ready to be launched the very next day at TechCrunch (It actually took another year to get there). As we didn’t even have an app to demonstrate - much less an API or Widget accompanied by the appropriate developer tools and documentation, support, etc. - I presented my personal story of how, when my pregnant wife and I were searching for a house, I was surprised that we couldn’t find a single real estate website which gave information on the air quality of the area.

Although they found my story very convincing, I remember Yad2’s CMO’s face when she asked me, “So you are telling me that you don’t actually have a product yet?”

Obviously, selling a product was not our main goal at that point, but the very positive outcome of that first meeting was that from then on,  Yad2 and other companies in the weather and health arenas were in close contact with us to ensure that our products would be tailor-built for them with features and a business model that harmonize with their own interests .

After that meeting back in 2013, the company was founded, raised funds and  recruited employees, but most importantly it produced the right products for our potential customers. Working with this strategy, it’s no wonder that in the first month after we released our open API, more than 70 companies, among them major players in the weather, real estate and mHealth arena, had already signed up to use our API.

As the CEO, I am committed to ensuring that the hard work invested in our products by every one of our team won’t be wasted. Please don’t misunderstand me: we are still a new startup with all of the tests and challenges that are part of that world. But by being in direct contact with our clients - even before they actually became our clients - ensured that we were not only developing the best-designed technology we could, but also that it was the right one for our client’s needs.

Sincerely,

Ran Korber

Co-founder and CEO, @ BreezoMeter.

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