As you start creating your startup one of the things that you will notice is that many times your advantage is not about the software you have but rather about your business model and your brand.
If you are in this situation something that can help a lot is to try to build your brand and position yourself as an expert in the field.
This is important because we can divide the sale cycle into 5 elements: Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase, Delivery and After Sales.
How do we deliver a Value Proposition to customers?
It is important not only to know how to reach your customers to get them to know your brand but also to know where they want to go whenever they think of buying or finding something that solves their problem.
That is why so many businesses use Amazon because they know that people who go there have a high likelihood of buying and this increases the percentage of people that buy their product from all those who find it.
So find out which is the usual way in which your customers go for something that they want to buy and once you figure this out (the most straightforward approach is to go for your customer segment and ask them) try to get your product there.
The usual problem you will find is that it costs money and many times more than startups can afford.
I am a proponent of bootstrapping and as such while this approach might convert worse and is more labor-intensive it could be interesting if you can’t get investment.
The approach is based on content marketing. For each 10 pieces of content that you write where you give value to your customers write one that shows how your product can also give them value.
This ratio is a way to water down the initial rejection that many people might have when you just try to sell them something.
By giving them way more value at the start you can make it so that they are more willing to accept.
People are nicer than we think and if you give them enough value they will start feeling bad if they don’t give you something in exchange.
And by continuing to provide value to them even after they have bought you will create a longer-term customer interaction so that by the end you might get some customers for life (value them, because they are your lifeline)
How do we provide post-purchase customer support?
This is one of the parts that as someone who came from a more scientific background I couldn’t really get my head around.
I thought that once the customer gets their product my work is over.
But actually that is where we have to work the hardest because this is the part that many startups forget about and as such it can become what differentiates you.
After the sale it feels like we forget about the customer like they aren’t as important but actually that is someone who was willing to invest in you who was willing to go for the risk, you could even say that they are your biggest ally so capitalize on that.
Make them feel special because to you they should be damn special, they are your number one ally.
The sale doesn’t end until you have sold a second time and you can’t forget about this.
So make sure that your customers love you with your product and with the experience because they aren’t numbers, they are part of the game and if you want to stay for the long run treasure them.
Now that you know what you are offering and who you are offering it to, the next step is to think, how am I going to make this a reality?
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