Saturday, May 24, 2008

Your Product Doesn't Sell Itself

People often ask me:
Paul, why don't VCs seem to understand that my product virtually sells itself?

I sat through a pitch the other day, and the entrepreneur said one of the many phrases that makes me cringe: "my product sells itself". Never say this. It's suicide.

VCs don't understand it because we know it to be completely untrue. We would all be printing money if we just invested in products that sold themselves. NOTHING sells itself. Separating people from their money is one of the toughest things to do, and selling is an art-form.

Instead of claiming that your product sells itself, explain why there's a compelling reason for people to buy or sign up. Talk about incentives, benefits, ROI and motivation. That's the kind of realistic pitch a VC wants to hear, and one that won't fall on deaf ears.

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