If you’re doing anything in life, then you’re selling. Your work to a customer, your self to a partner, or your idea to an investor. In any case, I have come to believe that you can approach anyone in the world and sell them anything if you fit their narrative.
Everyone has a narrative; that is, the story of their life to this moment and everything that entails. If you want to convince this talented designer to join your new venture that has $0 in funding, your chances are much higher if they were an ambitious 20-something without much responsibility than if they had just given birth 2 months ago and have to pay off mortgage.
If you wanted to sell your art to a well-known collector, you’d fit their narrative much better if your art was addressing a problem they strongly identified with than one they didn’t feel as strongly about.
I have observed this by approaching certain people I look up to, wanting to sell them on something that didn’t fit their narrative well, and then at a later point selling them something else that fit their narrative perfectly.
Most of the time, it’s not about what you’re selling, but rather about how that piece fits the buyer’s half-done jigsaw puzzle, also known as their life.
This is of course assuming that you’re doing a good job explaining and selling whatever it is that you’re selling. But even that becomes less important since what you’re selling would resonate with me faster if it had fit my narrative.
Always think of what you’re selling from the buyer’s perspective. If it doesn’t work for them at this given moment, move on. There’s almost 8,000,000,000 people in the world.
Change who you’re selling to, or change what you’re selling.