Since the Great Recession in 2008, startups have become a major force in society. Today’s entrepreneurial culture — with lower financial barriers to launching a business and people’s increasing desire for flexibility, freedom, and purpose in their work — has bred a whole generation of young companies that have quickly scaled and revolutionized a wide range of industries. A number of those companies, like Airbnb and Uber, have achieved explosive growth and evolved into bonafide conglomerates in recent years.
Meanwhile, older organizations looking to remain relevant and thrive are striving to figure out the practices that allow these startups to excel — and how their corporations can adopt them in order to catch up.
Whatever your notion of sales and sales people, the reality is it’s impossible to survive in business without making sales. But all sales tactics don’t have to be pushy, or take advantage of the gullibility or ignorance of others. In fact, the best ones do neither.
Sales, at its core, is all about connecting to those who need what you offer, and building mutually beneficial relationships. You can do this without being sleazy or unethical; you just have to find sales techniques that are comfortable for you. Here are some you can start putting into practice today.
As part of a series on business development for startups, I sat down last Wednesday with Ryan Fujiu, who leads business development and marketing for About.me. About.me allows users to create a simple splash page that links together their profiles across all the major social networks. The service was launched in 2010, and acquired by AOL shortly thereafter.