Calling All Startups! Forget Growth Hacking… Focus on Selling!

I was at a Start Up function last week and something has really stuck with me since the event.

The Founders knew all about Growth Hacking… and nothing about Selling.

They knew how to get from 1000 to 10,000 users… but nothing about getting those first 1000 (other than outbound marketing.)

Maybe it was because most of them were in the B2C (Business 2 Customer) space, rather than B2B (Business 2 Business.)

From someone who is solely in the B2B space, and has spent all of their working life there, may I share something?

Those first 1000 users will happen so much faster if you stopped focusing on Growth Hacking, and started focusing on 1 user at a time.

I know, I know.  But Emma, that’s soooo not scalable.

And I absolutely agree.  1 user at a time is not scalable.  But it is definitely valuable for the first 1000.

Look at Slack.  They had a handful of initial users, and only focused on them for a long period of time.  Then, and only then, did they let it filter out organically for a little while longer.

And then they hit the GO button.  And boom!  They are now at 30,000+ users and growing… and now focusing on Growth Hacking strategies.

We have followed the same strategy.  We have a bunch of users we are focusing on, all of whom we have met with face to face.  We are getting feedback from them on a daily basis.  We are putting in time with our handful of agents who (when we hit the Go Button) will be distributing Sales VA for us, and getting feedback from them on a daily basis. Already, we have a waitlist of people whom we will be speaking with face to face to make sure we are a right fit for them.

And yes, we have ideas about what Growth Hacking Strategies we would like to test and measure when we get to our own magic number of 2000 users.

So, if I can share anything to help other Startup Founders that may not have the Sales Experience that I do, it is this.

Focus on those first 1000.  Get REALLY familiar with them.  Know who they are and what motivates them.  Know what they like and what they really don’t like.  The only way to do that is to meet with them.  Invite 2 way communication.  Listen to them with no ego.  Walk beside them.

The 10,000 users after that will have a much better experience because you did.

What are your thoughts?  If you grew to your first 1000 users in a different way,  we’d love to hear from you!

Emma Monro – CEO of Sales VA.

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