“Next Customer Please!”

Lessons from my Entrepreneurial Journey #4

Lesson#4

One of the mistakes I have personally made is waiting too long for the sales closure with the customer. This happens when some early customers show interest in our product/service. We get too caught up with them, willing to overlook everything, that it hurts the business.

We are somewhere taught that the “Customer is King”. At times, with this mindset, we do wrong things to build business (like spend too much time on one/few customers, provide free test trials).

Few learnings:

1.  Never give anything for free. Free indicates it’s not worth paying. It’s we who set the tone with the customer by offering freebies. When there is an effort & cost involved, ask for a paid test trial for a limited period. Indicate why it is a paid test trial and the benefits the customer gets by going for it. It also demonstrates that the customer has a stake in the outcome.

2. Ask a lot of questions; including important ones like does the customer have a budget, timeline for decision making, process for closure. Beware, some customers’ waste time. Get your assessment right.

3. Politely tell the customer that we have spent enough time discussing and demonstrating the product. We need to move to next steps if there is seriousness to pursue an engagement.

4. Do not provide a discount hoping the customer signs the deal. Sometimes customers bargain for a discount and still delay signing the deal. As a counter offer, suggest that the discount may be provided only when we know when we get the payment.

5. Accept meeting on equal grounds < ex: mutual convenient days and time >. Too much eagerness to meet sends a wrong message to the customer.

In Summary :

Meet at least 1 new customer every day. If you do not do this, you are risking your business. It takes time to build a pipeline & convert. Strong discipline and habits are key to this. Ensure that your order pipeline is good to de-risk dependence on few.

Last but not the least; walk away if it’s not a win-win deal. If you have a strong value proposition, you will succeed with another customer.

But despite our best efforts, we still lose some. What next?

–  Go after a new one..

Next Customer Please..!

This is the fourth part of a series by the author. Find the previous post here.

[About the Author: Shashi Bhushan is the Founder & CEO of HealthMacro Technologies.  He plunged into entrepreneurship to explore his dream of building something that touches people’s lives. HealthMacro were TiE’s Anthah Prerana 2013 winners. He can be followed on twitter at @ShashiBhushanHR]

4 Comments for ““Next Customer Please!””

says:

Good one, Shashi!
I was recently reminded of differentiating between customer and kushtomer (Kannada/Tamil/Telugu/Hindi word Kashtam is played around with.)! Walk away from kushtomers!

(customers who add difficulty and no value)!

Regards,
Shree

says:

Great article! It is so vital to recognize the value of what we have to offer and not fall into the trap of freebies that devalue our product or prolong the sales process which could potentially lead to losing the sale altogether!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *