Nothing could be more true for an early stage company to set the wheels of progress in motion. All clients are good in the early days, but some are better than others for maximum leverage.
All this talk about social selling…nothing is more social or powerful than having the right customers; clients who will work with you and vouch for your offering.
Early customers will serve many critical needs to help a young company get on the right trajectory:
1. Refine the product
There will be constant improvement, pivots..especially early on and getting some key clients, who believe in the vision and will contribute, will be critical to help refine the product and value proposition.
2. Provide credibility in the marketplace
It’s hard to be first so early adopters will pave the way for the next wave of clients to come on board and feel like they are not going it alone.
3. Influence other buyers
Sometime you need a little more than credibility to bring on certain segments of the market. Some prospects will only follow peers or bigger name clients. So, knowing this may dictate an early client acquisition strategy.
So, how do you find these “right early customers”?
1. Form an advisory group
The right clients will be motivated to be part of the inner circle and have the opportunity to help shape the product.
2. Provide early adopter incentives
Early adopters should receive financial incentives in the form of discounts or added benefits for taking some risk. This is reasonable and an appropriate exchange without jeopardizing the pricing strategy.
Start ups are hard enough so why not take an intelligent approach to client acquisition to create some operating leverage?