Learn How to Sell

David Cummings on Startups

Late in the summer of 2001 I was seriously frustrated. After raising money from a professor, hiring several friends as programming interns, and taking a leave of absence from college, we had built a good product, but only had two customers. Eagerly, I reached out to a mentor of mine I met earlier that year when he was on sabbatical from Microsoft.

As he was back in Seattle, we scheduled a time to talk. Even today, I clearly remember that I was standing on a campus tennis court using my cell phone (a flip phone!) for the conversation. After sharing our progress, and my frustrations, he quickly diagnosed my problem: I needed to learn how to sell. Everything I did was focused on building the product, and not on acquiring customers. It was time for a change.

Most entrepreneurs are in love with their product. Unfortunately, most products don’t sell on their own…

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