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30 Comments

Finding the ideal customer is easy, converting them is hard.

My problem: getting my ideal customer to change from a platform they're actively using.

I've been reaching out to my ideal customer on IG (social media managers), and have been able to chat with quite a few however actually getting them to try my service - even with an offer of a couple free months isn't easy.

Sometimes they have already scheduled the next months posts in that app, so switching doesn't make sense for them - even if it's cheaper and has better features.

Does anyone have experience with a situation similar to this and could share some insights? What can I offer them to make them switch?

  1. 6

    I've learned that to convince people to switch, what you need to do is to build a 10x better product. I've built so many 10% better products and when I put myself into their shoes, I'm like "I totally wouldn't go through all the trouble to switch"

    So, keep figuring out how to improve the product. When you're so much better, they won't say the same.

    1. 3

      That's a great point, I agree 100%. It's not really worth their time to switch if they're only saving $X per month and getting a tiny bit extra - so they need something groundbreaking.

      Thank you!

      1. 1

        That's right. Cause there's also trust and credibility embedded in the decision. You can offer a cheaper solution now, but who knows if you'll increase price soon. Then all the effort to switch for a cheaper price is wasted. Most people (especially if they're using company's money) just don't want that :)

        I'm sure you know how to move forward, keep us updated!

        1. 1

          Good point, and I did exactly that last week - increased the price by 66% haha. Thanks again, will keep you updated!

    2. 1

      This "Build a 10x better product" is bullshit.

      A new Intercom alternative is born every single day, there are probably hundreds by now, and they all have customers.

      The fun part? Not a single one is remotely close to Intercom product-wise, let alone 10x better.

      1. 1

        This is true, at the end of the day - if you're looking to take the majority of market share maybe it needs to be 10x better, but to capture just a small number of their customers it may be possible in other ways.

  2. 3

    I experienced this in a different market. What worked for me:

    • Segment your ICP into micro-subsegments.
    • Target ones with lower CAC and product requirements.
    • Be clear about value - saving time, making money. Eliminate jargon.
    • Be relentlessly devoted to customer success. Do it 24/7.
    • Once acquired, have top 10 on speed dial. Validate every idea, seek feedback.
    • Invest in community building. Do quarterly VOC zooms. Make em feel like stakeholders.
    • Iterate on product. Leverage their feedback + your vision as guiding light.
  3. 2

    "Sometimes they have already scheduled the next months posts in that app," if this is the most common reason for them to not switch.

    1. Hack something together to export their scheduled items and import to your app
    2. Instead of an arbitrary trial offer, make it to start from their first scheduled post
    3. Keep building content, work on SEO and brand awareness, if you can't convert them at least you'll grab the new comers.
    1. 1

      So far, it's not the main issue but it's one I've heard a couple of times. I'll take that into consideration, always possible to make some kind of export app.

      Thanks for the tips!

  4. 2

    Trying to get customers to churn is tough, and a lot of it driven by factors that may be out of your control. In addition to the all the technical challenges of moving from one platform to another, there are a bunch of psychological factors and biases at play. The "sunk cost fallacy" is a big one, and many users won't move for the simple fact that they have already invested too much money, time and personal reputation into the current product.

    I definitely agree that you need to deliver something 10x (10x faster, 10x cheaper, 10x easier to use etc) but a lot of the time it just comes down to timing and luck. Trying to get a CIO to move to another solution (even if it is 10x better) right after they spent 6 months procuring something else probably isn't going to happen.

    Wade Foster from Zapier made the point that what you can offer early users is an exceptional "white glove" customer experience - whatever they need, go out of your way to make it happen, reduce as much friction as possible e.g. you will move all their scheduled posts from their existing platform into your platform for them.

    If you are offering them white-glove service and they still don't convert, you might be fighting a losing battle. In which case, you'll need to dig down into whether its an issue with the specific user, the type of user you are targeting, or your product/problem.

    1. 1

      Wow, this is amazing feedback. I have been trying to give a really good personalised service so far as it's easy to do with not so many users - but offering to manually export/import their posts could be something else that may just work!

      Thanks so much Aaron!

  5. 2

    In addition to all the great points made by others, you need to understand the exact pain point area of their existing platform. What gap in the existing platform your tool is addressing. Sometimes, people change platforms just because they found some add ons on different platforms useful and time-saving. For social media planners, I would imagine you might have unique features that allow people to automatically determine the time or maybe build automatic monthly reports, etc.

    Your comparison page might include these key points. This page might be useful: https://basecamp.com/before-and-after

    1. 1

      thansk for the follow, btw.

    2. 1

      Yep, agree 100%. So far the social media managers who I have been in contact with, I'm always asking them. Have had one or two little things - but not too much, the competition are pretty good haha.

      Love Basecamps comparison page, I'll think about adding something along those lines.

      Thanks!!

  6. 1

    Option #1. Speaking from a considerable amount of sales experience forged in the fire of cold calling and convincing clients the same day to switch back on inked-up contracts between $1k-$10k. The only way to convert a client of this type is to illustrate a potential problem that could possibly arise down the line of which they are totally unaware of or absolutely misinformed about.

    Option #2. Get them to personally like you to the point they just feel better with the money going into your hands.

    Option #3. Stop using early 20th century tactics to get clients interested and re-think the way you're creating value.

    P.S. I help leaders with Option #3 @tim103 . Also, BTW don't lie to them it's unethical (I don't think you would just saying it because I've seen others do it when the bill start to pile up)

    Hope this helps.

    1. 2

      In regards to option #3, do you have any more information on this? What tactics are you talking about?

      Option #2 is a good option also, which I am trying to do - but it takes time I guess.

      1. 1

        I'm always down for a quick chat. Go to my profile and right-click the email link (copy the address into your browser). Set a time and let's talk.

  7. 1

    I like using the Kano model to outline how your product compares to your competitors, and finding the things that will make your customer tick. https://raquelmsmith.com/blog/how-to-use-the-kano-model-for-feature-prioritization

    Also.. figure out how to transfer already-scheduled posts to your app. That'd be important if they already have them scheduled in another app.

    1. 1

      Okay cool, I'll have a read over that post shortly!

      I'd love to be able to have them export their posts from competitors - but it's simply not possible as other don't offer that :(

      Thank you!

      1. 1

        You can always build a scraper to do the job for you.

  8. 1

    Competition isn't easy when you try to penetrate a market where a product is having the monopole.

    I would say, emphasize on features, price or even customer service differences between your two products. Make the customer understand that its a pain staying with that tool and that more and more people are switching to yours.

    Create a landing page dedicated for it. "Your product VS the rival" and compare them. Play on SEO so it pops out, when people look for your rival on Google. Brand it with the keyword "alternative to X".

    Drive traction from them.

    1. 2

      That's a great idea, I'll start making some "alternative to" pages.

      Thanks for the tips!

  9. 1

    I would start asking those managers what features do they dream of having but don't. Use the communications for better product-market fit because when you have something that's worth jumping for they will jump. You have something working to your advantage that you aren't seeing - if it's so hard to get them to jump because of pre-scheduling then if they start using your product it will be very hard for anyone to pry them away from you for the same reason - this is your competitor's moat that you have to breach. Maybe target customers that don't currently use scheduling products yet and you will be the first tool they use and they will be locked in with you inside your moat.

    1. 1

      Exactly right, if I can find those customers not using a scheduler already - that's perfect. I just have to figure out how to find them but yeah that's great advice - going to brainstorm how I can find them.

      Thank you!

      1. 1

        simplest way but it costs money - advertise on google for keywords including your competitors name and for media schedulers so you are hitting people at the point where they are looking to buy from anyone.

        1. 1

          Alright great, that's a good place to start. I did try it quite a while ago, but my service has improved 10x since then, so let's see how it goes.

  10. 1

    your "ideal" customer is one where you don't have to convince them to change b/c their desperation is so dramatic... and your solution is so profound... that they'd actually (GASP********) PAY YOU for it.

    if this is not happening then you may want to think through your "ideal customer profile" a bit more. this isn't a knock; it does require a fuckton of refinement.

    keep going. i believe in you tim.

    1. 2

      Haha, that would be the dream wouldn't it!

      Alright - I'll have to drill down on my ideal customer a bit more to see if I can be more specific I guess, thanks for the tip.

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