Chapter 23How to sell anything to anyone

I've coached thousands of business owners. I've seen why some succeed and why many fail. The successful operators have one thing in common: they can sell. It really is as simple as that.

Your ability to build a business is almost entirely predicated on your ability, willingness and capacity to sell your product, service, story and vision to everyone in your ecosystem: your staff, your suppliers and of course, your clients. If you can't do that, you will struggle to succeed.

Why are people so afraid to sell?

There are a host of reasons why some people don't like selling, but it's mostly because they don't believe in themselves, their product and the value their product offers. If they did, they wouldn't hesitate to sell it. Most people don't like being seen as pushy, insincere or inauthentic. I get it. But let's say you happen to sell bottles of water and you stumble across a man dying of thirst in the desert. Would you feel pushy selling him a bottle of water? No. You'd have no hesitation because it will save that man's life. We can't all sell life-saving services, but we have to act as if we do, or we will buckle at the first sign of buyer resistance.

I know start-up founders are encouraged to find investors as quickly as possible. They're told, ‘Why back yourself with your own money when you can persuade some schmuck to fund your wild and crazy experiment?’ This strategy just kicks the can down the road for when you eventually have ...

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