But, I’m better at selling “ideas”

I’m a lucky guy.

As a mentor at 500Startups, Techstars, and our work at Revelry, I get to help hundreds of entrepreneurs build their ideas and their teams.

While all of our conversations are personal and confidential, I occasionally get a question or comment that resonates so broadly it is easy to share anonymously and hopefully be useful to others.

Here is a recent conversation:


Direct sales of a “thing” has never been my strength. I’m better at selling ideas.


Isn’t a “thing” just an idea?

I am not trying to be coy. In my experience everything is really just a story. For example, I have learned – as a person who leans more ‘emotional’ than ‘logical’ – that even people who consider themselves extremely logical are still ultimately making decisions based on their feelings about the logic. Which means everything is story telling. Specifically, telling the story in the language people speak.

My last company helped businesses and brands build long-term relationships with customers. We were selling to ‘business’ buyers instead of ‘consumer’ buyers. But the story I told around the product was that there isn’t really any such things as the B2B or B2C categories. Instead, we proposed that at end of the day everything is H2H, or Human to Human. So, as business professionals, our primary goal should be improving the way we, as humans, can provide value to other humans – regardless whether that human carries a business wallet or a personal wallet.

All of this to say, I suspect that all your experience and skills in selling ideas should actually be a competitive advantage to you as you work on selling the idea of this thing.

Next Action

Can you maybe spend 10 minutes today writing down a list of tactics/habits that make you great at selling ideas, and then turn around and spend 10 minutes reframing those statements into tactics/habits for selling your thing?






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