Selling is one of those things that many non-sales folks don’t like to do, but have to do anyway.
** DISCLAIMER **
This site is for people looking to start a new business. The target audience is between $0 and $250,000 in yearly revenue. Therefore, the type of selling I’m describing is for people at that stage. However, if you know your business, know your customer, and are selling millions per year, this doesn’t apply.
** END DISCLAIMER **
So the secret to pitching and selling for a new entrepreneur?
I say it’s best just not to bother.
No seriously, stop stressing about pitching and selling anything to anyone.
You’re not there yet.
At this stage, you really don’t know what you’re selling. And you really don’t know who the customer is.
The most important thing is to talk to a lot of people and don’t stop.
The #1 thing to avoid in the beginning is being in love with your idea.
You must consider your idea to be completely inert; an inanimate object that needs to prove to you there is any merit to it.
So stop pitching. Be normal. Act like you are talking to a friend.
Because people don’t want to be pitched to anyway. They immediately get defensive.
You can call what you are doing “pitching” and “selling” as long as you have the right mentality.
You are uncovering the truth.
You are helping bring a new service or product to market. So, therefore, you need to engage the population and learn their problems and what they will buy.
You are helping someone who doesn’t know you or your product understand what you do and giving them an ability to buy it.
Here is an example from my life.
I wanted to build Android apps. So I went around telling people I was doing Android.
But I noticed something. People kept asking me if I could build apps for the iPhone.
Finally, one day, I walked into the Apple store and bought an iPhone and a Mac and taught myself how to build apps for it.
Next time I went around talking to people about apps, I said I did iPhone.
Now, notice I didn’t change what I was doing completely (although, you can). But I did change my approach to what I was doing.
So, to recap, here is how you sell at this stage:
- Get a vague concept of what you want to do “Build Android Apps”, “Teach Spanish”.
- Go around telling people.
- Listen to what they say. Learn their problems.
- Update your concept of what you’re doing and try it again.
- Do this until you get a hit.
You’ll know you have a hit when:
- People refer others to you.
- Immediately after telling someone what you do, they either ask you questions or mention opportunities for you.
That’s it. Get going!