It is common entrepreneurial wisdom that good ideas often come from trying to solve your own problems. It’s no surprise then that many startups are building solutions to do just that, and therefore need to sell their products to other startups.
Many underestimate or miscalculate what it takes to successfully sell to the startup market. Why? Because most startups only consider these three points when thinking of selling to other startups:
- Speed: It’s faster to sell to startups than it is to Fortune 500 companies.
- Decision-making: It involves fewer people to make a decision. Often it is only the founders.
- Purchase power: Many startups have raised funding and are capable of paying for products that other small businesses with similar revenue would not be.
What many people forget is that selling to startups is like aiming at ever-evolving, fast-changing targets. It requires an incredible amount of speed and flexibility in the sales process. Below I outline some key challenges that you need to keep in mind if you want to successfully sell startups on your products or services.
1. GET TO THE POINT
Startups and their founders move fast, and so do their buying decisions. When pitching a startup, be sure to save everyone the time and get right to the point. Forget the cozy conversation around your sale, just make your pitch, manage objections, make sure there is a fit and need – then make it happen!
2. PITCH WITHOUT BS
You can’t sound like a slick sales person when selling to startups. Startups like to buy from people who understand their needs and the unique challenges they face. While pitching founders you can safely assume that you are talking to pretty smart people, so respect their intelligence and make sure you’re honest and up front about your product and its capabilities. Most founders have pretty good BS detectors so save yourself and them time.
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