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Sell Well Nervous about selling? Getting started is easier than you think.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sales is one of the most important elements of your startup--butif you're unfamiliar with it, it can also be one of the mostintimidating. We checked in with a few sales experts to offer tipsto help you get started.

First, says Jennifer Vessels, president of Next Step LLC,a business growth consulting company in Redwood City, California,spend time gathering research from potential clients before youfinalize your product or service offering. "What are thedeficiencies in the solutions they're using?" sheasks.

When you're ready to sell, go back to those same prospects.Demonstrate to them how the product or service you've developedspecifically meets their needs--and pump up how it differs fromtheir current solution. Will it save them more money? Can it givethem more specialized service? Is it faster and more efficient? Beclear on your offering's competitive advantage. And don'tautomatically discount prices to jump-start early sales. "If,in the sales process, you offer a discount too quickly, you reducethe customer's perception of the real value of yourproduct," Vessels says. You can, however, focus on how yourproduct or service will save them X dollars a year or will costless in the long run. And if they want an extra incentive to be oneof your first customers, keep the price the same but offersomething extra for free, such as delivery or installation.

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