I came across a great article that details a few nice ways to get your first 100 customers. Included my favourite methods below.
Nice theory, but I'd really really love to know from the community -
A few of my favourites from the post:
I my experience, sales comes down to one simple construct - TRUST. People do business with people they trust. Period. So the salient question is 'how do I engender trust'? Think about how YOU make buying decisions and the answers will come.
When I started my first company 25 years ago, my partner had a thick rolodex of folks in his network where trust was implicit. They were our first clients. Once we proved we could deliver (that was MY job), they trusted they could refer us and it would reflect positively on them. And so on...
In my experience, depending on what product you are selling (B2B, B2C...) you have to work on both fronts: introductions on one hand and social media contacts on the other one. Keep in mind that US buyers are bombarded with offers from all over the word, so your value proposition has to be very compelling to make them interested.
Most of the above answers are about finding POTENTIAL customers. The way I make them into our first CUSTOMERS is to get them involved in the definition of the product. You need info and market buy0in, so why not make them feel they are involved in the design. All of a sudden it becomes, "when is my product" or "our app" going to be available.
Just to clarify, the steps above (and more - i didn't read the article you reference) should be done BEFOE you develop you MVP as you develop your ideal prospect profile (customer persona), not in the first 24 hrs after launch as item #1 above implies. Also re #1 above, whether their response is 'no' or 'yes' you should get in the habit of asking for an intro to 2 or 3 others whom they feel might be a good fit for your product. Also, the above steps seem to be rather slanted to consumer or SMB products. Understand that there is an additional layer of strategies and tactics to getting your first x b2b customers (M to enterprise).
My favorite ways to get clients are through my writing and speaking, and through being referred by complementary businesses. But my first clients (back in 1981) came because they saw posters on physical bulletin boards. It sounds so quaint now!
Thanks, I've got some ideas. What would you recommend to an Italian company that wants to enter the American market, in the fashion and design industry. At the level of strategy in the crowdfunding industry?
For me, (consulting and professional services) currently is all about sponsors and introductions from people who trust me and clients who loved my work.
Keeping the business development strategy focused (versus shotgun approach) on your areas of expertise and a few individuals and companies at a time.
Your customer means he trust you and so the business.
Hence it is so important to keep up the trust they have on us by being flexible for their demands