Talking someone out of their hard-earned money is a great way to determine the feasibility of an idea. In fact, selling is the best form of entrepreneurial market research. What people say and what they actually do are often drastically different. As an entrepreneur, you’re the underdog, so it’s natural for people to root for you. Asking for the sale instantly transforms the conversation from one of unwavering support to objective evaluation and feedback. No longer are you the heroic entrepreneur that people want to succeed. Now you’re another annoying salesperson. As a result, you’re more likely to get honest feedback and objections, which will be invaluable to product development. If you can’t get a purchase order, then you should try for a commitment in writing that your prospect will eventually pay for the product. It’s not as good as revenue, but it’s better than nothing.
The icing on the cake is that, by asking for the sale, you might actually land a few paying customers. The cash flow will be a big psychological boost. It’s the best evidence you can have to prove to yourself, your family, and potential investors that this truly is a viable business.