Back in the day, okay back before the day, marketers learned how to market by selling one-at-a-time. You made something, let people try it — if they liked, you sold it. What was learned from the first sales experience was parlayed into the next and so on until roll-out. First limited, then as demand dictated.
Today, many small and mid-size company goods and services, especially of the tech variety, are incubated, venture-funded, business planned, social media-eyezed and launched without this up close and personal one-at-a-time process. Many nouveau markets go big using accelerated timeframes without allowing for an evolved sales immersion. Fall forward fast some call it. If you are using other people’s money, it’s like going to college in reverse.
David Ogilvy once said, and I paraphrase, “Our business is infected with people who have never sold a thing in their lives.” He, of course, was referring to the ad business.
My suggestion to start-ups today: It’s okay to incubate and code and pitch, but please, please, please don’t forget to sell. Look into the eyes of your buyers. Feel them. Listen to them. Don’t be shined on by you uncle in the business. Don’t let the dream get in your way. Peace.