The Sales Process Isn’t Complete Until You Have a Fan

Today I was listening to a great case study interview by Rob Walling from, and co-founder of the Micropreneur Academy. This is one of many great case studies found inside the Academy. The interview was with Harry Hollander, co-founder of Moraware.

Harry’s obviously a bright guy, and he gives some great advice in the interview. The thing that really made an impression on me had to do with his take on the sales process.

He says:

“We consider our sales process done when we have someone who is willing to be a reference and put a testimonial on our website, or do a video case study”.

I love this! This really got me thinking about how I handle my own sales process, and what happens once someone becomes a customer.

Admittedly, I’ve been looking at post-conversion phase in a big company sort of way. I’m used to thinking about customer retention due to my experience in the corporate world. That’s what it’s all about there. Once you have customers, you check in with them and make sure they’re happy, not to turn them into fans, but to keep them from leaving. There’s a big difference here.

Client retention is about doing just enough to keep what you have. On the other hand, turning customers into fans means you have to blow their freaking socks off.

This is much harder, but it’s also much more exciting. Not to mention the payoff of having a bunch of true fans is better than anything you’ll ever be able to pay for.

I’m Looking to Acquire Another Product

I’ve been thinking about making another product acquisition for quite a while now. I haven’t been looking at any listings in Flippa though, I’ve just had an urge to buy another product. So now I’ve decided to start looking at listings in Flippa on a daily basis.

It might take a long time for me to find something as I’m a picky guy when it comes to buying things like this. Heck, it took me a good 6 months of looking to find SixCentral.

I don’t have a specific type of app in mind, but I’d rather not put a ton of money into it for several reasons. First, Bidsketch is my primary business and any serious cash will always go there before making its way toward any other investment. Second, I’d like to buy something small and fun, that I can experiment with. Third, I don’t have lots of cash laying around.

So from this day forward I’ll spend 30 mins a day on Flippa with the hope of finding something I like at an affordable price.

Per-Proposal Plan

Today I had a user (anonymous) post a suggestion about a “per use” payment plan for Bidsketch.

They state that certain designers just don’t write enough proposals to pay on a monthly basis. This makes sense in a way, a lot of people starting out might not use it all that much.

This would be similar to how MailChimp’s pay-as-you-go plan works. I may try it out in the next couple of weeks 🙂

Sales Figures at 3 Weeks

Ok so I’ve been live for about 3 weeks now and I have over 250 users on Bidsketch. About 20% of those are paid accounts, most are on the premium plan.

I’ve introduced a Basic plan but I’ve received very fews signups on that plan even though I had people say they were going to sign up.

Currently trying out some A/B testing to see what the difference between 3 plans (Premium, Basic, and Free) vs. 2 plans (Premium and Free) is like. So far the numbers indicate their isn’t much of a difference at all. Not what I expected!

Next up, I’m going to do some A/B testing with the Free plan. Certain SaaS based apps have taken away the free plan (or hidden it). I’d like to see what the impact of this is on sales.

The reason why I’m trying all this stuff out? Sales have slowed dramatically in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been working on a couple of features people have been asking for which might help with that.

My plan to help keep things moving on the sales site:

  • Get a couple of bloggers to write about Bidsketch.
  • A/B test the hell out of the pricing page.
  • Work on ways to convert the free account users.
  • Improve sales website, update videos, etc.

Unfortunately, this isn’t all I’m doing. I have to show activity by releasing new features at least every other week — activity early on is critical.

I’ll follow up in a couple of weeks with an update on what I’ve gained with my efforts 🙂