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14. Getting Customers Never, ever underes+mate the urgency of ge5ng customers. Your company might have a great product, sa+sﬁed employees and a decent amount of funding, but un+l you start (and con+nue) ge5ng customers, your business is not succeeding. In my years as an entrepreneur, I’ve found that a single trait separates a successful business from a failed one: their ability to get customers. You should be more than willing to get customers, you need to be passionate about ge5ng customers, and eager to do whatever it takes to get more people using your product or service. Getting Customers There are a variety of tac+cs and anecdotes on growing your business in this book, but keep in mind that nobody can ever tell you a sureﬁre way to get substan+al customers every +me. Why? Customers: The Basketball Analogy Chapter 15: Getting Customers Imagine that you’ve never played basketball before, and I’ve decided to tell you how to play. I sit you down and explain the rules in great detail. I may be the best basketball player in the world, and give you speciﬁc tips on footwork, how to shoot properly, the best way to defend the basket. All of my directions may be crystal clear conceptually, and you can be in good physical shape, but when you step out onto the court you’ll still be an amateur. You’ll make mistakes, and will only get better by actually doing drills and playing the game, over and over again. Now imagine that playing basketball is like ge5ng customers. You can learn approaches, strategies and ideas for ge5ng customers, but concepts mean nothing without a willingness to try and try again. You Can’t Outsource Sales It’s not necessarily the best quality products that end up being used, it’s the best marketed products. I can guarantee you, there is probably an amazing product or service very similar to yours that simply never saw the light of day because it wasn’t marketed well enough. The key thing to remember is that sales and marke+ng are not something you can outsource, especially when your business is ﬁrst star+ng out. You should be the #1 advocate for your product or service; if you’re not passionate enough about your product to sell it yourself, Chapter 15: Getting Customers how can you expect anyone else to be? Make This Your #1 Priority The principle wriPen on the leQ is a common adage in business circles, and The Pareto Principle can be a valuable way to think about ge5ng customers. 80 percent of your results come from 20 The Pareto Principle general holds true percent of once your business is large and what you do successful. When you’re star+ng a business, however, 99 percent of your results come from 1 thing that you do. What is that one focus? For a new business, it can be one of three things: securing capital, building a great product/service, or ge5ng customers. That last one, ge6ng customers, is the priority that is most likely to secure your success. I apply the 1-‐99 principle with my employees and with myself; we write down one task that, if completed within a certain period of +me, will make the biggest diﬀerence to the business. I do this because if we don’t remind ourselves every day to focus on that one thing, we will spend most of our +me doing other things. Chapter 15: Getting Customers Why do we consistently fail to do the one thing we need to? Because the most important thing to complete is also the hardest. People much prefer wri+ng a long list of small tasks to check oﬀ, so that we feel accomplished at the end of the day. The reality is that those Check out things almost never make a this lecture diﬀerence to your on getting business. customers on a Ge5ng customers budget! is hard, but it is also the lifeline of your business. If you’re not spending at least 50% of every single day ge5ng customers during the ﬁrst six months of your business, your business will suﬀer.
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