Understanding customers before selling to them 💸

The importance of doing initial sales yourself before scaling

Hello friends! ☀️

Today I want to share a red flag 🚩that I regularly see in early-stage startups.

Founders, excited by their idea and eager to get it to market, often look for a salesperson to handle the selling part for them.

But here's the twist: in an early-stage startup, the primary goal isn't selling, it's learning.

Because, when you ask for value (sell a product or service), it's crucial to understand the value you're providing. What is the problem your customer segment has? Why do they buy your product? How is it better at solving their problem than other alternatives? Even if you've sold to 1000 customers, these are questions you should constantly revisit.

When you are in the trenches, doing sales yourself, you're in the best position to understand what your potential customers want and why.

The first-hand knowledge you gain by speaking directly to customers is invaluable. In my opinion, this is one of the things that can't be outsourced.

Part of doing it yourself is that you are trying to sell what you THINK your customers want and learn if that is actually the case. And again, why.

Once you have that understanding – and only then – you can brief a salesperson or agency to scale your sales efforts effectively and sustainably.

💡 Are you working on a startup idea and looking for help with validation, building an MVP, or other challenges?

So, each sale you personally (try to) do is an opportunity to learn more about your customer base. This understanding forms the foundation for sustainable scaling. Let's break it down:

  • Who are you selling to? Understanding your customers' demographics and psychographics is crucial. Be specific. Niche down.

  • What is the problem they have? This is the heart of your value proposition and your sale. If you can't articulate the problem you're solving, go back to the drawing board.

  • Why do they buy your product? This is why customer interviews are essential. Understanding the motivations behind their purchase will help you refine your messaging and product.

  • How is your product better at solving their problem than other alternatives? This is your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what sets you apart from alternatives and competition.

  • What price are customers willing to pay for it? This is a delicate balance of understanding the value you provide. Experiment with it throughout your initial sales efforts.

  • Where do you find customers? Understanding the most effective channels to reach your target market is key to efficient and effective marketing and sales.

  • With What Message do you approach your customers? Your messaging should be clear, compelling, and directly tied to the problem you're solving and the unique value you provide.

So, keep reminding yourself of the importance of understanding all these parts of your customers before selling to them at scale. And do it yourself first!

I hope you found this post helpful. I’d love to hear how have you done sales for your early-stage startup ideas!

High five from the internet,

Bram Kanstein (@bramk)
I help people validate and turn their ideas into viable ventures.

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