Making the second sale

People say the first sale is the hardest to make. You have to find the right person in the right company, you have to catch them at the right time in the right mood, make your pitch, you have to convince them to go with you. That’s got to be the hardest thing in the world doesn’t it?

I’m not so sure. Because, at least with the first sale, there’s the curiosity factor. There’s the opportunity to try you out, maybe on something small, maybe on something others are struggling with or that issue they have not got round to. First sale takes determination and courage and the willingness to push through against many, many obstacles.

But I think the second sale is more difficult. OK, it’s easier in that they’ve seen what you did. You have some small degree of familiarity on your side. The risk of course is also that they’ve seen what you did. They feel they know you. They’re forming their own impressions about your abilities.

The real disadvantage though is that by second sale, people want to know why sustained interest in you is warranted. Not only that, they also need to convince themselves that choosing you again is better than choosing anyone else they already know (including all their previous first timers), the hot “new thing” they haven’t yet tried or the many first-timers who are now banging down the door asking for their chance.

If you’re a new brand, and you’ve overcome all the obstacles to get a product to market, to get noticed, to get distributed and you’re filling targets, congratulations. Enjoy the moment.

Soon, very soon, you’ll need to turn your attention to the make-or-break question:

Now what have you got?

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