Business, Politics & Society

Sell It

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 20:03 min

A master salesperson who started her career by selling fax machines door-to-door, Sara shares her practical advice for sales, including how to understand your consumers, turn a “no” into a “yes,” and face your fear of sales.

Sara Blakely
Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaches you bootstrapping tactics and her approach to inventing, selling, and marketing products that consumers love.
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[LIVELY MUSIC] - Everything in life is sales. It's so important that you get comfortable with how to sell. So I guess I'm going to make a sales pitch to you on the importance of sales, because I cannot emphasize enough how much that's helped me in my entrepreneurial journey. If you learn how to sell, you'll become that much better in your business. You'll become that much better as an inventor, because, as an inventor, knowing how to sell gives you that instinct of what's going to work. [LIVELY MUSIC] It's really critical to sell the problem that you're solving, not the product. People are far more emotional about their problems and you being able to offer a solution than they ever will be about your product. So don't go in there and product dump on them and start rattling off all your features and half the features or features they don't need or want. That's a real fast way to just get the glazed look or the wall to come up between you and who you're speaking to. So it's really important to kind of know your customer. So you'd walk in and say these three things are probably going to be the most important about what I have to this kind of consumer or to this buyer. And that's what you should focus on. And then always use humor. Whenever you can use humor or be light and a little bit vulnerable, I find that it relaxes the situation and it helps immensely. So I'll just take my very first invention, footless pantyhose. I would go in and I would start with the problem, because you should always sell the problem that you're solving, not the product. And so what I did was-- I'm just going to go through the checklist-- I'd start with the problem. Has this ever happened to you? Then I offer the solution. Then I describe what the product is, and what's soft, and I'd always say, you know, there's no rubber cord in the waistband and a few details about the product. But then I would then say why it's your best solution, and I would compare it. And what's important is I would be thinking, if I'm the consumer and I'm listening to this person tell me this, I'm thinking, well, there's other options out there that can get rid of a panty line. So I've already anticipated that that objection is happening in their mind. And then that's why I say, and, yes, there are other options out there, but here's what's flawed with them. They all stop on the thigh and they show. And so that's where kind of anticipating what someone might be thinking and offering them even more solution to it all comes together in a really important, concise pitch that helps them understand what's the problem, what's our product, and why is it my best choice. You know if your pitch works if it's successful. It's that simple. Did you get the order? Did you get the business? Are they buying? Are they showing up at your door? And if they're not, here's the beauty of sales and what you're doing-- you iterate. You iterate. What you said may not be quite right, or maybe you...

Find your big idea

With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Sara's energy is so vibrant and she's super genuine. Her mindset is incredible and she inspires me so much.

Loved the course from the begining! Great job.

I wish there were 10 stars to give on this... perfect content, delivery, timing ... inspiring and warm... just lovely and I can't wait to make the next move on making my goals come to life!! thank you

I loved this class. It had practical tips throughout that I'm going to start implementing or thinking about. Thanks so much for sharing your story. <3


Sharzad M.

Key takeaways: Sell the problem I am solving, not the product. Remember to have empathy for person I am speaking to, 4 personality types and adapt my communication to them. Anticipating objections and what person is thinking, Sara's practise in debate and comedy helps. I am on it!!

sofia L.

Sarah, you are the best teacher and mentor, i loved your class so much. and i think its practical and effective. Cant wait to share my achievemetn with you soon.

Amy S.

Sara nails it don’t feature dump and SELL the problem you solve! This is so good

Electra A.

This is so fascinating. I can see how comedy- especially improv would be a great skill to have when handling/answering objections.

A fellow student

I've taken some improv classes and done standup before and it totally helps you with coming up with ideas for selling. I sell my products through email and it teaches me to be a faster, more concise writer that directly speaks to the reader's problems while still being light-hearted and funny to read. Great advice in this video!


My favorite so far!! <3 ..The 4 types of people to sell are right on the spot.

A fellow student

Love the lessons! Authentic and truthful interpretation of what entrepreneurship is all about... Was thinking about trying the local comedy class for a long time... This is it! Signing up now

A fellow student

Totally Amazing to go on stage in order to prepare for sales. Great Idea with the comedy!