Sales Voodoo

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When I started working on my own products at Interaction Lab I was very interested in everything related to startups, marketing, selling products and so on… you know, all the San Francisco hype about the importance of selling, do not focus on products!, 80% marketing 20% product development, sell the product before you even have a product. As a developer I was told again and again that developers are poor salesman and that’s the reason why they don’t conquer the world, ignite users, disrupt!

Today I read this article written, of course, by a sales person who obviously say that the product is not really important as long as you know how to sell it. How convenient to trash talk the engineer who did the hard work and tell him that his work is Caca del Toro and you, the all mighty salesman, are responsible for the success of the product. Rubbish! Let me tell you one little secret: you can have a small business without being number 1, without disrupting anything and no.. you don’t even need to ignite your users 😎 .  Geez, that sounds freakishly painful for the customer, anyways…

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The reality is that the market is big enough for all of us, we just need to make good products and sell them for a reasonable price. There are tons of restaurants.. all serving regular, good food; nobody disrupts anything, but all of them can make a decent living. Marketing is good, it makes your product known to the potential customers, but you absolutely need a good product for a fair price. The idea that some exotic salesman strategy will make your business profitable in spite of a shit product is laughable. The idea that the only way to succeed is to have millions of users and the only way to achieve this is by concentrating your efforts on sales strategies is plain toxic and is the main reason why so many small businesses fail. Not everybody should be the next Facebook and not every restaurant should earn Michelin stars. It’s OK to sell sandwiches, as long as you can make a living out of it. People buy stuff they like, need or want, if you have a decent marketing strategy and realistic expectations you don’t need fancy sales voodoo rituals.

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