In the last post, I discussed how to define your ideal customer profile (ICP) and the areas you need to think about.
Defining your ICP takes a lot of iteration but this iteration really starts as you start reaching out to this ICP. While you may have an idea of who this ICP is, it’s really important to have as many conversations with them as possible. So go to LinkedIn and search for them there and use rocketreach or apollo to get their email addresses (that’s what I did).
I’ve tried using surveys and sent them to my potential ICP, but they didn’t work for me. I think they can get you varied answers depending on how you have structured your questions as well as how your audience has understood your questions.
I prefer talking to my ICP and learning from them. If you can actually build a product that solves their pain, they will turn into your first paying customers. I went back to this ICP when I had flushed out things and got my first paying customers from this subset.
I did NOT reach out to my friends, family and network to learn more about the problem but reached out directly to my ICP through cold emails to get an unbiased view. Friends, family and network are supportive, but they don’t pay the bills, your customers do.
Once I had the email addresses, below is the email I used that you can customize to your B2B product. This email has also changed a lot of times so you will keep iterating through the process!
I did 224 ICP interviews, maybe for your product it is less or more.
I'm trying to validate a marketplace idea focused on start-up founders.
This marketplace gives founders access to sales leaders. These sales experts help founders define their ideal customer profile, nail their sales message, build their sales process amongst other areas in sales.
Is it possible to get 30 minutes with you to ask you a few questions and understand if this would be valuable to founders?
Prateek Mathur’ - This was hyper linked to my LinkedIn profile
As you can see, there are 4 main elements of this email:
High level idea
What it does and for whom
No commitment request for time
Super short email - It’s just 75 words
These conversations really helped me to understand the pain of the start-up founder and define my product and its value proposition.
Next post: What do you really discuss in the call?