How Successful Startups Avoid Selling To People Who Aren’t Buying

Discover, define, and mine your market to find customer gold

Your goal is NOT to sell as much product as you can

I’m going to buck conventional wisdom here a little bit and tell you that all of the advice you hear about always-be-selling and always-be-closing and throwing enough shit at a wall for some to stick — this isn’t for you.

Discover your market

Who would buy this?

Develop traction in that market

A lot of entrepreneurs think of the search for traction as the exercise of proving the product they have fits the market they’re targeting. That’s actually an exercise in futility, because you don’t prove product-market fit, you develop it.

Start mining that traction for all its worth

One of the reasons I’ve grown to hate marketing and selling to people who aren’t buying is that every minute I’m doing that is a minute I’m not finding traction and mining that traction.

Make that mining more efficient

Even when you’re putting all your efforts into repeatable, sustainable selling, you’ll still need to be experimenting to reduce your sales cycle and increase your margins. This will make the difference between sawtooth growth and scaled growth.

Expect that mine to dry up and prepare to repeat

As that traction wave is ending, you’ll suddenly find yourself in danger of marketing and selling to people who aren’t buying all over again. This is your last chance to avoid the mistake of believing that something will turn around and all the numbers will start going up again.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at

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