Here's a simple idea:
Instead of pitching
"Here's why you should invest in <my startup>."
"Here's why you should buy <my product>."
"Here's why you should hire me."
try the anti-pitch.
"Here's why <reputed investor> has not invested in us."
"Here's why <these people> do not buy my product."
"Here's why <reputed company> refused to hire me."
This solves multiple problems.
From the prospect's point of view, they want to know the key reasons why some of their segment peers and people who they respect aren't buying. It's a kind of social proof, but in the opposite direction. And it helps because you won't believe how many people wish to save cognitive bandwidth by just doing (or not doing) what their peers are doing (or not doing).
From the seller's point of view, doing this can signal self-awareness and keep things honest and transparent.
(Helps even more if your product is a program like Stoa where you only want people who are sure of benefitting from the program and buy into it with conviction.)
And the third and most important reason is you wouldn't want to enter into a long-term relationship with anyone by presenting an overly edited and processed version of a dull reality.
Trust me, the upsides are worth it.
Firstly, if you market what you do not have, you either make it clear who you aren't for or you make it clear that you know you're lacking in some areas. That clarity is a breath of fresh air for both hiring managers and investors.
If you can address some things you're doing to fix it, even better.
Secondly, it's always better to state it yourself than wait to let them ask and then spill the beans. The former exudes confidence and self-awareness; the latter reveals that you were trying to hide it.
And the more obvious an objection is, the more you look like a fool trying to hide it. So don't.
Hence, don't just lead with the objection, market it actively.
It disarms the default state of cynicism that a prospect usually brings into the conversation and you start things on an honest note. It's a good way to avoid a lot of conflict later on.
(Why the cynicism, you ask? Because people are naturally averse to being sold to.)
I know it's easy to say, but hard to practice. Try it once you've achieved a certain level of confidence in your offering. That way,
- you won't implement this foolishly like a "hack", and
- you'll be marketing what you are not and who you aren't for and not your flaws or shortcomings, per se. (Understand the difference.)
So, it'll probably filter out people you don't want to work with anyway.
For more unfiltered and raw opinions, you're invited to our private Instagram.
I'll see you on the inside! 👋