All the entrepreneurs have a story behind their product or startup. We build them with lots of things in mind. But there is sometime span on every startup, that force entrepreneur to sell it out. Here I want to share some essentials to keep in mind to help prevent your product or startup undervalued.
1- Don’t assume your audiences knowledge
Just because it is clear to you exactly why your product is so great and why people should be snapping your hand off for it, doesn’t necessarily mean that your target audience will. Some may not even be aware of the problem that your solution solves, so don’t jump the gun, take some time to explain how your product can be beneficial to their needs.
2- Don’t be under the impression that everyone needs your product
It is extremely important to have a well-researched target market mapped out, with primary and secondary targets. The “throw as much shit at the wall and some of it will stick” approach may well get you a couple of initial sales, but this is not a sales strategy that will succeed long term. By having a structured approach, you can quickly and efficiently target the relevant audience for your product, and begin to build an appropriate market for yourself.
3- Don’t forget to ask for feedback
When you do sell your product, make sure you follow up with your client. Find out what they loved and hated about your product. Feedback is critical to the ongoing development and success of your product. Don’t be afraid of critique, negative feedback is always more useful than positive, as it enables you to continually improve your service.
4- Don’t pluck a price-point out of the air
You may well be the only company offering this service, but this does not mean that you can charge what you like. Although you may not be able to do a competitor analysis to calculate your price-point, there is still research you can do to ensure your price your service appropriately. Ask your target market what they would be willing to pay for your service, this will help you to gauge whether the figures you had worked out are realistic or not.
5- Don’t neglect sales as a source of revenue
It sounds crazy, but many start-ups forget that one of the best sources of raising cash is from sales! Instead of solely focusing your energy on gaining funding, spend some time actively selling your product. And if you can do this, you will automatically be more attractive to potential investors in any case if you can produce hard evidence that there is a real need for your product, and there is none better than people handing over hard cash for your services.
6- Don’t limit yourselves to one sales channel
Try out different sales methods and channels in order to decipher what works best for your service. For example, Telesales and face-to-face are two extremely different sales approaches, so take some time to work out what the most effective method for your target audience.
7- Don’t be scared of rejection
No matter how amazing your product is, the fact of the matter is, a lot of people are going to say no. However, don’t let this put you off asking. Equally as true is, the more people you pitch, the more sales you will make. There will be some tough days where you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall, but this just makes the good days even sweeter.
8- Don’t treat all of your potential audience the same
Just because they all inhabit the same demographic (hence being your target market) this does not mean that all of their requirements will be exactly the same. Treat each client as an individual and that the reason behind them needing your service may entirely differ from another one of your clients. Take some time to understand their requirement and this enable you to have a stronger ongoing relationship.
9- Don’t have a complicated pricing structure
Keep it simple. Don’t give your clients too many different pricing options as this will confuse and disengage. Don’t get me wrong, you should offer a different variety of packages, with different price-points attached, but keep this to a limited number, with preferably no more than three alternatives.
10- Don’t be afraid to experiment with price
If you have a lot of interest but none of this is converting into revenue, or if you have a higher number of clients than you expected, then do not be afraid to reassess the price-point. This is not something that should be done regularly, so take some time to assess this first, but if you feel that it is too high or too low, then you should act.
11- Don’t forget about your existing clients
It is easy to get caught up in the short-term excitement of securing another paying client and take your eye off your existing clients. When you secure a new client, work hard to keep them. If there is a time limit on your product or service, then ensure you set a date to discuss renewal when you make the initial sale. The best way of ensuring future revenue is to nurture your existing clients
12- Don’t forget to learn from what others are doing well
Many of the best sales people have developed from learning from others. If one of your peers/competitors/associates is having success with their sales, then ask them how they are doing it. Better yet, take a day or two to go and sit with them and learn through best practice. This is an invaluable tool in developing yourself as a sales person, remember that there is always someone who is doing something better than you, and that there is always another skill you can acquire for your sales arsenal.
13- Don’t neglect networking as a sales method
When you think of sales, you probably think of someone bashing out 100 cold calls a day. However, there are many methods of selling, that are less direct. By networking with your peers and potential clients, you can get invaluable exposure to your company and brand often in a more relaxed atmosphere enabling you an opportunity at the soft sell.
14- Don’t promise the world
Make sure you only sell what you are confident of delivering. Do not promise to deliver a service which you are not currently capable of providing just because a client is throwing more money at you. Ultimately you will lose the revenue and the client if you can not honour your agreement.
15- Don’t forget to have fun
At times sales can be an extremely difficult and challenging job, however it can also be incredibly rewarding. At the end of the day, by attempting to sell your product you are growing your company, and ensuring its future success. Essentially, what you set out to achieve. So buckle up, enjoy the ride and why not have some fun in getting there!
Keep in mind all these points while deciding to sell your startup. If you have any suggestion that needs to be included, you can share with us in a comment.