“Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle”
I heard this first from Jite Okoloko the founder of Ocean and Oil the precursor to OANDO group after he just raised $3m in Series A funding from a single presentation to prospective investors. Jite is one of my mentors and I admire him greatly. We were traveling from Benin to Lagos by road when he told me of his "war stories".
He started by selling fire alarms in the USA and later started teaching salesmen the art of the sale. He came back to Nigeria to start “Blue Chip Capital” before he hit his mojo with Ocean and Oil. Jite is now also the man behind Notore Industries the largest agro-based venture in Nigeria
Every startup founder should be a good salesman and the pitch is not only about your deck but how you articulate your vision. I have heard many pitches from young people who ramble on about how they want to disrupt an industry and they go on for ages without hitting the point. When you try to correct them they take it personally or try to make excuses. I actually learn more from the mistakes of others before me rather than look for flaws in their advice. I take in the good and the bad.
I learn everyday and I just remembered this quote as I was putting finishing touches to the new Afrinnova deck. I pitched it to Jite on New Years Day this year and he told me to send it to him to critique. I know I have slacked but better late than never :)
Enjoy this article and video.
If you can sell the sizzle then you can always sell the steak