Don't sell saddles. Sell horseback riding.

Good article in Inc. about a sales philosophy that helped turn Slack into a $27 billion organization

This fits with everything I know about sales and is a good base for our members at the Center for Ageless Entrepreneurs.

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As Slack Founder Stewart Butterfield said: "Our position is different than the one many new companies find themselves in: We are not battling it out in a large, well-defined market with clear incumbents. Despite the fact that there are a handful of direct competitors and a muddled history of superficially similar tools, we are setting out to define a new (my italics) market.

And that means we can't limit ourselves to tweaking the product; we need to tweak the market, too."

"We're selling a reduction in information overload, relief from stress, and a new ability to extract the enormous value of hitherto useless corporate archives. We're selling better organizations, better teams. That's a good thing for people to buy and it is a much better thing for us to sell in the long run.

We will be successful to the extent that we create better teams."

Customers? They don't care about what you sell.

They care about what they get. How it will solve a problem. Meet a need. Help them feel. Help them work.

Help them live.

If you've created something new, or are in a relatively niche market, don't try to sell saddles.

Sell horseback riding.

The better you do that -- the better you share a vision of who you customers can become -- the more likely you are to be the one they choose to help them get there.


INC. - 9 Years Ago, a Simple Marketing Decision Helped Slack Become a $27 Billion Company

The Center for Ageless Entrepreneurs

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