Many startup companies make the same mistakes when conducting their sales campaign. We’re here to help you avoid them. Here are the seven most common mistakes for startups. While some of these may sound like common sense, knowing these ahead of time and knowing how to fix them can save your company a lot of trouble.
- Not Understanding Your Customer: Treating all clients as the same is a huge mistake many startups make. It is easy to make assumptions about what your customers will want but they will all have unique concerns and problems that have to be dealt with in a personalized way. Not every customer responds to the same sales pitch. Asking questions early on will allow you to answer their questions and sell them on your service.
- Not Selling: Rather than focusing on the extras and luxuries of your product, pinpoint the ways it will solve that specific client’s problems. This means asking the questions that will tell you what the customer needs. Showing a few ways your product will directly benefit a potential client goes a lot further than telling them about what you plan to put into the product later.
- Being Absent: Failing to meet potential customers in real life to close the sale means missing two of the most essential experiences for a startup. Not meeting in person hinders the ability to directly connect with clients and build long term relationships. It also means not hearing the specific concerns of the customer, which is easily the best way to improve what you are selling.
- Failing to Follow Up: After you give your pitch, follow up. While it seems that giving your pitch and traveling onto the next potential client increases prospective customers, moving on actually makes the clients forget about you. Don’t harass your leads, but keeping your product fresh in their memory until they make up their mind never hurts.
- No Process: Tracking basic information such as phone calls and emails, connections to decision makers, closed deals and deal values is an essential activity for startups, but many forget to do it. Having a process in place means knowing where you stand with all potential customers.
- Charging the Wrong Amount: While skewing prices cheaper seems like it would make your product more attractive, it can sometimes make customers question its value. Don’t undercharge. Set your price at one that will allow for a sustainable business and reflects the value of your product. Attract customers with what your product does, not how cheap it is.
- Not Asking For a Sale: If you have been in contact with a potential client for a relatively long period of time, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. If you’ve put effort into establishing a relationship with the potential client, they should be happy to close the deal.
While startup founders come from all walks of life, knowing how to be an effective sales person is required to make a product succeed. Even if you’ve already made one of these mistakes, they are easily fixable. With these problems solved, you’ll be well on your way to making your service a reality.
You can read more in Steli Efti’s article at TechCrunch