Know your audience
Any salesperson will tell you that the best way to sell a product is to know exactly what your lead needs. In theory, it’s an easy job for you since you’ve done so much market analysis before the product release. By now you definitely know your potential client’s wishes. You should use them in a smart way by tailoring the offer to their problems. No one will say no if you offer them a solution to their problems.
Who’s responsible for selling the product?
The expensive equipment, the complex sales strategy, the amazing marketing automation tools, they don’t matter. What matters is the engagement in the sales process of the startup founder. His or her role is to simply find people who would be ideal customers and convince them to buy the product.
Hiring a team of people specializing in marketing and sales is a good idea but only if the budget will cover their salaries. From that point of view, it seems more reasonable to act as a salesperson and a company founder, at least until the company starts generating income. At the end of the day the founder is the main creator of the product, knows it best, which means is also the most qualified person to sell it.
The founder is the most representative person of the company. Your face and persona need to be recognizable to the people from your industry. That way your startup will gain respect and credibility on the market. Start sharing your knowledge, at the same time do not hesitate to ask questions. Meet other entrepreneurs and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. It’s called networking and it’s great for business.
The first step of networking is by calling up family and friends. You never know who they may be acquainted with. If you happen to find a potential client, don’t sell the product just yet. Get to know their problems. You can learn a lot about the market just by talking to people.
Spread the word that you’re interested in meeting business owners, investors, and influencers. There’s a strong possibility that you’ll find them just outside your circle. Don’t forget about social media - Linkedin is great for making work-related connections.
Approach potential customers
If the word on the street about your product isn’t strong enough, you have to convince people to buy it yourself. There’s no other way than to find people online or by referrals and simply contact them. Don’t send the offer with the first message - it’s not polite. You need to arouse interest and curiosity, get their phone number, and set up a phone call. If one conversation doesn’t give you a solid deal, try sending them a reminder a few days later.
Even if this plan doesn’t sound very professional, you have to believe it works. The bottom line is that you are desperate to find clients and make some profit. Since you don’t have to budget to hire a sales team, the role of a dealer is yours. The best advice we can give you is to never give up and be passionate about your startup.
These are the actions you should take if you want to start off your sales. Without professional tools and a team of specialists in that field. Once you get a certain amount of customers, that will boost your budget for the next few months, you can start hiring the staff and organize the sales department. Good luck!
Karol, CEO of ULAN Software & BOWWE.com, is a distinguished leader with a dual degree in CS and Marketing. With a background in FinTech, eCommerce, and Startups, his experience spans over 7 years in the Polish, Spanish, and Portuguese banking sectors, contributing to major institutions. With 11 years in SME eCommerce, he's advised 500+ companies globally and is a World Bank Group speaker. Karol has co-founded 3 startups and brings valuable insights from his Silicon Valley experience, focusing on growing international online businesses.