You want them to chase you down the street with cash
Today, I responded to a common founder question on Facebook:
Q: I need suggestions for selling my product. Every client I talk to has the same problem that they are not convinced that the technology would work as they have never heard about it and to their knowledge no other company is offering such a solution. Has anyone else faced the same issue while selling? Any thoughts/advice on how to convince a client to try a new technology (I am already offering one-month free trial) ?
This is the classic case of a founder recognizing a big problem and solving it…and then doing the work of figuring out who their customer is. Here is how I coach founders through this stage:
Right now, your job isn’t to sell your product to everyone who has the problem you solve. Your job is to identify your early adopters – or as I like to describe them…the people who will chase you down the street with cash. You don’t want to spend precious time and energy right now trying to convince people they need your solution. You want to work closely with people who definitely 100% know they need your solution and are excited to be one of your first customers, hopefully willing to co-create with you as you continue to refine, iterate, and build on the solution over time.
Early adopters have specific characteristics that help you find them. They HAVE the problem you are trying to solve. They KNOW they have the problem. And they are ACTIVELY SEEKING A SOLUTION. Sometimes that looks like them using a competing (but less awesome) solution. Sometimes it looks like a jumbled hack (using spreadsheets in not convenient ways, duct-taping two other products together etc).
The hard work you put into identifying these observable, huntable behaviors will help you in so many ways. You’ll have deep insights into your early customers and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache from trying to convince the wrong people to love your thing.
Each day, I publish an idea I'm working on, highlights from a founder coaching session, or other tidbits from my work with founders, investors, corporate partners, and accelerators. Check out the Hustle+Fire blog for more.