As you listen to the virtues of the lean start-up–lightweight sales, light engineering, and so on–keep the following in mind:
The flaw in the lean start-up approach is how these companies manage to attract enough customers to get the feedback they need to add more features that will make them successful.
Regardless of how you cut it, marketing can play a key role in whether a start-up is a success or failure, which is why it's curious that it's not discussed much as part of the lean start-up approach.
It's natural to read an article about a failure and feel like the points made are obvious - but that's because we aren't imagining all the pitfalls that we may have fallen into along the way that others would have avoided. Not only that, but the rules have so many exceptions that it could have just as easily gone the opposite way (I wish I hadn't listened to my customers) and we would still say it was an obvious conclusion.
I am a <USER DESCRIPTION>
Trying to <DO XYZ>
But I’m unable to do so because of <A BARRIER>
- Pricing page with 4 plans. Try to price each plan to a different customer in your targeted market what it is worth to them, not what it costs you.
- Annual billing: Ask via a 1 time special email after the person has started using it and likes it
- Have live chat to make more sales
- Email more during the trial period at least 6-8 times in the first month
- Offer a free month "course" via email, on the 4th email or so start working in how your product solves the pain/problem.
- Send a "rescue" email if the person seems like they have become busy and might fall away
- Some bigger organizations will want a sla & support agreement even if it is just you already working on the system fixing things anyway.
- Offer a Service Level Agreement if someone asks for it, charge more ask for a 1 yr commitment
- Offer a support / maintenance contract, ask for a 1yr commitment on the regular fee to lock customer in.
- Offer industry options, HIPPA, etc charge more
- Practice saying "I can do that with a 1yr commitment" when customer ask for something special
- Highly consider getting errors and omissions insurance
- Don't negotiate sales based upon your cost. Don't even mention your cost it is not relevant. What matters is how much the customer will 'save' or 'make' with your product.