How to Get Your First Sale in 7 Simple Steps
Originally published: 06/10/2017 13:12
Publication number: ELQ-54577-1
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How to Get Your First Sale in 7 Simple Steps

Making your first sale is easier than many think, and it's feasible to start right now. Just follow these steps!

Introduction

I spent decades developing and selling presentation software to giant companies. Yes, we were competing with Microsoft PowerPoint. Crazy, right? We even had competitors!

Our customers were the sales and marketing teams of HBO, Western Union, Comcast, Dell, Sony, the NFL, American Express, Redken, and a ton of other recognizable names. It was awesome! And a ton of work!


But before all of that I had to make my first sale (which involved my co-founder and I cutting out business cards in the parking lot of Cablevision’s HQ, but that’s a story for another day).


Want to know how I did it?


It’s easier than you think and you can get started right now. Some people think sales is hard, some people think it’s a dark art, and some people think it’s annoying. The truth is that selling is both easy and necessary. 


“Sales” is really just having conversations with people. It involves a lot of listening, and a little bit of explaining who you are and what you do. I shoot for about 30% talking and 70% listening. Used car salesmen, on the other hand, do 95% of the talking.


Once you become good at sales you have a superpower: you can control your own destiny.


This is true regardless of what industry you’re in. Let’s take a minute to let this quote about SaaS software sink in:


“With my latest product…I used only customer interviews, HTML, and…mock-ups to understand the problem, define the solution, and sign up 100 paying customers before I started building the minimum viable product.”
— Ash Maurya, Running Lean


No, really…let it sink in.


Maybe you don’t need to finish developing that app before you get paid. This guy made money BEFORE he build his MVP—I love it!


Here are some straightforward steps to get started:

  • Step n°1 |

    Come up with an offer.

    Figure out what your product is and what it costs. Start by looking at what your competitors are charging. Don’t have competitors? Fine, then look at what people are currently paying to handle the problem you’re solving.

    Practice looking people in the eye and smoothly describing your offer and what it costs. If I don’t practice then I usually get cold feet and screw it up when I’m face-to-face with a potential customer. There’s no telling what will come out of my mouth if I don’t practice.

    How to Get Your First Sale in 7 Simple Steps image
  • Step n°2 |

    Tell everyone what you’re doing.

    I mean every single person you speak with: friends, family, the barista at Starbucks, etc. Don’t try to sell them anything. Simply tell them what you’re doing. You can start today!

    This is good for a few reasons. First, it forces you to refine your elevator pitch because you’ll immediately be able to see what’s working and what’s not. Second, people will say things like, “Oh, I have a friend who does that. Let me introduce you.” Or even better, “Oh, I have a friend who’s looking for someone who does that. Let me introduce you.” Accept the introduction and meet for coffee. Repeat this enough times and you’ll start finding customers.

    How to Get Your First Sale in 7 Simple Steps image
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  • Tim Demoures(last updated: 07/10/2017 17:07)
    Love the Spirit
    Great Step by Step Sales tips from Mike here. Very much enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your experience and valuable advice.

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