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Appillionaire 101 – A guide to selling the big idea and the App

Many a time we go through life with ideas upon ideas that we work on, share with others or keep in our head. Written down or not, we keep building on them and hoping they do not fall apart. We guard them jealously like a stack carefully built into a house of cards. Then we get the feeling – this is it – the million dollar idea. Our talent, skills and time spent on it just gave us the right output. Tech-speak? Yes!

Now that you have this award-winning App or idea, how do you monetize this and join the ranks of Appillionaires (App developers who are millionaires). If your name ain’t Steve Jobs then this guide is for you. It’s time to throw away your nerdy hat, kick off your shoes and join the ranks of bare feet hard selling salesman. How you sell, and to whom, is key if you are going to move beyond the confines of the geek world into big time commerce. Here are 5 golden steps to help steer you through this minefield.

1. Sales are 90% people 10% idea. Surprised! You should be. People in general are really not interested in the idea or your award-winning App. They are more interested in what is in it for them. The “I” gets replaced with “we” to bring your prospective investor or promoter closer. Simply changing focus from yourself to the prospect warms them up and puts them into or more receptive mood. Investors look hard and long at the people behind the idea before they look at the idea itself. They look first for attitude before they even consider aptitude. If the heart and the passion is in the right place you’re well on your way to delivering a ground breaking sales pitch that will bring you closer to the Appillionaires’ club. Remember, it is all about people, other people and not you! How smart you are does not matter, it’s all about whom you need to convince.

2. Be a chameleon. That’s right! Adopt the colour of your environment and talk at a steady well measured pace taking your prospect with you all the time. Stop to look around, take controlled breathes and meticulously build the suspense. If you don’t know what a chameleon looks like or how it behaves get out into the back garden find one and watch this natural precision reptile in action. Think of who you need to convince, how you are going to convince them, and what you wish to achieve as a result of your interaction. This clearly defined target and outcome helps you tailor make your sales pitch at the prospect for maximum results. Not all prospects are for financial backing or support and not all sales pitches have the same content.

3. Create a latent need. What problem does the App solve? What demand or niche does it meet? What opportunity does it create? What desire does it fulfil? Why should the prospect buy, back or endorse your App? To do this, you need to follow a simple step process mentally in your pitch. Begin by articulating the opportunity, then stating the idea. You then demonstrate how the idea or the App best addresses the opportunity. Don’t be long winded, remember less is more, short is sharp and sweet. Finally, you wrap up with a call to action, what do you need from the prospect? Don’t be shy, you often get what ask you ask for!

4. Different prospects different pitches. It’s all about what’s in it for me and that is all the prospect is interested in. Why should they get involved and invest time and money in your App and idea. Why should they like your offering? So you need to dance as our ancestors would say “If you have an ugly face learn how to dance”. Here are some dance moves; When pitching to senior executives, talk strategy, business models, Return on investment (ROI’s), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and competitive edge. When pitching to administrators talk milestones, roadmaps, budget, efficiency and planning. When dealing with the customer-centric crowd, mention user experience, user needs, service levels, people and research support. When talking to fellow techies say the things you love to hear, architecture, requirements, logic and flow. Remember you cannot have one dance step for different tunes. Learn different moves for different tunes. If you’ve got rhythm then you definitely going to sell.

5. Build trust. People only do business with those they trust. Everybody wants to be liked, respected and given compliments as and when appropriate. Do this, create likeability. Empathize with the prospect, show them you understand. Demonstrate their values and never under-estimate their work or their value in the whole organization. For example not smiling or greeting someone at the reception or someone you meet in the corridor and only finding out later they are the key decision-makers in the whole process! Take care to pick the right venue for your pitch and the right time. It helps in the decision-making and loosening the prospects grip on the cheque book.

Now that you half way through the minefield your confidence is up and prospects are warm. Your idea and App is now OUR idea and App. Almost a Steve Jobs in the making, a master at the craft of pitching ideas. After all who would have believed the iPod and iTunes would change the music industry for ever! If you haven’t found the right prospect or the right idea, keep looking, don’t settle for anything less.

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