September 14, 2018

How can I learn to sell?

I have been a software engineer for 6 or so years but my drive for teaching myself to code always came from a creative product-oriented interest. I feel that the two core skills for building tech companies are sales and code. I think I've got the code down for the most part and it has become an addictive habit. However, I'm lacking the sales experience and more importantly the habit.

How can I form the sales habit? More specifically I want to practice prospecting, pitching and closing.

Some ideas I am considering are

  • Getting a business development representative role. (Likely to be poorly paid, may lack the closing element).

  • Cold calling for a fictitious product? (Quite a daunting task).

  1. 13

    I think the best way is to do it is to create a product you're passionate about and go out and sell it.

    When you're a founder and you have the passion and vision for your product, it's much easier than trying to sell someone else's vision using tactics and ploys.

    1. 1

      I totally agree with Kyle, the simplest way to be passionate and know the pain you are building the solution to resolve. If it resolves your pain, find others in the same environment that can use this solution and get feedback. Realign the product till your solution can resolve the major problems for your ideal user group. Then focus on the top 20% of most active users so that they will love your product and be more likely promote it to the rest of the community.

  2. 6

    Hi check out the the following blog ,he has done an amazing job in explaining each step of sales and marketing .

    Not like the other bullshit blogs out there !!

    Also check out these link too



    1. 2

      These links are great! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 4

    Hi @DavidAdler, great question!

    I think @kylegawley's answer is an awesome starting point.

    Being 'the founder' and passionate about the problem you're solving gives you an extra boost in sales performance (two things customers will pick up on subliminally and appreciate).

    That said, there are a lot of things in sales which are really hard to teach yourself.

    It's easy to learn Javascript and build a simple CRUD app for example - but if it's your first time building an app with no outside guidance, good luck trying to maintain it over the next 6 months as your user base grows and requests new features.

    The same is true for sales. Especially as a solopreneur or founder.

    An individual salesperson (working on a sales team) doesn't need to worry about structure and organisation, for example. They'll have a team lead to do that for them. With goals and metrics clearly mapped out.

    But as a founder, getting the structure/organisation right is at least 50% of the job in sales. And that's hard to teach yourself.

    So on reflection, if I were to start learning sales again for the first time, I'd start my own project but reach out to an experienced sales team lead to mentor me. Especially in the early days.

    Good luck!

  4. 2

    You could start by selling a service.

    There isn't much of a difference between selling a service and selling a product. Maybe you can try freelancing or starting a web development agency.

    Also, start reading about sales and marketing. You get better with time.

    Another thing I'd like to add is that you shouldn't try to be great at everything. Leverage your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.

    I think we're on opposite sides here as I'm trying to get a handle on the tech side.

  5. 2

    Take a look at Steli Efti's videos and podcasts. They could be a cool introduction.

  6. 1

    We have a free course at our beta site at You will need to register and then click on the “entrepreneurial sellong” course. All we ask is some Ux feedback.

  7. -1

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