Entrepreneurs (aged 45+), if you could give yourself advice about finding new customers/clients when starting out, what would it be?
It’s the same advice I’d give to other founders, except founders 45+ are more self-aware, so it should work better:
- Sell to your strengths.
The biggest issues I see with seasoned founders is they get attracted to types of sales and revenue they have zero experience with. The most common is a seasoned Oracle type who wants to do a freemium startup. Because she/he thinks it will be easier than the enterprise sales she experienced at Oracle.
This is so risky and almost certainly wrong.
- If you know how to do outbound, do outbound.
- If you know how to penetrate large accounts, start enterprise.
- If you are good at PR and content marketing, start there. Make some noise.
- If you are good at demand gen, target mid-market customers and build a pipeline – fast.
- If you truly know how to generate 100k+ and then 1m+ free users, then go freemium. Don’t dabble in the beginning with big deals.
Do what you know, get some points on the board. Then learn and evolve.
Whatever you do, don’t think the stuff you don’t know how to do in sales and marketing is somehow easier. It isn’t.