10 sales tips I learned as a Founder

Adriaan Kolff
3 min readFeb 15, 2023

One of the things I had to learn as a Founder was to do sales.

Here are 10 tips that I picked up along the way:

  1. You can do sales anywhere. I once signed a new client that I met at 7:00 AM in the morning, half naked in the locker room of the swimming pool. Never miss an opportunity to pitch your service.
  2. Cold outreach is a volume game that requires consistency and persistence but that does pay off in the long run.
  3. Make sure that marketing is aligned with what sales is trying to sell. Ideally prospects have already heard from you through events, sponsoring, white paper a podcast or an old fashioned flyer. Good sales people and good marketing people understand they need each other.
  4. Once you have a first meeting scheduled. Make sure you prepare for your meeting. Know who you are talking to. Connect with them on LinkedIn and see if you can open up with a personal connection. “We went to the same university!”
  5. Introduce yourself first but don’t introduce your service. Ask the prospect to introduce themselves and start asking probing questions to understand if they have a problem you can solve. If you immediately start to pitch your service you often don’t know what the problem of the prospect is. Find out what their problem is first before you start to fire away.
  6. Use the answers of your prospect to pitch your service as the solution to their problem. If you don’t have the solution don’t try to sell them an umbrella when they are looking for sunscreen. Tell them you sell umbrella’s and that you can refer them to the company selling sunscreen and end it there.
  7. Understand the urgency, who the decision maker is, what their timeline is for making a decision and if they have the budget to work with you. There have been so many meetings that I thought it was a done deal only to find out that the person still had to get approval from someone else in the meeting, they loved our service but didn’t have any budget or didn’t have any urgency 🤦.
  8. Summarize everything at the end of the call and confirm when you will send something over. At the start of my sales career I would always say: “I will send you the proposal tomorrow.” Putting a lot of unnecessary stress to get the…

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Adriaan Kolff

Co-founder of MatcHR, investor, entrepreneur. I write about entrepreneurship, recruitment & productivity. Follow me here or on LinkedIn.