— August 28, 2017
Sales can be tricky if you run a start-up. While there is no way to ensure that your sales pitches are successful all the time, here are a few tips you can use to make your interactions with your customers more fruitful:
Search for buyers before the sales process starts
As a start-up, visibility is key. Start marketing your product or service even before it hits the market. Write blogs, post it on social media and tell your family and friends to spread the message. The more the number of people who know about your upcoming offering, the higher the chances are of making a sale.
Think like the consumer
As a start-up that is offering a new product, you have the opportunity to design a product that suits your customers’ requirements. Thinking like the consumer will go a long way in identifying the product or service you need to provide.
Don’t scale too soon
Most start-ups make a mistake here. By trying to scale too soon, they lose sight of their primary objective– long term customer acquisition and retention. When you focus on scaling-up, you make unnecessary investments in materials, machinery, and people. This will impact the cost of the product you are selling. Additionally, in an attempt to gain new customers, you may fail to respond to the needs of the loyal few who have been with you from the beginning. This will result in your existing customers shifting to a competitor.
Be flexible in pricing
Depending on your industry, it can be difficult to make profits in the initial years of setting up the business. Additionally, as a start-up with no previous successes to show for, you will not be able to price your products high. Start out small and be open to making changes to pricing. Accept that you may have to spend more and earn less initially. This will ensure that you don’t let go of consumers who are eager to purchase your product, but at a lower cost.
Make your product positioning obvious
Do your research wisely and identify which business segment you want to serve. This will help you identify all the key players you are competing with. When marketing your product, position your offering in direct competition with the product of a competitor. This will give customers better insight into what your product can offer them. It will also help you plan your sales pitch to highlight your value offerings.
Work on customer retention
On average, the cost of acquiring a new customer is about five times higher than the cost of retaining one. Engage your customers with reward programs, discounts, and offers. Customize your service if it is operationally and financially feasible. Go the extra mile to communicate with them on an on-going basis.
Focus on value addition
Understand how you can add value to your customers. From product design to after-sales service, you have to add value at every stage of your interaction with the customers. This will develop goodwill and help with retention.