Sell Big even You’re Small
The launching point for bringing in six-figure sales deals doesn’t actually start with sales — it starts with marketing. As basic as it sounds, your website needs to look badass. If a potential customer, or business partner goes to your website (anyone’s first stop these days) and it screams “startup!,” then your chances of getting a foot in the door become slim to none.
If you’re low on marketing assets to beef up your website, use what you have at your disposal. Still only a handful of employees? Showcase your board members or advisors. Still working to prove results? Grab quotes from early prospects talking about the potential of your technology. Not sure if you’ll be able to showcase a company logo on your website? Take a little risk — sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Your product is in its infancy; you may have a couple features developed, or perhaps enough to call it a “platform.” But, to capture the attention of potential big-budget customers, you need more than just a compelling value proposition. Aside from being able to strike at the heart of a tactical pain, you also need to have a powerful vision of where the entire technology could go.
When you have a potential customer’s live attention, whether in person or perhaps through a web conference, it’s show time. Whether or not you have a fully functional product is besides the point — in many cases of early stage startups, you’re probably still working with a prototype. Don’t let that get in the way — and don’t just show stale slides. Even if it’s in PowerPoint, create a demo that feels so real, potential customers can clearly envision how your solution would work for them. This means you might have to be creative. Time your presentation so that when you click your mouse, a graph line appears and goes up and to the right, or a window pops open and is animated. While being transparent about what the product can do today, get your prospective buyers bought into and excited about what’s possible.