TALK LESS! (or, the fine art of Sales)

Angel Investor, Business Development, CEO Succession, early stage, founder, Launch, Revenue Growth, Scalability, startup, startup CEO, Tom Nora, venture

The current massive movement of new startups is an awesome moment in our time. The power of the individual is unprecedented.

But one of the problems with the new would be all-functions entrepreneur is lack of training in some of the key areas of entrepreneurship – SALES skills. The technology has changed, but the art of selling and closing sales has not. Humans make decisions by being convinced by other humans, even if the convincing is implemented by automation, data mining, and semantics. Respect the human sales skills.

In most of the pitches I get from early stagers these days, they start talking and demoing and don’t know when to quit. They keep “selling” me. This one one of the most fundamental mistakes of selling. It’s much better to say as little as possible, then shut up and listen as much as possible. Pretend you’re interviewing the other person and you want them to talk. You’ll be amazed.

When I hear a pitch, I want to ask questions, probe, dig deeper into specific subjects. If someone talks too much I often forget or lose interest in my original questions. I also feel like they must be a bit desperate. The other night someone was trying to show me a demo of their mobile app in a loud bar. Since we couldn’t hear the audio, they were trying to scream the features to me. Very sad demo.

So don’t talk so much, listen more, you’ll close more sales.  @tomnora

The Art of Sales by Alec Baldwin :

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