Hack & Hustle is the company blog of Elastic Inc. We write about startups, sales, and everything related to hacking and hustling.

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At Elastic, we have the pleasure of working with startups that are pushing boundaries and disrupting spaces. Their products solve problems, make lives easier, and help others succeed at their job. One would think these products sell themselves. Not true.

Your product may be the hottest thing since sliced bread, but it's not going to sell itself. Regardless of the problems you solve and how pretty the UI is, it takes a certain set of skills to turn leads into paying customers. Here are three things to keep in mind as you craft your pitch to a potential customer.

Tellin' Ain't Sellin'

When I first started as a Hustler, I often spent the majority of my day repeating the same laundry list of features. I would go into a lavish product demo explaining every button, knob, and switch until the prospect began to drift off into an afternoon catnap. I don't care how amazing your product is, simply telling someone what your product does is not going to make them want it. You need to create desire, and you can do that by getting the prospect tell you exactly what they want. By knowing what they want, you are now in a position to sell them on how your product will benefit them.

Telling: "Our platform measures over 100 different metrics, charts, and graphs for your website including blah, blah, blah. Let me explain how each one works!"

Selling: "We have over 100 different metrics, charts, and graphs for your website on our platform. What type of metrics are most important to you? What do you want to see?"

Always Be Listening

Every badass salesman will tell you that his/her mantra is "always be closing". But is it really that simple? Think about it, we are selling products with features that people will use for many different things.

If you asked ten people why they use Facebook, I'm sure you will get ten different answers. I believe the same is true in selling software. Instead of showing people all of the things they can cut with your awesome set of knives, be the guy who asks what they want to cut. Once you truly understand what they need and show them how your product will help them, you've earned the right to close.

Your Product Doesn't Sell Itself

Deal with it. Your product doesn't sell itself. Even if your product ends world hunger, people still need to be reminded that there's hungry people out there. Your product may have a hundred features, but it only takes one of them to get someone to buy. Find out which one that is.

 

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