What’s the #1 cause of a new business failure?  The inability to get customers to buy their product!    On September 13th a lively crowd heard from two fascinating experts on how to market and sell your product.  Key insight: 90% of new companies do a terrible job at selling and that makes everything else more difficult than it needs to be.  Most startups try to sell by describing the technology behind the product.  Guess what?  No one cares.  As Aaron Heinrichs and Ken Bossung described, it’s all about showing how your product solves a painful problem for a customer.  To do that, you need to understand your customers very well and then perfect your “story” on how you can solve their problems.  How do you do that?  How do you find the right people to talk to?  How do you get them to reveal their most important needs? Ken described some very clever techniques for getting answers to all of these questions.  Using his approach, companies can realize an excellent “hit rate” on getting responses and starting a dialog.  How do you get that to a close?  Always get an agreement on a next step before a conversation ends–no matter how small.

Because of the importance of the topic and the fact that most companies way underestimate how poorly they are marketing and selling, we will be offering this class again–and will be sure to get a bigger room!    Every small tech company in the area needs to hear what Aaron and Ken have to say.  Watch for further announcements.

The next class will be on “Being Deal-Ready” on October 18.  It will cover how to make sure you are getting all your ducks in line for that wonderful time when someone is interested in offering you money.  You need to show that you are a well-organized professional business. What all is involved?  Michelle Hallsten from Greeberg Traurig and Larry Kammerer from Moss Adams will be the presenters.  Registration is open now.

Thomas Hall


Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStarts Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.