It might seem counterintuitive, but you should always have two goals in mind: one that you really want to achieve, and another that you'll aim for if the first doesn't work out. Why should you be prepared to give up on your primary goal? 

It will allow you to walk away from one failed attempt without feeling like a complete failure. "Say you're pitching a VC firm and can tell they won't say yes right away (after all, they almost never will.)," Inc. columnist Jeff Haden wrote. "Be prepared to shift to laying the groundwork for future meetings." 

In other words, keep the momentum going. If at first you don’t succeed, make sure your secondary goal is one that plants the seeds for future success. Read more

Get a Wanted Customer's Interest

In sales, when trying to get a prospect's attention don't try to start a conversation with him. Rather, enter into a conversation that he's been having with himself. To start, talk to him about a problem he has and doesn't want, or a result he wants and doesn't have. Read more

How to Determine if You're in the Right Market 

As a young startup, you know the odds are against you. So strategy consultant Peter Cohan developed a scorecard to see how you're doing. If you're in the right market, you'll know because these four things are true: 

You are passionate about the industry. You have superior industry knowledge. Strong forces are driving the company's growth. And you are solving a problem that the market ignores. Read more.

Brevity Is Best 

When writing emails, limit them to five sentences long. Better yet, make it three. Yes, it's painful to exclude some details, but being brief gives you the best chance at getting read. You goal should be to allow the recipient respond immediately from her smartphone. Read more.

The 3 D's of Pitching 

First, "draft" your pitch. Write down everything you want to say. Second, find a "devil's advocate." Have them remove everything that could hurt your argument. Third, "deliver." Practice your pitch out loud until you're sure you'll be able to get it right in person. Read more