Your First 100 Customers: Ideas for Lead Generation and Closing


A group of 50 people collaborated during MinneBar around how to get sales rolling in our start ups. We generated two separate lists to reference when an afternoon becomes open. Make sure to come back to this for reference in the future. If you have more ideas make sure to leave it in the comments and I’ll update the lists.

Ideas for Lead Generation

Finding New Customers:
The first half of our time will be talking about lead generation. Where do we look when our friend and acquaintances are sick of us. Without leaving it up to the mystery of the internet. Come prepared to share your strategies to strike gold.

  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Speaking at relevant conferences and sessions
  • Cold Calling – Dialing for dollars
    • Big Book online
    • LinkedIn
    • Hennepin County Library List (Reference USA is the one we’ve used)
  • Referrals from current/new customers
    • “Who do you like to work with (in your own business)”
  • Basic Public Relations
    • Press Releases
    • Contacting local media
    • Engaging with your local industries/markets
    • Be a member of an associations (get active)
  • Conventions and Conferences
    • Vendors or Attendees
  • Answering their Questions
    • Discussion boards
    • Online Groups – Be active and engaged
  • Google Alerts
  • Content Marketing
    • E-Books
    • Online Videos
    • Blogs
  • Sharing some of your IP (code, design, concepts) with a license that is usable


Ideas for Closing Deals

Closing Each Deal:
With each lead being so precious, how can we give ourselves the best chance of closing the deal. In the second half of the time we’ll collaborate around how to do this well. This is an often over looked aspect of getting your customers signed up.

  • Sharing stories through Video
  • Managing your conversions with tools like Analytics
  • Drip Email Campaigns
  • Free Trials or Short Term Pilots
    • Engaging during the trial period and afterwards
    • Remind them of the value you’re providing
  • Money back Guarantee (30/days etc)
  • Actually ask the question – When to start?
  • Connect with them socially (LinkedIn)
  • Setup a discussion board for your service
  • Host a workshop/seminar online and invite prospects
  • Online Demos or Tours
  • Discover what they want and how they’d validate it. Then show them how to validate it
    • Show them how to impress their boss

Photo Creditjfxie