How to Take your Start-Up to the Next Level What is it about? Aaron Patzer, founder of, tal

How to Take your Start-Up to the Next Level

How to Take your Start-Up to the Next Level from Carsonified on Vimeo.

What is it about?

Aaron Patzer, founder of, talks about how he got from an idea to $170 million in just three year.

What can I learn?

Don’t be secretive: Aarons first idea was a goal setting software. Instead of building it in stealth mode, he decided to talk to people. Only about one in eighty of these people found this idea appealing, so he discarded it. Later he hasn’t gone secretive. He showed mint’s UI to lots of people and optimized it over time.

Build a prototype: If you are raising money, looking for customers or hiring people, a prototype is real advantage. People can actually see your idea in action, click around and feel the experience. Would you rather listen to a 10 minutes sales pitch or playing around 10 minutes with a new software?

Leverage your success: If you are once in the news, try to stay there. Mint got a pretty clever idea. They gave away free mint mojitos at the Techcrunch 40 and were eventually elected as people’s choice. Then they talked to other journalists if they won’t want to interview the people’s choice winner. And so on.

(via Carsonified)

#28/111: Questions That Sell

What is it about?

Selling more expensive products is more than just selling cookie cutter solutions. Paul Cherry helps you to find out what your customer wants and what he really wants.

Key points?

Let the customer do the talking: Often salespeople try not to lose control and decide to do the talking. That is a bad habit and happens often. Instead ask good(!) question and let your customer do the talking. You will learn much more about her and her company.

Ask good questions: A key feature of good questions is that it encourages people to think. For example: bad – “How old is your company?”, good – “How did your company change in the last 10 years?”

Help to quantify the problems: After you gathered information about their company and their problems ask them questions about the impact of these problems. “What does it mean for your company that your vendor supplies you two months too late?”,  “How much money are you losing on this per year?”, etc. Don’t try to sell your product at this point.

What do they really want?: Often there’s is more than just the product, there are personal implications. What does it mean to your customer when he can’t reduce the costs? What would happen if he could change the company to the better? Often people want more appreciation, security or success. Try to identify these key attributes and help your customer reach his goals.

Not everybody will buy from you: It’s simple. If a prospect don’t want to hear about your product or don’t have to power to make a decision, don’t bother her. Just leave and talk to another person in the company or go to the next prospect.


Questions That Sell contains a lot of exercises and two long case studies which makes it a great workbook. I like the clear and non BS approach which helps you to deepen the learning material. If you need selling at some point this book will improve your ability.