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The first sale is the hardest

LeddoLeddo subscriber Posts: 2
edited May 2007 in Sales
Ok, i`m after some advice here...  About 3 months ago, we finished a prototype of a new website.  This website is designed for the end consumer to locate information across a variety of companies that all provide similar products.  eg  The website allows consumers to compare side by side all of the designs by different companies, and find the best ones that suit their needs.  Each design is presented in a similar look & feel, with highly detailed specifications, photos, features lists etc.  The site allows direct communication with the manufacturer`s sales team, and allows the consumer to create shortlists and narrow the search for the right design.  It shows them the details where the designs can be viewed, and can even arrange a private demonstration with the local rep. The business model is that the manufacturers pay a small fee to be on the site, in terms of a once-off setup fee per design, plus then a flat monthly ongoing fee to maintain the details, access to the detailed reports about what models are being viewed the most, the number of enquiries they are receiving etc.Alright, that is enough of the background.  The challenge we are finding is that every company we talk to, loves the idea, and says the industry needs something of this nature, but none of them are prepared to jump first.  We have tried some incentives like no monthly fees for 3 months  etc, but it seems to be  something else at play here.  A feeling I have is that it could be related to the fact that this industry has not really embraced the internet yet, and most of the people running these companies are old-school thinkers.I know that once we can establish a few clients, the rest will follow, it is certainly one of those industries, but it is getting the first few that we are finding difficult.So has anyone got any ideas on how we can get this thing rockin?ThanksLeddo


  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    Can you post a link to your site?
    Sounds like you might be encountering the old "hammer looking for a nail problem". If your prospects "love" the idea but aren`t signing up then you`re taking their feedback the wrong way. They`re saying "we love this but not enough to pay for it just yet".
    Find out why. Might be a marketing problem, communication problem, or lack of market demand.
  • enfolditenfoldit subscriber Posts: 1
    I usually get around the early adopter problem by giving it to someone for a little while.
    Find a potential customer you trust, and that is tolerant of the growing pains, and give them the service as part of your "Beta Test". At the very least you`ll get great feedback. Make sure they unsedstand that it`s only for 6 months, or whatever time period you feel is enough to get about 10 more people on it.
    When you`re thiking long term, is the loss of revenues of one person for 6 months worth not getting other people signed up?
  • JMAXMarketingJMAXMarketing subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Leddo, give me a call! What we do is help businesses get that first few customers!GailJ Max
    JMAXMarketing2007-5-15 16:2:25
  • kevinzhangkevinzhang subscriber Posts: 6
    I am starting too, I am a crystal crafts gift supplier.
    The first is hard, I think!
  • HondoTechHondoTech subscriber Posts: 3
    Sounds kind of like a niche Froogle.
    I built a site along those same lines back in the late 90s pitching used cars in El Paso, Texas. It was hard getting dealers onboard at first until I gave it to them for free for the 1st 6 months and promised to do all the uploading, inputting etc myself.
    After those first 180 days were up I had no problems whatsoever collecting revenue from them for continued service.  They had a chance to see how the site would benefit them and gave me a chance to build traffic to the site.
    Good luck!
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