How to attract your start-up's first customer?
You have a company now. You have a product as well. Your product is launched or yet to be launched. Now is the time to sell and get a customer. But how do you start selling? Where to start?
1. Do your own sales.
As founders, you need to make first sale by yourself rather than hiring someone to do it for you. If you feel the need to hire someone to do the sales, we suggest you wait. For your first sale(s), its apt for founders to do sales by themselves as you know your product inside out which means you don’t require sales experience to get your first few products/service rolling.
2. Don’t get carried away by bedazzled things.
At the initial stage, don’t worry about things like CRM, marketing automation platform, auto-dialer etc. It’ll all work itself out at later stages. If you put your efforts into these, you’ll distract yourself from what is the most important thing right now that is landing your first customers.
3. Know your customers.
You have done your research already and you know who will buy your product, why will they buy it, what problems it assures to solve, what is the cost etc. These things can definitely alter as you gain traction but you can’t start selling if you don’t have a particular prospect in your mind.
4. Make a list of your ideal customers
Who are your ideal customers? Who is the right customer who can acquire a ton of value from your product and needs it? Make a list. This is your ideal customer or as we like to put it “target audience”.
5. Reach out to the list of ideal customers
Decide how you going to reach out to your ideal set of customers, with what frequency and then execute it. Perhaps you can start with a customized note or a LinkedIn invite or do something special that gets their attention. Make a schedule to do this over a period of 4-6 weeks and just start. Keep doing this until you get people who are willing to hear you out.
6. Figure other things out when you have your customers on the hook.
People are often afraid to sell, so they distract themselves with stuff like tools, processes, endless discussions about price etc. These things are must and you can figure them out along the way as you’ll need to change them when you receive insights from your customers. Don’t let these things hold you back from actually selling your product.
7. Do everything in your power to make the first sale.
Your real start-up journey starts with your first sale. You gain revenue, product validation and the case study. You need all these things. So, be flexible with your first customers and do what it takes to crack a deal.
About Devansh Lakhani
Director of Lakhani Financial Services, and a Chartered Accountant, he helps start-ups raise funds from his network of investors. He guides and advises start-ups to scale up by providing efficient sales, marketing, team building, and business management strategies. He has executed fundraising by block deals on the stock exchange and conducted IPOs and right issues on the SME platform to the tune of over Rs. 50 Crore. He is currently working with start-ups from various sectors to help them channelize their business models and investments.