We all sell everyday. When you are selling do you talk before listening?

Thirty-seven, thirty minute phone calls in less than 3 days. That is an average of 6 hours each day on the phone getting pitched. It is the first phase of The Startup Factory selection process for eventually making six $50k seed investment offers. During these days I get to hear every kind of pitch you can imagine. Sometimes I get a little peeved. Sometimes I get really frustrated.

At the earliest stage of a startup there are typically many more questions than you have good answers for. In my mind there are two different camps your idea can fall into: (1) You have a vision but little to no data to support your thesis, and (2) You have some data that signals to you (and now me) that you are on to something.

Two camps. Which one are you in? Knowing this answer sets the tone of how you should pitch me. My favorite mentor once told me that in every business meeting there are only two roles: seller & buyer. Understanding which role enables you to play that role well.

Two camps. Do you have data and a vision or do you just have a vision? Trying to play a little of both is very frustrating for the investor.

Read more here at INC.com and see how I walk you through my thoughts on listening.