In the past I have often written about selling to customers and how to obtain new customers. It is a complex chain of interrelated actions and reactions, which even experienced salespersons and successful companies could benefit from reviewing often.
What about obtaining your first client however? What is the approach and system to gain a first customer and to launch your company or product?
Consider these strategies:
- Start small. Even the most successfully adopted product in human history Facebook started small and in a targeted fashion. The company did not launch as a forum for the world. It initially launched for Harvard University students in the USA, before becoming available to regional universities and going on to being a student-only site before opening itself up. Not only it had gained a core group of users in the process, but had also given itself the opportunity to develop itself. So, when I say start ‘small’ I mean ‘small and targeted.’
- Implicit in the above is the need for identification of the ideal customer. What exactly is the target market? Without it the search is endless and unfocused. Finding the right customer is infinitely more difficult in the universe than it is on your own planet.
- Give yourself away. To quote one Jeffrey Gitomer “give first and give freely.” The idea here and this case is more specific, namely every company needs a customer to be its proving ground, reference or bright spot and so the first ‘sale’ could often be given away. The give-away establishes the product and grabs itself a foothold. Moreover, a paying customer does not want to be the first buyer. Your non-paying or heavily discounted customer is your testimonial and reference.
- I dislike this word, but there I will use it: ‘synergy.’ Where is your product or service complementary and adds in a small or large way to another? Join forces and form a more complete offer.
- Once the above are done become aggressive with your Search Engine Optimization. It is critical that you be found and, as is often cited and you know by experience, most people do not go deep into any site’s search results. Know your industry’s keywords and leverage them on your website and back links. Do the same on the social media you utilize.
With the first customer under your belt it is worth remembering that it is always easier to sell more to an existing customer than to find a new one so do not compromise on customer service.
*Things That Need To Go Away: customers who rightfully feel they are guinea pigs.