Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.
This week’s question comes from Marius, who asks:
This is a tough challenge for any startup, and trying to win customers in a language that’s not your first language adds another layer of difficulty.
But to me, the approach is the same.
The first people you reach out to by phone won’t trust you. And they shouldn’t. Because they have no reason to. You haven’t proven anything to them.
That’s why I’m a big fan of going above and beyond and doing really unscalable things to win those first customers.
You could do free work for them without being asked, before you introduce yourself. For example, I’d frequently offer to manually set everything up in Groove for our very first customers. I had to learn a lot about their businesses and workflows to get things right, but it was worth it, because it made them happy and overcame the biggest obstacle to getting them to sign up.
Beyond that, the personal level of service made them a lot more forgiving of the bugs and issues that are unavoidable in the early days of a tech startup.
It’s not unlike trying to meet a mentor or other person that has no reason to trust you (yet). I’ve written about some other ways to add value and build those relationships here.
Rather than focusing on your first ten customers, focus on your first customer. Make concessions, do free work and overdeliver.
And then grow from there.