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What It Takes to Score a Home Run in Sales Here are some lessons from vendors as they try selling to Major League Baseball teams.

By Elizabeth Flock

This story appears in the May 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Nicole Rifkin

Seated in the middle of a glitzy conference hall, sporting a ponytail, a purple paisley shirt and the air of a magician, Kyle Donovan pitches his invention, an integrated plastic plate and cup, to a member of the Chicago Cubs. He clicks the top of his cup into the bottom of his plate to show how Cubs fans could hold their beer and plate of food in just one hand. Never again would they worry about how to carry back two beers and two plates of food.

Related: Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Pitching Your Business

"But wait, there's more," he adds and, with a touch of drama, produces a fork -- the iFork -- with an extra-curvy top and a little plastic platform at its neck. With this fork, Donovan says, the part that touches your mouth will never lie flush against the table. He got the idea after watching a bird land on a restaurant table in Miami and thinking how gross that was. The same problem, he realized, affects baseball games, where forks touch armrests or tables that have been touched by who knows what.

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