Class: 2014 Winter Accelerator
Faux Pas is a hybrid "Indie Fashion" marketplace and netflix for fashionistas. Instead of getting DVD's in the mail, our customer gets trendy, one-of-a-kind fashion pieces that she can wear, enjoy, return, and then exchange for the next item on her que. Faux Pas offers shopaholics everywhere the ability to shop continuously, have endless variety in their wardrobe, relieve the environment, yet still keep more money in her pocket. Unlimited outfits, unlimited exchanges: one flat monthly rate.
Cold Calls, Customers, and Sales.
Regardless of whether the nature of a start-up’s business model requires picking up the phone to acquire customers…cold calling is a skill an entrepreneur simply can’t do without. Whether its customers, suppliers, institutions, or investors … a start up that is adept at quickly captivating strangers, retaining their attention, and convincing them that the purpose is worth their time…will be well positioned against the hurdles of building a business either big or small…for profit or not for profit.
- Be comfortable with rejection. In some cases…it’s a numbers game…sometimes persistence can win. But the answer to a question you don’t ask will always be “no”. A “no” from a party of interest isn’t the end of the game. More often than not “no” doesn’t mean “no”…it just means “not yet” , “not now” or “not quite”. Many no’s will come before “yes’s” and they are the essence of cold calling. Drive On.
- Short and Sweet: Create a hook that will reveal just enough to create interest and incite someone to inquire. Details overwhelm and tend to drive attention spans elsewhere
- Focus on benefits: Instead of rattling off information about what it is that the business does…focus on how you can further the agenda of the person you’re speaking to. Why should feel like it’s worth their time?
- Make a personal connection: Building a relationship with a potential customer as quickly as possible is vital.
- Ask open ended questions: if they’re talking…you’re winning.
- Confidence is Key: People respond to confidence and passion. Smiling over the phone is tangible.
- Keep the close in mind: The goal is not a sale or an answer but a follow up. Can be in email form, meeting time, etc.
When it comes to acquiring new customers, “long-term greedy” is the name if the game. From promotions to freebies…to discounts…to promotions…many young business are afraid of taking a short term loss for a long term gain. If PayPal can go from paying customers themselves to sign up for an account to the force they are today…there’s hope for those of us starting in the sandbox. So let’s get a shovel and start digging!