Yes, you read the title right. Not only you can get cash for your idea or product before you create it, but you definitely should!
We call this pre-selling.
What is pre-selling and why it’s so important?
Don’t be confused by the word “sell” in pre-sell. Pre-selling is less about pushing something onto someone and more about partnering with someone who has a problem and coming up with a solution to fix it.
Pre-selling should be effortless and easy, and the natural conclusion to the steps you’ve taken thus far:
- defining the pain in the market and
- designing a solution to address that pain.
Why is this step so important? Because it helps you validate your idea. If you pre-sell, you are sure you are building something people want and are willing to pay for!
It helps you eliminate the uncertainty around creating something new, and gives you a chance to test your business idea before you invest time and money in building it.
Your goal should be to validate your business by getting at least 3 to 5 pre-sales or enough to cover the development of your product.
Before you dive into Pre-Selling…
There are a few things you’ve got to have nailed already before you even consider starting the pre-selling process. You need to have:
- And idea extracted on your business (you can go to previous articles to see how you cover this)
- A defined pain (making sure it’s a common pain in the marker)
- A demo or sketch of the solution. Depending on your market and the ideas you extracted, this demo can be as simple as a landing page or as complex as a clickable front end. The most common way to present your sketch is using a clickable powerpoint. Get creative, but don’t waste time on perfecting your sketch. It is a presentation and not your end product!
Is this ethical?
You may be thinking I feel funny about this… Don’t! Remember that the purpose of this is not to deceive people. The purpose is to verify that your idea matters to your prospects and get revenue first so you can build something amazing for them.
When you frame it that way, they’ll be excited to pay you ahead of time.
How to create your offer
The key is structuring your offer, so your clients get insane benefits for being someone who takes action first. You want to reward them for betting on you!
Don’t give them just a little discount. You want them super excited and involved in the process, you want to make them feel right for participating. So you want to put together a killer deal for them.
- Prepare your pitch – figure out the exact amount of money you need to move forward with your idea. You can then decide how many pre-sells you will need. Regardless of the amount of money you need, you want to keep your group of early adopters exclusive and limited.
DO – explain why you are pre-selling and be transparent in your motivation.
DON’T – be stingy and evasive. These attitudes usually stem out of insecurity and fear. Remember that there is a very positive reason behind pre-selling and it will ultimately help both you and your client create an awesome product.
- List all the benefits – list everything you can to make the deal as sweet as possible. List everything you can do to help them. The more you give, the better. Think in terms of free training, free services, discounts, and support.
DO – Ask what kind of benefits do they value most?
DON’T – Feel like you have nothing to give. Remember that at this stage you spent tons of hours getting to know your market and you’ve gathered loads of information, so you will be able to come up with something valuable. If unsure ask them first before putting the offer together.
- Spell out the catch – if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. So anticipate this misgiving and spell out the catch in the deal. You are giving tons of killer benefits, so what do you want in return? Testimonials, referrals, feedback, patience as you build their solution? Whatever it is, let them know, so everyone walks into the deal with their eyes open.
DO – spell out your needs clearly.
DON’T – feel guilty to ask. You are giving them a pretty sweet deal, after all.
- Give them a guarantee – if you come across resistance or hesitation, you may want to give them a guarantee. For example, that you’ll refund their money if they are not happy. While this puts pressure on you to deliver, it might be exactly what you need to make things happen!
DO – set a timeframe for your guarantee.
DON’T – allow this step to scare you. You want to give them the best product, after all.
While doing your pre-sales, there are a few ninja best practices you should take into account…
We found they helped us a lot when we started implementing them:
- Choose the right client for your demo/pre-sales call. Sometimes you are so excited about this step, that you demo to everyone and anyone, getting a lot of rejection in the process. From the people you already talked to during idea extraction, pick the one you have the best rapport with and is more likely to go for it!
- Remember that this is more like consultative selling and you are looking for their feedback on your product idea as well. So make it a conversation.
- Set your expectations clearly at the beginning of the call and hint at your offer, so it doesn’t come across as an awkward surprise later in the call.
- Be ready to handle objections like a pro. Remember that you are just addressing concerns, so be open, empathize, clarify anything that is not clear, ask tons of questions to find the real reason behind the objection, and always check for agreement.
- Follow up, follow up, follow up. I cannot stress this enough! Do not dare to close the call without an agreement to follow up in a few days.
Got it? Now go and get some pre-sales!!!