Late in the summer of 2001 I was seriously frustrated. After raising money from a professor, hiring several friends as programming interns, and taking a leave of absence from college, we had built a good product, but only had two customers. Eagerly, I reached out to a mentor of mine I met earlier that year when he was on sabbatical from Microsoft.
As he was back in Seattle, we scheduled a time to talk. Even today, I clearly remember that I was standing on a campus tennis court using my cell phone (a flip phone!) for the conversation. After sharing our progress, and my frustrations, he quickly diagnosed my problem: I needed to learn how to sell. Everything I did was focused on building the product, and not on acquiring customers. It was time for a change.
Most entrepreneurs are in love with their product. Unfortunately, most products don’t sell on their own. One of the most difficult, and important, challenges for product entrepreneurs is to learn how to sell. When an entrepreneur reaches out for help, it’s almost always because they haven’t figured out to grow sales.
What else? What are some more thoughts on entrepreneurs needing to learn how to sell?