Asking for the Sale

brandverity,Business by on June 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Back in grammar school our class sold greeting cards as a fund raiser. I don’t remember why we had a fund raiser, but I do remember that if an individual sold enough greeting cards, they would get a Nintendo.

My parents didn’t exactly favor video games so I quickly realized that the only way I’d be playing Mario Brothers at home was to go get orders for greeting cards. After hitting up every adult I knew, I found myself with only enough orders for a small inflatable raft - about 70 shy of the Nintendo. So, I did the only thing I could think of - began knocking on doors.

I quickly figured out where to target my efforts. The rich neighborhoods weren’t the place to go: the houses were too far apart and people were rarely home. However, people that were retired were always home and they couldn’t resist buying Christmas cards from a grade schooler. I also learned that if I never asked them to purchase the cards, they would talk for hours and not buy any cards. Early on, I would walk away with a full stomach and a head full of wisdom, but I wasn’t any closer to the Nintendo.

Asking for the sale comes naturally to some people. Not me. But it is a skill that can be taught and learned. It can be practiced and over time it becomes more natural. It is a necessity for early-stage survival and can often be the sole obstacle to companies founded by purely technical teams that expect their products to sell themselves.

BrandVerity began asking our alpha customers for a sale this week. I’ve been very pleased with the response and find few things as invigorating as the reinforcement of our work that comes with a ‘yes’. There is no greater recognition of value creation than a customer’s willingness to pay.

But you’ll never know unless you ask.


  1. Dave

    Great story!

    It reminds me when I was in college I started a gutter cleaning business and my buddy and I went door to door.Being “poor college students” helped us out and as
    long as I asked for the sale, I got it for the most part.

    Great life experience.Thanks for sharing.


  2. Rahul Pathak — June 9, 2008 @ 9:00 am


    Congratulations on getting the first paying customers in the door and for sharing that story about greeting cards. Very cool.


  3. mathew — June 12, 2008 @ 8:25 am

    2nd’ing rp: nice milestone!

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