Top 10 Tips for Selling Out

“Selling Out” is a play on words… Sales is the process that sustains your vision — NOT a compromise of your integrity only for profit.

David Cutler
6 min readJun 6, 2019


10 Minute Read

This post is not just for salespeople, because everybody can get better at communication, sharing, collaborating and, most importantly, listening to understand the real needs of others.

We are all selling all the time — the teacher opens minds, the waiter promises satisfaction, the coder shares better methods with the team.

Do not ignore or be afraid of it … do not pass if off to the “sales guy” without first (and regularly) doing it yourself and learning what works. Sales can be the most creative form of (brutally honest) customer research and direct interaction for how to improve your world and communicate your value.

Sell your brains out and share what you know.

Below are some fundamental Sales and Marketing tips for preparing your promise and winning more deals with clients, sponsors, partners, investors, AND selling your own personal brand.

> The magic is when your promises match what you deliver.

> The magic is when you actual EARN trust that gets to the next step.

But first, a priority on your mindset

Exuberant evangelism is great, but remember to keep the balance between persistence and patience by just being polite. Know your audience and their process. Help them do their jobs. Consider how you can make them heroes. Unburden them … do not give them “homework” (asking for internal connections or making them learn your collateral). You must first earn trust by helping them THEIR way with their frame of mind. For example, if you are talking to Startups, be aware of their unique top 10 revenue models. For large corporations, be aware of their official Procurement Process and the reaction if you try to sneak around it.

This is all about being optimistic… But there are some negative “feelings” to watch out for. The “Build it and they will come” attitude is dangerous. Yes, you are building a perfect solution that will sell itself. But No. Your prospects are very busy with inferior alternative and distraction from you. You will need to communicate to them.

Also, if you are an “Engineer Snob” (you know)… PLEASE do not have a bias that your thinking is the right way to think. Hiring and team-building for design and development requires diversity of capabilities and thought. This is the secret to learning and life. Here is a summary of an A16Z warning of this limitation.

A recurring question is about how to maintain your sales direction and enthusiasm…

The answer is to strive for the truth (not just giving your pitch) and listening for the right stuff to strive for. Here are the main points:

A) — Know what unique value you REALLY offer.

B) — Focus ONLY on prospects that need that.

C) — Be completely honest about (A)

Get these 10 elements — Sweet Spot, Musky, Product/Market Fit, SWOT, JTBD, BANT, AIDAR, Partners, and PTP:


(kinda like your USP, Unique Sales Proposition, but smarter)

- Accurately assess your own capabilities and really understand your client’s needs.

- The sweetness you offer is what your competitors cannot.

Use THIS Buyer Persona Template to better understand your “Client.”

2 — Get Musky. Your presentation needs these 5 elements:

  • Name the enemy
  • Why now? (for your solution)
  • Show the promised land (before explaining how you will get there)
  • Identify obstacles and how to overcome
  • Tell the truth… show evidence

Inc. dissects Elon Musk‘s inspiring style here.

3 — Get Product/Market Fit

The right market conditions are more important than obsessing over the perfect product. Evolving includes quick fails (it’s better to just call it learning). So, get something (imperfect) out into the market to learn, iterate, optimize! Read more about how Mark Andreessen is still right.

Get it? Launch unfinished and unpaid…

The secret to success is to Test Test Test. When everyone agrees on this, it takes away unnecessary early judgement and stress. All info, bad and good, is valuable and part of the iteration plan.

4 — Get SWOT = A brutally honest assessment for your:

Strengths — Unique Value Proposition … Weaknesses — and the plan to solve them … Opportunities — For your company and from shifts in the market … Threats — Alternatives for your prospect’s time and budget.

Do a workshop on this 1-pager:

5 — Get JTBD… Jobs To Be Done

What job are you and your product helping customers accomplish? … Watch how Clayton thinks about milkshakes in 7 minutes:

….. More from Mr. “Innovator’s Dilemma” about JTBD here.

6 — Get BANT

You must know your prospect’s BANT = Budget — Authority — Need —Timing

Making sure you know who has decision-making Authority (and their buying process) is key. However, Timing is the most important … but “Get BANT” is more fun to say than the more accurate “Get TNBA.” More at

7 — Get AIDAR = Awareness — Interest — Decision — Action — Research/Retention

Here is an acronym to make sure you commit to the basic tactics stages of the buying process. Remember AIDAR… How are they even Aware of you? Have you earned their Interest? Do they have the info they need to make a Decision? What are the specific Actions they need to make (sign up, share, buy)? Next, you must Research how to manage all this better while you fulfill on your promises. A second “R” means understanding and tweaking your tactics for customer Retention.

8 — Get Partners

True partners are not vendors… they actively support each other and, in the best cases, actually rely on each other. This means that BOTH sides must align on goals and compensation. Choose wisely and you exponentially grow your outreach and sales.

Here is an example “Partner Checklist” for a techdev shop partnership with marcom Agencies (that want to promise more by building more).

9 — Get Path To Profit — How do YOU make money?

Know what works across your own business, margins, resource capabilities, etc. Understand your Capitalization Table. Harry shares some good basics here.

Yes, sharing relevant ideas are the secret to building your relationship and trust … Just make sure you remember to include your own Path To Profit.

10 — Since you made it this far, you deserve to know the single most important secret to sales success …

Simply focus on earning the next meeting.


Get Pink. The ABCs of Persuasion are in this 3 minute video - about:

- Attunement — understand someone else’s point of view

- Buoyancy — stay resilient in the face of rejection

- Clarity — help someone curate and clarify information

“The purpose of a pitch isn’t necessarily to move others immediately to adopt your idea. The purpose is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the other person in as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you.”

―Get Pinkcast updates at


Get Better — Take a look at this State of Sales Report from about what makes a top performer. Or download a PDF directly here.


Get Deep — daily philosophical leadership, bizdev insights, and inspiration from Seth Godin. See recent good ones HERE


Get Smart. Lots of good Sales-y Podcasts HERE

Now… Be a Sell Out!