6 Learnings to Help an Entrepreneur Find Customers An entrepreneur needs to know the target customer base right from the time he or she develops the offering

By Salma Moosa

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I've been self-employed for the past 25 plus years, building my businesses. While some have failed and failed big, some worked fairly well like the Startups Club - one of the strongest and widely spread start-up communities in India. I have been privileged to work very closely with hundreds of zero to three-year-old start-up founders especially, in the region of growth hacking, closing fast, nurturing loyal customers & setting a sales pipeline for each of them.

So, here the 6 challenges an entrepreneur faces as he or she steps in the market to acquire customers:

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Who is Your Customer?

Every 7 out of 10 entrepreneurs are unable to define their customers; they believe that everyone is a potential customer. It is vital for an entrepreneur to understand and know their customers specifically. An entrepreneur needs to know the target customer base right from the time he or she develops the offering because finally, it is they who will buy. The smaller the niche of your early customers is, the better it is because then the approach is focused on reaching out to them.

What are You Selling?

Entrepreneurs are so closely associated with their offering that they are not able to verbalize the IT. The love for their creation is so much that they have this urge to talk about every minute aspect of it! The customer need not know all the features in the first go. The entrepreneur must understand that one feature that will close the deal. Getting clarity on what you are selling is that critical for the entrepreneur.

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Understanding Needs

You now know who you are selling to; you know what you are selling to them but do you really understand how that product or service has the market fit? Where exactly does the need for your offering lie with your customer? You have to know your customers well, their needs, their thought process, the point that will make them cut the cheque or sign on the dotted line.

Pricing for Your Offering

Pricing your product/services is the most crucial of all things that you will do as you reach out to your customers. This will also go to become the defining aspect of your success or failure in getting your customers. So, it is advisable to spend as much time on this, have surveys conducted, have 1on1 meetings done with your potential customers, and you stick by your customers. To know them well, to see how much they spend on what segment of their day to day lives. This is one of those critical aspects of an entrepreneur's journey that will define the growth of the start-up for the first couple of years at least.

Creating the Sales Pitch

It is equally essential to script your sales pitch. An entrepreneur always has to be very clear on not crossing the thin line between a marketing script and a sales script with a customer. Sometimes, we do cross the line, when a sales pitch ends up becoming just an awareness activity. It is advisable to always pen down a sales script, play mock runs on the sales pitch, train the team rigorously, understand the tone, hide the urgency and have a clear need to close the deal.

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Finally, Designing the Customer Experience

Successful brands build a large community of loyal customers by designing a very detailed and ultimate experience for the customer, from the time of sales pitch to the point of sale. Keeping this in mind, we must focus on the complete experience. Right from a simple greeting or a heartfelt thank you for showing interest, the way it is done is important. Having a clear script only makes it possible to focus on the sales strategies.

Salma Moosa

Founder & MD, Startups CLub

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