4 Reasons You Should Build Before You Sell

LEGO Treats by Eric Constantino (2010)

When you start your own business, it’s easy to spend all your resources on selling your product. However, if your pitch isn’t right, your presentation lacks, or all the kinks aren’t worked out, this can actually push your buyers in the opposite direction and make problems down the road.

Imagine wasting all your time using a process that doesn’t convert, trying to sell more, and more — when you may need to just spend more time on the process itself.

Here’s four reasons you should build before you sell:

1) Nobody enjoys a dull presentation

Whether you’re meeting with a local shop owner, or a board of executives, this point permeates all sectors. Nobody wants to go with the guy who fumbles. When the **** hits the fan, is this a person you can rely on?

Lacking in presentation is lacking confidence in the message you are delivering. If you’re not confident you can do what you say, then chances are you won’t (or it’ll at least be perceived that way).

Trust yourself in researching and preparing a topic that interests you. Like the 7 P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Or like the proverb — “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

You can use these memorandums to plan the perfect presentation that will persuade more prospects ;)

2) A rushed product let’s people down

It’s easy to become hasty down the production line. It’s harder to be patient. Once we get so close to finishing something we’ve started (could be years and years of work), it’s natural to want to just get it on the shelf and make it public!

Just think of when the Large Hadron Collider finally ran it’s first beam after years of labor. It may have been hasty to publicize this test when it was the very first test of this equipment ever done (or the first real significant step). They had a helium leak, and were forced to shut it down, delaying them fourteen months, while also having to replace 50 magnets along with other damaged equipment.

People following the event weren’t too happy that things were delayed.

I’m no person to judge, but the point here is sometimes to hold information for ourselves before we go and make things public. We all fall victim of wanting to share our accomplishments too early, especially if it’s years and years of extremely difficult labor.

Take the time to make it right. A finished product is always better than something incomplete.

3) Matching the standards

Besides the infatuation of wanting to stamp a project as COMPLETE, there’s another thing we have to take into account.

I’m talking in the sense of: is it complete, relative to similar products in the market?

Here’s my own example: I build websites. But if I wasn’t up to date with current trends and offered websites that weren’t completely responsive (mobile-friendly), then I’d be offering an outdated product.

You must think of your products in the same way…

Is your product complete with all the necessary features to match, or exceed the industry standards?

4) How can you sell what you can’t show?

If you’re just starting out, and are gradually expanding your network, it’s possible you haven’t taken the time to showcase your work. This may not apply to all businesses, and for businesses selling services versus those selling products, here’s some ways you can promote what you do.

The easiest example: a beginning tattoo artist. Take pictures of your art because it’ll help in promoting your business forward. Keep a scrapbook, or an online collection somewhere. Ok too obvious?

What about someone selling an e-book? Since a business like this is focused more on volume of sales, one way that you may be able to showcase said e-book, is to provide a comments section on your site where people offer feedback on the book. Another way would be to promote the number of sales, though this may be something you’d like to implement later on (more numbers looks better).

What about business services?

My recommendation for making this type of business shine is asking for reviews after your services, and giving customers an easy place where they can quickly review your service 1–5 stars. Try listing your business at sites like Yelp!, or Angie’s List, which are made for business reviews.

Thanks for reading ☺


I blog weekly about branding, business, and how to leave a lasting impression. If you’d like to talk about anything, let’s get in touch.