How to sell your new product to early adopters
From initial test users to the last buyers to jump on the bandwagon, every new product or service moves through the same sets of adopters on the way to full market acceptance.
What is an early adopter?
As the name suggests, early adopters come at the very beginning of the product launch process. They bridge the gap between test users and the first regular customers. One thing common to all early adopters is having a problem to solve.
They don’t want to be guinea pigs, but they’re willing to take the risk of trying something new if they think it might help them.
How to start selling your new products?
Here are three tips on how to connect with early adopters to start selling.
1. Understand their needs
The first step is to identify groups with a specific problem your product or service could solve.
For example, municipalities hire consulting companies to monitor traffic flow. Car counting is usually done by human beings who can make mistakes. Errors in data compromise the municipality’s ability to make good decisions and can be expensive to correct.
A company had developed an automated traffic-counting solution. It wasn’t perfect out of the gate, but the consultants who bought it—the early adopters—were willing to accept some flaws because the benefits outweighed those of their old way of working.
Early adopters are curious, and because they have a real need, they are often willing to overlook glitches and small flaws. This makes them ideal candidates for a solution that is still under development.
2. Meet them in person
Wondering how to introduce your product to target customers? Get out of your office and meet them!
Conferences and trade shows are good places to meet with potential early adopters and test the waters. You don’t need a fancy booth. You just need to be there to see for yourself how early adopters react to new products and learn more about their needs and what resonates with them.
Industry magazines and trade publications can also provide useful insight into customer and industry needs. Create some buzz with your professional web presence, and early adopters may find you themselves since they’re actively looking for a solution to their problems.
3. Give them something they can use right away
Early adopters are prepared to work with your minimum viable product. They want something that’s ready for use. To win over them, you could offer them your solution at a reduced price or other perks that would encourage them to try it out.
While the revenues you generate from early adopters are welcome, there’s another benefit: they are usually happy to provide you with constructive feedback. Use it to develop your product and adapt it to a larger market. Think of this group as an extension of your development team.
Be prepared to pivot
Early adopters provide valuable insight, but the value proposition that appeals to them may not resonate with the wider market.
Late adopters are looking for a well-rounded customer experience from purchasing and unpacking to setup and use. They want a near-perfect product, which you can’t get with the early versions.
As you strengthen your position in the market, you may need to adapt your product, sales approach and how you define the problem you solve.
Future customers may want to pay less, an expectation you can often meet by scaling up production. Efficiency improves as you produce more and better products, so you can set a good price for a larger market.
In short, to launch a new product, you must:
- Choose a problem you can solve.
- Find the people who have this problem.
- Ask questions and learn from their feedback as they use your product.
- Get better, cheaper and faster.
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