Preparing for your first client

4 minute read

Those who have repeatable businesses success often attribute their success to repeatable processes. The intention of this article is to ask the questions needed, to build the process I recommend for the successful acquistion of your first customers, if you’re launching an iterative (customer focused) business.

Before building out your process, work through each of these questions. I’ll give you examples for some of my projects to get your mental wheels spinning on how the questions may apply to your business idea(s).

What is a result you could confidently promise a client? Make sure that this includes the job to be done, as well as your market differentiation.

  • PrivaSecTech will help your organization achieve privacy law compliance as well as security framework compliance, to help you achieve investment, large strategic partnerships, and/or acquisition.
  • One Day Website offers a cost effective solution to get your business online and start measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) for those who don’t want to understand the technology but measurably improve their online business strategy.
  • DecisionTree identifies gaps in your team’s decision making, while simulataneously showing the alignement (or lack of) with your goals & values in real-time.
  • ID VPN is the most privacy centric ID management solution for those with compliance needs, allowing you to focus on your line of business where you’re an expert, and allowing us to manage your customers which is our expertise.
  • ConfidenCEO is a complete enhanced due diligence process to help startups de-risk themselves for investors needs, and to help investors complete a comprehensive due diligance process in areas often ignored such as design, privacy, UX, CX, and security.

What you should notice from my examples is you don’t have to make the promise overtly, it can be implied, same with the job to be done, and the market differentiation. I would suggest it’s more powerful if the suggestion is implied and the reader makes the connection – but you risk some readers not making the connection if you’re not direct.

Make a list of the criteria a customer would have, that would have you guarantee results to them.

  • PrivaSecTech: Organizations whose leadership understands why privacy law compliance or security frameworks are important, and cash flow positive enough to have the financial resources and priority to achieve this.
  • One Day Website: A first or second time entrepreneur who’s ready to commit to their business idea and wants to be online tomorrow without wanting to spend the time to figure things out on their own. They appreciate the value of time over money, so want to pay those with experience to get them online. They want to see analytics towards their strategy’s success or failure.
  • Decision Tree: A progressive leadership team that wants to start to disect their decision making to find gaps, as well as a team committed to understanding if their major decisions are value and/or goal aligned.
  • ID VPN: A legal high risk industry business (cannabis, cryptocurrency, anything with an age barrier, or KYC/AML/CTF compliance) that doesn’t want to learn how to be identity and compliance experts, but wants to focus on their product or service. A business that realizes collecting personal data is more of a liability, than an asset, and that not having your customer’s personal information in your database is a marketing differentiator amongst your competitors – as your customers (and you as a business) will be de-risked when a privacy breach happens to you.
  • ConfidenCEO: A startup that is strategically planning for at least a series A (+1mm) raise in the future, and wants to demonstrate to investors they’ve solved several gaps that are often overlooked by less forward thinking startups.

Make a list of the customers that meet the criteria above, and then prioritize them based on the ones you can (almost) guarantee to help. Set a goal of 100, but identify the top 5 from that list, and then the top 10. These are your dream clients as you know you can solve a pain point, or provide a big gain for them, and they have the resources to use your services.

Review your team. That could be just you. As I work mostly in tech startups, you might have a business type (MBA/sales) and a technical type (developer). Do you have the subject matter expertise to sell this product to 10 customers next week? If you make a sale, do you have the expertise to execute the product or service with excellence to the customer’s highest level of satisfaction? Fill in any gaps you have in building a team that others can’t compete with.

Do whatever it takes to sit down with 5-10 people in this customer list, asking them for an information interview, to ask them about what they’re using now to solve the issues you hope to solve, what their plans for the future are in this area, what is missing from their current solution, and why. Finally, ask them what would make this issue smaller for them personally, as well as smaller for them professionally. The strategy when asking these questions is looking for clues on where, when, and why they get emotional about the problem space. Your goal is not to sell them at all during this meeting, bonus points if you don’t even mention your proposed solution at this stage.

Anecdote: When exploring a new service from PrivaSecTech, I got an information interview with the CTO of a fortune 50 company. During the interview, I never once mentioned my product or service, and by the end of the goal, the CTO said “We at $company are really excited to sign up for this service, let me know when we can sign a purchase order”! The entire interview the CTO was explaining what they wanted as a solution, and by the end of the call had convinced themselves I was building that service without me even suggesting I was.