Develop your sales

You want to improve your customer acquisition but you are not sure where to start? Here are some tips to get
you started.

The crux of the matter

Customer acquisition is the crux of the matter of any entrepreneurial project. To the point that if you look into “Lean” methodologies, it often precedes the design of the solution itself (‘sell first, build later’). In order to acquire your customers, there is no magical recipe: a multitude of sales and marketing channels are possible, and they are specific to your product and your customers. Acquisition channels are generally divided into two categories: outbound and inbound.

Ready or not, here I come

The first step to find customers is… go get them! The outbound marketing includes all the acquisition levers that are based on interruption: a call/email for cold prospecting, a banner at the top of an article, an ad in the middle of a YouTube video, etc., your prospect gets a commercial message at a time when they have not specifically requested it. Apart from commercial prospecting, these traditional channels are less and less used, in favor of more efficient methods. They are nevertheless a reality for every entrepreneur at the start.

Natural attraction

The never-ending flow of advertising has created an overdose among consumers. Ad blockers are on the rise, consumption habits have changed, the variety of ad techniques that used to work are now obsolete. Today, buyers are independent in their search for information and in their decisions: they can inquire on their own about any product or service, and they tolerate less and less advertising interruptions. As a response, the inbound marketing was created. It brings together all the marketing techniques aimed at attracting “naturally” buyers to your site during their purchasing process. Creation of a blog, natural search (SEO), search marketing, press relations, etc. These channels use high value-added content as a way to build credibility, attract traffic and generate sales.

What it all comes down to

Seen as THE “Outbound” leverage, sales is also the most useful skill for a start-up founder in the beginning. Although many entrepreneurs – foolishly-think they can quickly pass it over, selling often remains their main daily activity, and this, long after the creation of the company. And that's a good thing! In fact, selling is part of all the start-up's interactions with the outside world: with prospects, of course, but also with potential partners, investors, public institutions... At every stage, it is your ability to convince, and therefore to sell, that will make the difference. A piece of good news: you are not born a good salesperson, you become one.

First steps

Where to start? There are so many possibilities that you can sometimes get lost. But don’t worry and follow these tips to acquire your first customers:

 Be a salesman again and again: the fear of being rejected discourages many project leaders from picking up the phone or knocking on doors. It is yet what will pay off the most on a short-term basis. It is time-consuming, but it costs nothing, and it always pays. Accept the refusals and do not take them personally, they will decrease over time. Make sure you make time to sell, every day.

 Test a multitude of channels, allocating limited budgets to each, to see which one “bites” the most. Have a scientific approach to your marketing and sales: test different messages, different images, throw away what doesn’t work and start again.

 Don’t try to do everything: focus on the channels that work best for you and invest most of your time and money in them.

 Be patient: success does not come overnight. Results often take time to arrive, for some channels more than others. Test, refine, repeat… until you find the recipe, your recipe.

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