Startup Sales and 3 Common Sales Mistakes to Avoid by Founders

Houman Asefi
3 min readFeb 13, 2020


As a first time founder, there are many things that can affect your sales as sales has been evolved as many other things. If you are not across how sales has changed, your startup will be doomed . . .

Sales has changed. There is no doubt about it. You, as a first time founder is right in the heart of these changes as well and believe it or not, you are driving these changes as a consumer as well.

When was the last time that you have purchased something, even small, and you wanted to talk to a sales person?! When was the last time that you eagerly reached out to a business and asked for sales person to start talking about their products?

This is true about everything else as well. Starting from a $10 purchase to complex B2B sales as well.

You as a startup founder should adapt to these changes in the buying process. Your potential buyer is doing their research on internet and get as many information as possible. They are absorbing all the content that they can find on internet and educate themselves on your niche.

During these exciting time, you should think of different ways on how to influence your buyers decision.

On the other hand, you should be very careful on what you are doing and what you should not do as well. It is equally important to think about things that you must absolutely avoid when designing your sales strategy.

Here is top 3 mistake that I have seen in the market that can cause a startup to fail:

My product sells itself

This is true if you are CEO of Apple! Other than that, this is BS!!

No product can sell itself the way that you think of. If that was the case, there was no need to sales at all and the code was cracked. There was no need for marketing and sales and everything was all easy and simple!

Unfortunately, this is day dreaming. You must put yourself and your team out there talking to people about your idea, vision and services and educate your market on your capabilities. There is no easy way. Use any potential channel, digital or classic, to spread the word in your target market.

Talking to everybody

OK. There are things on internet about sales that you may have read. Things like, sales is a numbers game.. and you should talk to as many people as you can. . or more is better etc.

You need to be very careful with these advises. These may be true in certain context and certain situations.. however, you simply do not have the time or bandwidth to go out there and waste everybody’s time.

Instead, start think about how you can segment your target markets into different buckets and how you can reach out to them.

Each segment may need a different message and different communication channel when it comes to sales and marketing.

So, do not be lazy… think how you can start with another niche to market your niche.

Focusing on sales

This looks odd. You may think that how come that it is a mistake to put my focus on sales!

I can explain.

There is a misunderstanding in the market on what the sale is and how it works. Sales is not what you may think.. AKA.. pushing your message to people and use persuasion techniques to sell ice to Eskimo.

Sales is simply about empathy and trust. If you can gain trust from your buyers as a first time founder, then you can start build a profitable relationship with them and of course grow as the result.

Here is another blog post which I explained this topic in more details.

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