For the last 6 months, I have been pushing as hard as I can and getting nowhere in sales.
I could chalk this up to being a technical founder, a younger person with a smaller network, or having little experience in business and specifically none in sales or marketing. Instead, I have found that I CAN sell, but I can’t sell myself as something I’m not. After attempting for months to meet other people’s expectations, it has occurred to me that I am trying to change myself instead of changing the expectation as my initial response. Those days are over, and by moving passed them I am able to connect with people that understand who I am and how I can help them. This leads to more conversations, better network connections, and eventually getting in touch with people who I am able to help and who will enjoy working with me.
It’s been easy to think that I am “laying it all out on the line” or make up other rationalizations for what I’m doing when it isn’t working. Those are mouse traps and rabbit holes which will eat away at your mind and trick you into failure. When nothing is working, it’s time to try something new. For me, that is a change to how quickly I work (I’m slowing things down in my mind and communication), and changing my expectations and therefore intent and interaction when meeting new people. I don’t want every networking meeting to turn into new business. It would be nice, but is also extremely unrealistic and choosing your customers can be just as important as choosing your investors.
In the meantime, I’ve been working hard on technical progress in product development and data analytics. Within the connections and networking I do as my weekly routine, I’m talking with new people every week and trying to spread the word about what we do, but I’ve toned down my outreach a bit. As much as Auximiti needs me to be selling every day, it also needs me to be at the top of my game. Always. If that means selling for 1–4 hours a day until we have the team to sell Auximiti, then that is what I’ll do. However, I will focus on where I can make the most impact and where the business needs are most pressing which is somewhere between knowledge management, operations, and I.T. once we have the sales process ironed out. Sales is always first and most important for a business. Second is building the product.
My strength is building.