What’s the best way to write good copy?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
Get Inside a Customer’s Head

Imagine that you look like the customer: same height, same weight, same complexion, same gender. (Hint: check out his or her LinkedIn photo. ) Imagine that you have the exact same background: same education, same companies, same experience. (Hint: LinkedIn again. ) Imagine you must deal with the same challenges: the same customers, the same colleagues, the same vendors, the same bosses. Finally, from that perspective, ask yourself: What benefits … (read more)

What’s the best way to keep productivity high?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
How many hours per week should you work to maximize your impact? | A Founder’s Notebook

Conventional business wisdom is that there’s a positive correlation between long work hours and employee productivity. Instead, the opposite is true. It’s now known that long work hours reduce creativity by decreasing the amount of waking hours when the mind is at rest.

What’s the best way to do sales?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
10 Things Every Customer Wants | Inc.com

Why does a customer buy from one vendor rather than another? According to research recently conducted by The Rain Group (detailed report here), customers tend to buy from sellers who are superlative at the following tasks: (1) Bring New Perspectives and Ideas (2) Be Willing to Collaborate (3) Have Confidence In Your Ability to Achieve Results (4) Listen, Really Listen, to the Customer (5) Understand ALL the Customer’s Needs (6) Help the Customer … (read more)

What’s the best way to compensate your sales employee?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
5 Ways to reduce cost of sales

Many companies still use gross revenue to measure sales performance. Focusing solely on revenue, however, can easily put a company in a position where you’re losing money on each sale and trying to make up the difference by selling in volume. Since profit, not revenue, is the point of selling in the first place, it only makes sense to measure sales accordingly. A big advantage of this approach is that it reduces the temptation to discount (a hidd… (read more)

What’s the best way to be an effective leader?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
All Great Entrepreneurs Have This | Inc.com

There is one thing and one thing alone that every great entrepreneur absolutely must possess: courage. It takes courage to forego the predictability of a corporate job. It takes courage to sacrifice your nest egg to your startup. It takes courage to take the risk of failure. And it takes courage — lots of it — to hand over the reins when your startup grows beyond your ability to manage it.

What’s the best way to be a good manager?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
The No-Nonsense Business Advice You Need to Hear | Inc.com

For bosses, I think the hardest thing is letting people make their own mistakes. Resisting the desire to intervene. It’s the whole question of whether you are controlling people or coaching people. You can’t do both.

What’s the best way to write good copy?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Best practices in copywriting for marketing your product | A Founder’s Notebook

Don’t make it about you. I want to know what all that work means to me.

John Moore Williams (Head of Content Strategy at Webflow)
10 UX copywriting tips for designers – InVision Blog

When you’re writing copy: 1. Embrace the power of “you”: The word “you” catches attention and establishes a relationship between you and your reader. 2. Don’t make it about you [the seller]. I [the buyer] want to know what all that work means to me. 3. Don’t try to sound smart. Aim for a 5th-grade reading level.

John Moore Williams (Head of Content Strategy at Webflow)
10 UX copywriting tips for designers – InVision Blog

When you’re editing copy: 4. Read it aloud. If it doesn’t sound right read aloud, it’s not conversational. 5. Be the editor writers hate. Aim to cut 50% of your word count with each editing round. 6. Remember that writing and editing are different. Don’t try to write and edit at the same time.

John Moore Williams (Head of Content Strategy at Webflow)
10 UX copywriting tips for designers – InVision Blog

When you’re designing copy: 7. Label. People don’t know what they’re looking at unless you tell them. 8. Embed links in relevant, descriptive language. Make sure your links make it extremely clear what will happen on click. 9. Design with content in mind. Consider whether design is helping or hindering your writing. 10. Scale the page to the topic. If your product’s unfamiliar, complex, or expensive, you’ll usually need more content.

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
Get Inside a Customer’s Head

Imagine that you look like the customer: same height, same weight, same complexion, same gender. (Hint: check out his or her LinkedIn photo. ) Imagine that you have the exact same background: same education, same companies, same experience. (Hint: LinkedIn again. ) Imagine you must deal with the same challenges: the same customers, the same colleagues, the same vendors, the same bosses. Finally, from that perspective, ask yourself: What benefits … (read more)

What’s the best way to keep productivity high?

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup advice, briefly – Sam Altman

Be decisive and act quickly. Instead of thinking about making a decision over the course of week, think about making it in an hour, and getting it done in the next hour.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

Don’t get demoralized. Though the immediate cause of death in a startup tends to be running out of money, the underlying cause is usually lack of focus. Either the company is run by stupid people (which can’t be fixed with advice) or the people are smart but got demoralized.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The problem with collaboration, and why goals should have single “owners” | A Founder’s Notebook

Maximize what you can get done on your own. Before you ask for help from others, get as far along as possible on your own. Identify the key person you need to collaborate with, and don’t involve anyone else. Be explicit about what you need from people. Minimize your “ask” of other people’s time

Ron Friedman (Founder of ignite80, Social Psychologist)
The Collaboration Paradox: Why Working Together Often Yields Weaker Results

Collaborations breed false confidence. A study in Psychological Science found that when we work with others to reach a decision, we become overly confident in the accuracy of our collective thinking. Collaborations introduce pressures to conform. Studies show that group members tend to conform toward the majority view, even in cases when they know the majority view is wrong. Collaborations promote laziness. Ever been to a meeting where you’re the… (read more)

Adam Grant (Wharton professor, NYT writer)
9 Productivity Tips from People Who Write About Productivity

Top performers, Grant argues, avoid saying yes to every helping opportunity. Instead, they specialize in one or two forms of helping that they genuinely enjoy and excel at uniquely.

Unknown (who knows!?)
Working With McKinsey: What Is the “Obligation to Dissent” at McKinsey?

[At McKinsey] If your boss knows that you disagree with something, you will be reminded of your “obligation to dissent“. The “obligation” comes from the fact that at McKinsey, voicing your dissent is not optional, it is required.

James Whittaker (Dintinguished Engineer and Technical Evangelist at Microsoft)
The Anti Meeting Culture | JW on Tech

Build an anti-meeting culture within your organization. Every meeting is useless until proven otherwise. Meeting organizers need to be put on notice: make this meeting meaningful, it’s your job.

Adam Grant (Wharton professor, NYT writer)
9 Productivity Tips from People Who Write About Productivity

Intentionally leave important tasks incomplete. We often race to finish assignments quickly so that we can move on to the next item on our list. [There is a] human tendency to ruminate over unfinished tasks, otherwise known as the Zeigarnick Effect. If you start a project and leave it unfinished, you’re bound to think about it more frequently than after it’s done. Instead of aiming to complete important tasks in one sitting, try leaving them inco… (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Economic Inequality

One of the most important principles in Silicon Valley is that “you make what you measure. ” It means that if you pick some number to focus on, it will tend to improve, but that you have to choose the right number, because only the one you choose will improve

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The difference between a great company and a lousy company | A Founder’s Notebook

In good organizations, people can focus on their work and have confidence that if they get their work done, good things will happen for both the company and them personally. In a poor organization, people spend much of their time fighting organizational boundaries, infighting, and broken processes. They are not even clear on what their jobs are, so there is no way to know if they are getting the job done or not.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The difference between a great company and a lousy company | A Founder’s Notebook

How do you ensure that if people get their work done, good things will happen for both the company and them personally? Define clear goals; identify levers to achieve those goals; appoint owners; measure results

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Limiting decision fatigue | A Founder’s Notebook

Limit decision fatigue. In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making. For instance, judges in court have been shown to make less favorable decisions later in the day than early in the day. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to delega… (read more)

Tony Schwartz (CEO of The Energy Project)
The Power of Stepping Back

Its not possible to race between meetings and e-mail all day long, and simultaneously reflect on what all this frenzied activity is accomplishing. [I] offer all of our employees the opportunity to take time away from the office, simply for reflection. All I ask is that they come back afterward and share with their colleagues, in some form, whatever insights they’ve had.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
Do Less. More. | Bothsides of the Table

Success often comes from doing a few things extraordinarily well and noticeably better than the competition and is measured in customer feedback, product engagement, growth in usage and ultimately in revenue growth. Do less. And do the things that you ARE doing better and with higher quality. Have a shorter to-do list with more things that are in the “done” category.

Lew Cirne (Founder & CEO at New Relic)
Six chairs for an ideal meeting

One of the things I do on a quarterly basis is to review the standing meetings on my calendar, and every one of them ought to be able defend itself. The point is not to keep going to that meeting just because you always have to go. I think it’s a great practice to say, “OK, we meet every Thursday on this. Does it have to be these people every Thursday? Why?”

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Avoiding mediocrity by showing “tough love” | A Founder’s Notebook

Avoid mediocrity by showing “tough love”

Matt Blumberg (Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman @ Return Path)
The Management Team – Guest Post From Matt Blumberg – AVC

We consistently work at improving our management skills. We have a strong culture of 360 feedback, development plans, coaching, and post mortems on major incidents, both as individuals and as a senior team

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Nature Of The Firm and Work Markets – AVC

In The Nature Of The Firm, Coase investigates why “individuals choose to form partnerships, companies and other business entities rather than trading bilaterally through contracts on a market.” Coase argues that transaction costs that make “trading bilaterally through contracts” expensive spur the organization of firms. And if those transaction costs could be eliminated, more individuals would choose to trade with each other rather than forming p… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Paying the smart phone tax

Like most things that are taxed, smart phones are often worth it, creating connections and giving us information when we need it. Perhaps, though, turning our phones off for six hours a day would be a useful way to cornering us into creating work we can’t live without.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Focus – AVC

Many entrepreneurs and CEOs misjudge how many things they and their team can do well. It is always less than you think. I once was involved in a 75 employee company that was in three different businesses. It took a difficult financing to convince the CEO to exit two of those businesses, but it was the best move that company made. The next three years were a time of explosive growth for that company.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

You make what you measure. Merely measuring something has an uncanny tendency to improve it. If you want to make your user numbers go up, put a big piece of paper on your wall and every day plot the number of users

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

Avoid distractions. Nothing kills startups like distractions. The worst type are those that pay money: day jobs, consulting, profitable side-projects. The startup may have more long-term potential, but you’ll always interrupt working on it to answer calls from people paying you now. Paradoxically, fundraising is this type of distraction, so try to minimize that too

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
The Post-YC Slump – Sam Altman

Work on real work. Stay focused on building a product your users love and hitting your growth targets. Try to have a board and peers who will make you hold yourself accountable. Make the mistake of focusing too much on what matters most, not too little, and relentlessly protect your time from everything else.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
How things get done – Sam Altman

A combination of focus and personal connections. Charlie Rose said this to Paul Graham, who told it to me. The Y Combinator version of focus is write code and talk to users. On the personal relationships part, most people eventually realize its hard to do really good things by yourself.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

A surprising amount of our advice at YC is of the form just ask them or just do it. First-time founders think there must be some secret for when you need something from someone or you want to do some new thing. Just be direct, be willing to ask for what you want, and don’t be a jerk.

Joel Spolsky (CEO @ Stack Exchange)
Software Inventory – Joel on Software

In between each of these stages, inventory can pile up. For example, when a programmer finishes implementing their code (stage 3) they give it to a tester to check (stage 4). At any given time, there is a certain amount of code waiting to be tested. That code is inventory.
The “cost” of code inventory is huge.

Matt Blumberg (Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman @ Return Path)
The Management Team – Guest Post From Matt Blumberg – AVC

We learn from the successes and failures of others whenever possible. My team regularly engages as individuals in rigorous external benchmarking to understand how peers at other companies – preferably ones either like us or larger – operate. We methodically pick benchmarking candidates.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Prep, spec, fit and finish

Dinner at a fine restaurant is mostly cleaning, chopping, mise en place and service, not the part we see on the plate itself. And yet… We often get confused about which part is important, which is worth our time, which is the point of the exercise. Without a doubt, if the thing we built isn’t of high quality, don’t bother. But it turns out that all the other parts, the parts that we think might be beneath us, it’s those that matter the most. W… (read more)

Mitchell Harper (Co-Founder & Board Member @ Bigcommerce)
28 things I’d do differently next time around — Medium

Fire fast and be less forgiving of mistakes, especially in departments that are measured with raw numbers, like sales and marketing

Ben Erez (Product at Breeze)
22 Mistakes I Made as a First Time Founder — Viabilify

In the process of building a startup, I found myself thinking sometimes about the long term vision and how what I was doing on a given day fed into the 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year vision. This was an inevitable result of all the stories you hear about people spending years building something before they “make it”. The problem with that long-term thinking is that it takes you out of the present and guess what? The present is the only place where … (read more)

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
16 product things I learned at Imgur — Medium

Find the one thing you need to get right and spend most of your time on it. You can screw up basically everything else.

Ron Friedman (Founder of ignite80, Social Psychologist)
How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day

Ask yourself this question the moment you sit at your desk: The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
How many hours per week should you work to maximize your impact? | A Founder’s Notebook

Conventional business wisdom is that there’s a positive correlation between long work hours and employee productivity. Instead, the opposite is true. It’s now known that long work hours reduce creativity by decreasing the amount of waking hours when the mind is at rest.

Shane Parrish (Curator of the popular Farnam Street Blog)
9 Habits You Need to Stop Now

Do not answer phone calls from people you don’t know. Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Do not check email constantly. Do not work more to fix being too busy. Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should.

Peter Nixey (Founder at Copyin)
Peter Nixey – The most important question in a startup: Am I…

As you put jobs into your daily to-do list, ask yourself: “is this proactive or reactive”? If it’s the former and it’s “tangible, fail-able and do-able” then it’s probably an excellent task.

What’s the best way to do sales?

David Skok (General Partner at Matrix Partners)
Why Churn is SO critical to success in SaaS | For Entrepreneurs

Getting to negative churn requires that you can do one or more of the following three things: 1) Expand revenue from your current product. This is best done by having a pricing model that increases the pricing according to some usage metric that will grow over time. 2) Up-sell customers to a more highly featured version of your product.
3) Cross-sell customers to purchase additional products or services.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
With freemium, you know you’re solving a customer’s problem | A Founder’s Notebook

This is the beauty of freemium models. You create the customers’ problem by making them hit the paywall, and your conversion data tells you if the problem is serious enough that customers will pay to solve it.

Jon Miller (CEO and Co-founder of Engagio)
How to Turn Marketing Leads into Sales Leads – Marketo

A five-minute lead response means you’re four times more likely to qualify that lead than a 10 minute response, and a staggering 21 times more likely to convert than after 30-minute wait. SDRs [sales development reps] can focus on this fast response time whereas it will never be a quota-carrying reps top priority to jump on an inbound lead.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: The train is coming

Action means change and change means fear, so of course we shouldn’t be surprised that people (and organizations) are often as motivated by the fear of loss as they are by the desire for gain.

Alen Mayer (President, International Association of NLP Sales Professionals)
Avoiding hype in sales | A Founder’s Notebook

You need to prove your credibility using third-party endorsements, certifications and awards your product or company won. Introverts don’t usually get swept away by a sales pitch, but they can be influenced by objective reviews or media coverage.

Jim Keenan (Founder at HeyBubble)
Demos can win sales if you do them like this | A Founder’s Notebook

The key to a successful demo is to make sure every feature, every function you demonstrate is attached to your buyer’s unique problems and challenges. If it’s not, your not giving a good demo. If you’re showing a feature and are saying; “If you… then this feature will…”, or worse, if you are just whipping features around like they are cars on a car showroom floor by saying “And the next thing I want to show you is”, you are doing it wrong.

Neil Murray (Founding Editor at TheNordicWeb)
Selling online products to offline businesses — Business Tips. — Medium

Rather than wasting your breath meticulously explaining every little feature and detail, all you need to focus on is the most tangible measurement of all: revenue. Tell them exactly how much more revenue they will generate using your solution compared to how they are currently operating. In other words, the goal of a demo is to show how this product enables the customer to achieve her goals.

Peter Nixey (Founder at Copyin)
Peter Nixey – Five techniques that measurably improved our…

Customer development is a very different process to sales though. Sales is about helping your customer to understand the product. Customer development is about helping the product to understand your customer. Don’t try and sell during the initial exploration.

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
The Innovator’s Solution for SaaS Startups – The Flywheel SaaS Company

There’s another, novel way of building companies that still isn’t very well understood. In this approach, the enterprise sales team is exclusively inbound. They are explicitly denied the option of seeking business outside the customer base, and must gin up business from only existing customers. The enterprise sales team is an up-sell and cross-sell team. In fact, so is the mid-market sales team. Only the SMB marketing team is permitted to acquire… (read more)

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

Many great sales starts with generating inbound marketing leads. If you create content marketing programs and drive traffic to websites where you can measure how long somebody spends reading your materials or downloading your white papers you’ve at least confirmed some level of interest.

Jon Miller (CEO and Co-founder of Engagio)
How to Turn Marketing Leads into Sales Leads – Marketo

The human touch enhances lead nurturing. Whether or not leads are sales-ready, SDRs [sales development reps] can nurture relationships with each interaction. By talking with more leads, you can offer personalized thought leadership and value around a lead’s individual pain points, and cultivate future demand.

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
Jason Lemkin: The Right Metrics For Your SaaS Startup | InsightSquared

There are two metrics aren’t discussed enough. The first is lead velocity rate. What rate are your qualified leads growing month over month? The second metric will help founders get from initial traction to scale: understanding revenue per lead and how that works across your company. Once you have a repeatable set of leads and lead velocity, you want to drive up the revenue per lead.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Little Things – Ben’s Blog

If you are worried about making the quarter, then you should go on a few sales calls and see if you are selling your product in the most effective way possible. Are your sales people properly trained? Do they run a process that puts your product in the very best light and sets appropriate traps for your competitors? Are you selling at the right level in the organization? Is your product truly competitive?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals? | Bothsides of the Table

To craft exclusivity agreements, make them time bound, and name the competitor who you’re not allowed to sell to. If they won’t name the competitor, specify the industry or geographical region as narrowly as you can. In exchange for exclusivity, you want larger contracts, longer-term contracts, more commitments to success, and funding for accelerated development.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

Understand that enterprises don’t operate with a single mind. We talk about companies like they are a person, but its actually not the case. It’s actually a lot of different people with a lot of different incentives.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

Do you have a buyer? Do they have budget and authority? What’s the value propisition you are selling to that person AND to the company? Is your value proposition aligned to that buyer?

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Cold emailing is actually not very effective. But lukewarm emailing works great for staying top of mind.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Make a playlist of songs to get pumped up, stand up while you do calls, speak loud and proud, no one does calls in a conference room.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Ask for the close. “Can I have your business?” “Let’s get your payment info so you can get started today. ”

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Don’t assume “no” means no the first time. Try again, be more creative and focus on benefits not features or pricing.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
To raise profitability, control tech costs in sales | A Founder’s Notebook

We permanently assign fixed tech resources to sales (a “pod”), and include those resources as part of the sales budget. Sales is then measured on net contribution (sales minus cost of sales).

Duane Sparks (Chairman of Action Selling)
The 5 questions every customer asks themselves before buying from you | A Founder’s Notebook

Do I want to do business with this person? Do I want to do business with this firm? Do I want and need these products and services? Does the value meet my expectations? Is this the right time to make a decision?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
10 Things Every Customer Wants | Inc.com

Why does a customer buy from one vendor rather than another? According to research recently conducted by The Rain Group (detailed report here), customers tend to buy from sellers who are superlative at the following tasks: (1) Bring New Perspectives and Ideas (2) Be Willing to Collaborate (3) Have Confidence In Your Ability to Achieve Results (4) Listen, Really Listen, to the Customer (5) Understand ALL the Customer’s Needs (6) Help the Customer … (read more)

Jill Konrath (Jill Konrath is a sales strategist, former Sales at Xerox, Hubspot)
How to Conduct a Premortem to Win More Sales

When I think about all the business I’ve lost over the years, 3 main themes come to mind: 1) I overlooked some critical piece of information. 2) I wasn’t working with the right decision makers. 3) My prospect decided it was easier to stay with the status quo.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

If you have a product, knowing who the “typical buyer” by department or title is helps you greatly because you can quickly get to somebody likely to be familiar with the space in which you’re selling.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

If you can’t identify a problem that a prospect has that you can quantifiably solve you won’t sell anything.

Nick Mehta (CEO at Gainsight)
The Second-Timers: Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight – “Never Stop Hiring Reps” | SaaStr

Success of your customers is hard and critical… Figuring out what your customer means by success, measuring it, helping to drive it and showing the client the results is a constant battle. But it’s a battle you need to win.

Stuart Silverman (‎CEO at SalesRamp)
How to sell your product when it’s vitamin and not a pain-killer

In general, your product falls into one of two categories. Either it is a pain-killer that solves a very critical business pain, need, or crisis for your prospect. Or it is a vitamin that doesn’t really solve any major pain or crisis, but is a nice-to-have and is just a better way of doing something.

Stuart Silverman (‎CEO at SalesRamp)
How to sell your product when it’s vitamin and not a pain-killer

How do we sell a vitamin? 1. Focus on increased revenue 2. Focus on increased budget dollars 3. Show how your product provides a competitive edge 4. Point out that 1-2 of your prospect’s competitors are using your product 5. Tie the sale to your prospect’s boss’s needs 6. Tie the sale to helping your prospect with his/her career 7. Create urgency by using a specific date

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How exactly to write a cold-call email | A Founder’s Notebook

Flattery. Do you compliment them or stroke their ego a bit? Benefit. How will this benefit them (not just you)? Do you spell it out and is it a real benefit? Credibility. How can YOU be the person the other person would enjoy meeting? Call to action (aka the ask). He didn’t ask for a 60 minute phone call but a digestible request that seemed appropriate. Read it out loud. Read your email out loud with a timer. If it’s a longer than a minute, cut i… (read more)

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

Try selling the product yourself first to learn what works. Hacking Sales is a useful book to read.