Start-up 101: How to sell well?

In September 2017, the BLOCK71 Singapore community of start-up founders gather for the monthly Founders’ Breakfast — where entrepreneurs share their small wins and discuss key topics. For the month of September, the discussions centred on the sales fundamentals for start-ups.

Here are some of the learning points from this session:

When should start-ups start selling and should selling begin before a product fit is found?

Selling a product requires understanding and getting insight into what the customer wants. Start-ups should sell their product, seek feedback from customers on how it can be improved, modify their product and sell it. It is an iterative process.

What are some tips for successful selling?

  1. When start-ups are clear about their target market, they can consider outsourcing their sales capability as there is a lower risk.
  2. Prospecting methodologies should be tailored for different industries for optimal results. For example, pitching via SMS yields better results with real estate agents, and pitches via emails are more successful with consultancies.
  3. For products with a low selling price, it might be more appropriate to sell via online marketing as the commission is likely too low to incentivise sales people to perform well.
  4. Start-up founders can sit in when their sales staff are conducting pitches to customers. This ensures that everyone has the same understanding of the product and that the founders are aware of the honest opinions of customers. If the founders are too busy, they can consider asking the salespeople about their experiences while selling.
  5. To reduce the customers’ perceptions of risk if they buy the product, start-up founders can explore strategies such as discounts and money-back guarantees to give them confidence.
  6. To increase the customers’ perception of value if they buy the product, strategies like presenting testimonials and statistics can be adopted. These strategies will reassure the customer that the product is of value to them.


Are you an entrepreneur working on a cool product and looking for more than just a co-working space ? Do apply for a hotdesk here and become part of the exciting community that we offer at BLOCK71 SINGAPORE.

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NUS Enterprise nurtures entrepreneurial talents with global mindsets, while advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at Asia’s leading university.

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