Getting your product market-ready is just the beginning. If no one is paying for it, your product will never fly off the shelves. This month’s Stammtisch was all about customers. Finding them, keeping them and loving them.

Actively Pursue Your Customers

No customers, no company. Call potential customers and convince them, that your startup is the right fit. Consistency is key, especially in the beginning. Don’t give up and don’t go in unprepared. Stalk them on Facebook if you have to. And be ready to put on your (sales) boots and leave your desk. Networking and talking to people is equally important when it comes to getting the word out and potential feedback in. Customer development is not just about selling your product, it’s learning about the needs of your potential future customers.

Don’t be Afraid of your Customers, learn from them!

The idea of interacting with potential customers might be scary at the beginning. But especially at the early stages, where you’re probably not going to have a sales team, you’ll have to interact with customers. And those customers will tell you what they don’t like. But that’s a good thing! Get as much (viable) feedback as you can and adapt appropriately. After all, your product is for them.

Love Your Customers

Closing customers is one thing, but keeping them is a whole other story. Satisfied customers are your long-term goal. Listen to their complaints, find out what their needs are, and always treat them like a valued partner. Dedicated customer support will never go unnoticed.

Document Everything and Learn About Your Customers

To grow your customer base also means to keep track of what went right and what went wrong when interacting with them. It’s never too early to start with that. Know how you can reach them, what works for them and change your next sales approach accordingly. Different regions, cultures and industries will require different approaches or even different product features. The key to that is documenting every sales related interaction down to every single text message. It may seem tedious but it will be worth it at the end.

So that’s how you build and expand your customer basis. Call them, text and stalk them, love them. Present your product consistently; Try, test, learn, document and refine all the time and the customers will follow.

Das Panel von Stammtisch 51

Speakers: Malte Warczinski (EMPAUA), Christian Schwarmüller (smec), Constantin Wintoniak (Prescreen), and Reinhold Baudisch (durchblicker)

Moderator: Daniel Cronin

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