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Built to Sell

Built to Sell

by John Warrillow


1.39K reads


“Don’t be afraid to say no to projects. Prove that you’re serious about specialization by turning down work that falls outside your area of expertise. The more people you say no to, the more referrals you’ll get to people who need your product or service.”

Don’t generalize. Specialize

If you focus on doing one thing well and hire specialists in that area, the quality of your work will improve and you will stand out among your competitors.

Relying too heavily on one client is risky and will turn off potential buyers.

 Make sure that no one client makes up more than 15 percent of your revenue.

Owning a process puts you in control

  • Owning a process makes it easier to pitch and puts you in control. Be clear about what you’re selling, and potential customers will be more likely to buy your product.
  • Don’t become synonymous with your company. If buyers aren’t confi...


“To sell your business, you need to demonstrate to a buyer that you have a sales engine that will produce predictable, recurring revenue."

Sales and sales reps

  • Take some time to figure out how many pipeline prospects will likely lead to sales. This number will become essential when you go to sell because it allows the buyer to estimate the size of the market opportunity.
  • Two sales reps are always better than one.

Find an adviser for whom you will be neither their largest nor their smallest client. Make sure they know your industry.

Avoid an adviser who offers to broker a discussion with a single client. You want to ensure there is competition for your business and a...

If you want to be a sellable, product-oriented business, you need to use the language of one.

Change words like “clients” to “customers” and “firm” to “business.” Rid your website and customer-facing communications of any references that reveal you used to be a generic service business...

Scalable things meet three criteria

  • They are “teachable” to employees (like the Stapleton Agency’s Five-Step Logo Design Process) or can be delivered through technology;
  • They are “valuable” to your customers, which allows you to avoid commoditization;
  • They are “repeatab...

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created 25 ideas

To Sell Is Human shows you that selling is part of your life, no matter what you do, and what a successful salesperson looks like in the 21st century, with practical ideas to help you convince others in a more honest, natural and sustainable way.



16.4K reads

created 9 ideas

Dave was the CMO for Drift, where he struggled getting attention. He turned to the founder to break through the noise ...



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