What if you have only a dozen or so prospects?

7 replies
All the sales I've done were either B2C or quasi-B2C (e.g. small businesses). I am also used to having large list of #s so I'm used to trying funky things.
But what if I don't have that luxury?

E.g. Asking for venture capital or a loan. Even the most hyper of serial entrepreneur does not pitch a new business everyday.And almost by definition, asking for venture capital implies having an idea that no one has seen before.

Would there a bank of successful loan applications or business plans I can draw upon?Or books to read? I know Shark den exists, but I don't trust the editing.

I imagine that a lot corporate sales where not any one actor know everything about the biz is like this also. Or selling to government.

I don't have anything terribly concrete, but I feel in the long run I should learn not to rely on having a large list of prospect to do A/B tests on. Of course, I already have a decent idea based on previous sales experience, but I'd be winging it really. In this case, is it simply a question of doing a lot of research and sleuth work before meeting the prospect?
#dozen #prospects
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    I don't have anything terribly concrete, but I feel in the long run I should learn not to rely on having a large list of prospect to do A/B tests on. Of course, I already have a decent idea based on previous sales experience, but I'd be winging it really. In this case, is it simply a question of doing a lot of research and sleuth work before meeting the prospect?
    The book Pitch Anything may be for you. The guy who wrote it raises capitol for start ups.

    For seeing a very short list of prospects The Power to Get In will give you a tested, proven method to see who you want to see. In the past, I've used what the book teaches to get appointments with CEOs I know wouldn't have seen me otherwise.
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    "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".....Ian Maclaren
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    All the sales I've done were either B2C or quasi-B2C (e.g. small businesses). I am also used to having large list of #s so I'm used to trying funky things.
    But what if I don't have that luxury?

    E.g. Asking for venture capital or a loan. Even the most hyper of serial entrepreneur does not pitch a new business everyday.And almost by definition, asking for venture capital implies having an idea that no one has seen before.

    Would there a bank of successful loan applications or business plans I can draw upon?Or books to read? I know Shark den exists, but I don't trust the editing.

    I imagine that a lot corporate sales where not any one actor know everything about the biz is like this also. Or selling to government.

    I don't have anything terribly concrete, but I feel in the long run I should learn not to rely on having a large list of prospect to do A/B tests on. Of course, I already have a decent idea based on previous sales experience, but I'd be winging it really. In this case, is it simply a question of doing a lot of research and sleuth work before meeting the prospect?
    I deal with founders looking for investment every day. I can say it is not the case that most have an idea no one has seen before. Some do have new technology. Most just don't know what they hell they are doing, have zero business sense and don't even know they need a customer. No joke. They think because the tech is so cool (to them) that customers will fall at their feet the moment they get the $2million or whatever needed to develop it.

    You DO need a deep funnel. All my problems in business came from the lack of a deep funnel of prospects. They're out there... you must learn where they are. I have them coming to me and am offering a space & defense (and any other market, but specifics help) startup founders VC workshop mid-month.

    A shallow funnel makes you over-value every single prospect. "I just gotta make this one work"... bad place to be. You have 17 prospects and one falls out of the funnel? <shrug> Who cares?

    But you've got 3 and one falls out? Oh no, now it's an emergency. I've been there too many times and said "Never again."

    Why did you bring up venture capital? In my experience, unless you're full time in the marketplace, banging the drum and attracting people in as I do with my interviews, the prospects are chasing the venture capitalists themselves. And the VCs respond with conflict-avoiding friendly smiles and handshakes, but no money because the startup has nothing but an idea. No proof of customers, zero revenue, no idea what to do next. They don't even get out and talk to potential customers to get responses.

    Those startup founders who DO know what they're doing, and have proof of concept, customer testimonials, letters of intent from purchasers to buy X quantity when the product is available, ie. have their you-know-what together, are snapped up quickly. How would you get in their path on the way to the VC they probably already have a relationship with? Not saying it's impossible, but you have to think about this. Broke founders can't invest, not even $500, and those who understand a cap table negotiation will fly over you on their way to the direct money source.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    All the sales I've done were either B2C or quasi-B2C (e.g. small businesses). I am also used to having large list of #s so I'm used to trying funky things.
    But what if I don't have that luxury?

    E.g. Asking for venture capital or a loan. Even the most hyper of serial entrepreneur does not pitch a new business everyday.And almost by definition, asking for venture capital implies having an idea that no one has seen before.

    Would there a bank of successful loan applications or business plans I can draw upon?Or books to read? I know Shark den exists, but I don't trust the editing.

    I imagine that a lot corporate sales where not any one actor know everything about the biz is like this also. Or selling to government.

    I don't have anything terribly concrete, but I feel in the long run I should learn not to rely on having a large list of prospect to do A/B tests on. Of course, I already have a decent idea based on previous sales experience, but I'd be winging it really. In this case, is it simply a question of doing a lot of research and sleuth work before meeting the prospect?
    I guess I just don't get your question. You have a decent idea based on previous experience, right?

    Who is the prospect? Gov't? Corp? Apparently not consumers or small business, correct?

    Are you looking for investors? I have no clue, but if that is the case, it sounds more of an "angel" investor vs a venture capitalist. You need someone who gets what you want to do and BELIEVES you are the person who can do it.

    I think.

    But, I may be wrong.

    GordonJ

    PS Great advice so far, reread that.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Originally Posted by GordonJ

    I guess I just don't get your question. You have a decent idea based on previous experience, right? Who is the prospect? Gov't? Corp? Apparently not consumers or small business, correct? Are you looking for investors? I have no clue, but if that is the case, it sounds more of an &quot;angel&quot; investor vs a venture capitalist. You need someone who gets what you want to do and BELIEVES you are the person who can do it. I think. But, I may be wrong. GordonJ PS Great advice so far, reread that.
    Yeah, rereading myself, the post really didn't make a lot of sense. With hindsight, I prolly should have focused on:"What checkboxes do I need to build and sell a business?"

    That's really the question I'm trying to answer for myself right now. I tried to generalize it into a general sales thread, so my writing fell very flat that day.

    EDIT: I wrote a longer reply to Jason's but I felt the post was still confusing. I intend to rewrite it.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      Yeah, rereading myself, the post really didn't make a lot of sense. With hindsight, I prolly should have focused on:"What checkboxes do I need to build and sell a business?" .
      The #1 and probably the only checkbox that really matters is stupid consistent growth. As in month over month and year over year the exact same growth day in and day out.

      I try and shoot for 20% overall - for me and the things I build this way it is simply a very easy number to obtain consistently.

      So why consistent steady growth? In terms of selling a "business" it takes out all of the questions of worth and value. Month over month 20% growth for 12 months for 24 months for 36 months leaves absolutely no question what the business will produce next month... the month after and the year after that.

      watch something like Shark Tank and interest is peaked when they started with X and then grew 100% 2 years ago and then another 100% last year and the projected growth is 100% this year. Its just super easy to do the math in your head what it will make the year after that and after that and 10 years from now - it just takes all of the thinking and speculation out of the thought process.

      To achieve this... Im not going to say it is easy... Online ventures are a L O T harder to meet the steady incremental growth pattern - I have yet to get an online business as steady I can an offline business - with the exception of maybe my eBay and Amazon business'. It could be done, there but would take an amount of work to get the needed consistency.

      In case anyone is wondering in the eBay or Amazon business to get an amount of consistency would require added product listings to reach a number or removing product listings to hold steady a number.

      In an offline business it simply comes down to going out and selling to reach the number needed... or obviously NOT going out and selling. If you end to much work in a month.. you just schedule the start date for the following month to even out your numbers.

      If you are ever on the main board and read postings from BKelly, his business seems to be fairly consistent overall, but its consistent as in its the same month over month vs GROWTH month over month.

      Hope that insight helps!
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      Success is an ACT not an idea
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    I deal with founders looking for investment every day. I can say it is not the case that most have an idea no one has seen before. Some do have new technology. Most just don't know what they hell they are doing, have zero business sense and don't even know they need a customer. No joke. They think because the tech is so cool (to them) that customers will fall at their feet the moment they get the $2million or whatever needed to develop it.

    You DO need a deep funnel. All my problems in business came from the lack of a deep funnel of prospects. They're out there... you must learn where they are. I have them coming to me and am offering a space & defense (and any other market, but specifics help) startup founders VC workshop mid-month.

    A shallow funnel makes you over-value every single prospect. "I just gotta make this one work"... bad place to be. You have 17 prospects and one falls out of the funnel? <shrug> Who cares?

    But you've got 3 and one falls out? Oh no, now it's an emergency. I've been there too many times and said "Never again."

    Why did you bring up venture capital? In my experience, unless you're full time in the marketplace, banging the drum and attracting people in as I do with my interviews, the prospects are chasing the venture capitalists themselves. And the VCs respond with conflict-avoiding friendly smiles and handshakes, but no money because the startup has nothing but an idea. No proof of customers, zero revenue, no idea what to do next. They don't even get out and talk to potential customers to get responses.

    Those startup founders who DO know what they're doing, and have proof of concept, customer testimonials, letters of intent from purchasers to buy X quantity when the product is available, ie. have their you-know-what together, are snapped up quickly. How would you get in their path on the way to the VC they probably already have a relationship with? Not saying it's impossible, but you have to think about this. Broke founders can't invest, not even $500, and those who understand a cap table negotiation will fly over you on their way to the direct money source.

    OK I originally wrote a much much longer post to this. but I cut down all the extraneous and unnecessary details, and it comes down to this:



    I have a side project where I am trying to make machine-generated pop music. Using this, my plan is to make a profitable Youtube channel (or a couple dozens --- if I am right, content will be very cheap to make).

    I don't know if it'll work out.The tech is not unique but a very small extension of existing tech. Execution from a marketing POV is not much different from a regular IM project. Up to that point, I'm good. What I am looking for is more like a long term road map to set for myself.

    What checkboxes do I need to fill besides "lots of views and revenue"? The way valuations work in particular seems very strange so I just want to understand the basics.

    I was always under the impression that the criterias for an IPO was potential for explosive growth and my idea doesn't fit that mold. (the next Microsoft) or being an established behemoth in its niche.

    When I look at what VCs, they invest in companies that don't at all fit that mold. Hololive for example, is essentially a glorified Youtube channel with 940 millions $ in funding from Japan. Their method of producing content seems to be cheaper then their direct competitors but that's about the extent of it. It doesn't seem like the next Microsoft, but perhaps that's just me.

    My apologies for the confused writing, I spend too much time in my own head and it got mixed up with other questions.Hopefully this is clearer.

    I know it's very early and the questions are basic, but I never asked myself these kind of questions before and I would really like to plan ahead for the long term.
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  • Profile picture of the author AUwayne
    Have you thought of obtaining a product to sell to small businesses to remain in that field until you have your idea ready to go.
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