How 2 Sell Early-Stage Tech
Wondering how to sell your early-stage tech business? The Blank Center welcomed Janet Comenos, CEO of Spotted Media, to a How 2 Tuesday event to share how to acquire your first group of customers. Janet founded Spotted Media to provide a way for brands to advertise using photos of celebrities in their day-to-day lives using the brand’s products. Spotted’s business-to-business platform is the solution to expensive celebrity endorsements that often fail to appear genuine to customers. It has the world’s largest database of relevant photos that brands can advertise with.
Janet shared that a common obstacle startups face is an educational barrier: oftentimes entrepreneurs are introducing novel solutions that customers are not familiar with. In this situation, you must very clearly address the most common questions and objections of potential customers. It is also important to determine what matters to your buyers and make that part of your solution.
To do so, the first step is to clearly identify a specific ideal customer profile (ICP). Doing so helps you direct your efforts toward the most relevant market, increases close and retention rate, and improves your messaging consistency. For business-to-business sales, Janet recommends using qualifiers that include what the company sells, two numeric requirements (such as annual sales and number of employees), and two aspects of the business that would support the implementation of your solution (such as the focus of the business and the departments you can directly work with).
After building your ICP, spend time learning what motivates the buyers and influencers within that business and how you can adapt your solution to their needs. While some entrepreneurs use the approach of sending generic emails to massive audiences, it is vital to truly understand what matters to potential business partners and clients.
Doing so is not as difficult as it may sound! Using LinkedIn or other professional websites, learn about your buyer’s daily responsibilities and plan how you can ease these responsibilities. Then, determine the buyer’s longer-term goals and how your company can help further them. Ultimately, think about how your company can get the person promoted because they have done such a great job. A constant message in each interaction should be the ways that you can help their daily lives.
If your business is so early-stage that you do not yet have metrics to prove its concept, consider giving your first customers a small discount. They could be the motivation they need to start a great business relationship with you!
We hope that Janet’s tips give you the confidence you need to gain your first customers!