Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?

Berkonomics

This week, we continue our series on marketing and positioning. There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition.

Here’s how NOT to define your competition

Berkonomics

An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. We have no competition.”. Perhaps buyers cannot obtain attractive financing in the current market. We investors see this all the time. When asked (as we always do,) the response is “This is new.

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Helping Startups Understand Salespeople & the Sales Culture

Both Sides of the Table

Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. I had never had any sales training so everything we did for the first couple of years was instinctual. Sales

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Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. I had never had any sales training so everything we did for the first couple of years was instinctual.

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Be careful how you define your competition.

Berkonomics

Professional investors laugh when they hear an entrepreneur state, “We have no competition.” Perhaps buyers cannot obtain attractive financing in the current market. Widen your search to include companies with products peripheral to yours, where extension of their product would seem logical, especially if you plan to be successful early in making sales into their market. That statement has killed more investment deals than almost any other.

10 Keys To Results With Social-Local-Mobile Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

The world of marketing is changing faster than technology these days. Winning entrepreneurs have long since supplemented conventional print and video “push” marketing with digital online interactive “pull” marketing, and a while back added social-local-mobile ( SoLoMo ) to the mix.

Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – A’s, B’s & C’s

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing Sales & Marketing Series. In the first part of this post I talked about how sales in a startup is often evangelical , requires as consultative sale and needs constant adjustments based on customer feedback.

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The Best Entrepreneurs Are Hyper Competitive & Hate Losing

Both Sides of the Table

Competitiveness - One attribute that I believe most VCs look for in entrepreneurs is competitiveness. If you stumble on to a really good idea believe me it will get competitive really quickly. This competitive streak paid off. Vente Privee already had market power.

TrueCar Names Dealer Marketing Head

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based TrueCar is continuing to bolster its links to automotive dealers, as it looks to improve its relationship with the auto dealer industry, saying this morning that it has named Paul Edmonds as Senior Vice President of Dealer Marketing and Opeartions. TrueCar has been in a big push this year to become more friendly to automotive dealers, many of whom have had a highly adversarial relationship with the company, due to its focus on price transparency and pricing competition.

Interview with Fariborz Maseeh, Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition

socalTECH

Last week, the University of Southern California 's Viterbi School of Engineering announced that it had established a new, business plan competition, the Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition ([link] specifically aimed at students in the engineering school.

Organic Growth Startups Won’t Scale Competitively

Startup Professionals Musings

Startups are usually so focused on selling more of their branded product or service to their own customer base (organic growth) that they don’t consider the more indirect methods (non-organic growth) of increasing revenue and market share.

6 Keys To Marketing That Many Entrepreneurs Overlook

Startup Professionals Musings

Marketing is everything these days. Yet I see many technology entrepreneurs that focus on the basics of marketing too little and too late. I like the guidance from marketing coach David Newman’s classic book “ Do It! Don’t fall into the marketing-speak trap.

Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – Objection Handling

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series on sales & marketing. I previously covered how early phase sales teams should be “evangelical&# and consultative in nature. Prices are too high – Inexperienced sales reps will try to convince you they need to lower price to win deals.

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Here’s Why a Booming Tech Market May Fool You into Thinking You’re Successful

Both Sides of the Table

Since 2009 we’ve been in an unequivocal bull market. You’d imagine that companies selling tons of shelfware would quickly meet their deserved fate in the market, yet the spin around a category of software can fool buyers into thinking they “must have this product to compete.” Growth markets have a way of fooling us all. When markets start to turn shelfware companies are the quickest to die. Sales Startup Lessons

Entrepreneurs Need to Master Competitive Selling

Startup Professionals Musings

Yet, in today’s world of information overload and global reach, marketing and selling skills are critical to the success of every startup. Establish the competitive playing field early. Selling around tough competition. A good entrepreneur is not necessarily a good salesman.

Using Technology to Realize a Competitive Advantage

Tech Zulu Event

Computers and the Internet have now brought in a new era that relies on data to make profitable business decisions in the competitive environment. Below is a full explanation of how small businesses can leverage technology to earn a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

7 Strategies To Prepare For Global Market Challenges

Startup Professionals Musings

This approach, popularly known as “ glocalization ,” means you have to design and deliver global solutions that have total relevance to every local market in which you operate. Not every international market matters, but some are larger than life.

8 Keys To Market Delivery Of Innovative Technologies

Startup Professionals Musings

Since I am a techie at heart, I always get excited when founders pitch their new innovation as “disruptive,” meaning that it is so unique that it will create a new market and disrupt the existing value network, displacing established products and markets.

Why Taking Some Risks in the Sales Process Can Improve Results

Both Sides of the Table

Many people are too cautious in sales processes and as a result when they present their solutions they end up sounding milquetoast and undifferentiated from anybody else in the market. In this post I advocate taking a harder stand on where your product or solution differentiates in the market – even if it means you lose some deals as a result. I recently wrote about the three rules of sales. You must know when to sell to leads and when to market to them.

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6 Marketing Tips To Attract Customers To Your Rollout

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by jardenberg Your marketing launch is the most important element of startup success these days, to get customer attention in this world of information overload. Even great products need great marketing “content” to fuel the ascent of their online message.

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6 Marketing 101 Tips For Technology Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Marketing is everything these days. Yet I see many technology entrepreneurs that focus on the basics of marketing too little and too late. I like the guidance from marketing coach David Newman’s recent book “ Do It! Don’t fall into the marketing-speak trap.

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6 Key Elements Of Marketing Content To Fuel A Launch

Startup Professionals Musings

Your marketing launch is the most important element of startup success these days, to get customer attention in this world of information overload. Even great products need great marketing “content” to fuel the ascent of their online message. Lacks a sales angle.

A Valid Business Model Requires Real Customer Sales

Startup Professionals Musings

Of course, one sale isn’t really enough, so you need to get the first customer to recommend you to a second, and make sure the rate of sales ramps up quickly enough to keep the business alive and growing. If you lose money on every sale, it’s hard to make it up in volume.

6 Pragmatic Marketing Tips To Ramp-Up Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Marketing is everything these days. Yet I see many technology entrepreneurs that focus on the basics of marketing too little and too late. I like the guidance from marketing coach David Newman’s classic book “ Do It! Don’t fall into the marketing-speak trap.

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5 Steps To Effective Marketing With Converged Media

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs and startups often ask if they should select only social media for marketing, or stick with digital media, or just count on traditional media. None should be considered competitive mutually exclusive to any other. Traditional marketing is sales-focused, one-way push.

5 Startup Marketing Actions to Impress Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s not uncommon for me to see a startup business plan “mission” to be the “premier brand” for their product, yet their marketing budget in the financials is trivial. When questioned, founders usually mention word-of-mouth, viral marketing, and a top quality product.

7 Ways To Attract Customers Without Viral Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

Contrary to popular opinion, viral marketing has not eliminated the need for old-fashioned lead generation to bring customers to a startup. His professional background includes having held marketing-executive roles at big companies as well as startups. Email marketing.

Get Early Customer Sales To Validate Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Of course, one sale isn’t really enough, so you need to get the first customer to recommend you to a second, and make sure rate of sales ramps up quickly enough to keep the business alive and growing. If you lose money on every sale, it’s hard to make it up in volume.

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Startups Must Tout Market Needs Before Technology

Startup Professionals Musings

Let me be clear – technology and market-driven need not be mutually exclusive! The best companies find a way to drive the market with a solution based on their technology, rather than push their new technology as the solution for the marketplace.

If You Don’t Define Your Personal Brand the Market Will

Both Sides of the Table

It is simply the most important way to proactively control your career development and how the market perceives you. That was fine with me – the market is the market. That was the market. I knew that if I didn’t define myself the market would.

Digital Marketing Is A Great Equalizer For Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

Most technical entrepreneurs cringe when they finally realize that marketing is still king, despite the power of technology, and they are up against competitors who have a hundred times their spending power. The first step is to create the perfect online marketing message.

How To Get New Customers By Targeting New Markets

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs assume that everyone will love their solution as much as they do, so they tune their marketing focus based on their own needs and wants. Expanding your market into these areas requires thinking outside your personal box.

It Takes a Customer Sale to Prove a Business Model

Startup Professionals Musings

Of course, one sale isn’t really enough, so you need to get the first customer to recommend you to a second, and make sure rate of sales ramps up quickly enough to keep the business alive and growing. If you lose money on every sale, it’s hard to make it up in volume.

6 Questions To Validate A Digital Marketing Message

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by socialautomotive Most technical entrepreneurs cringe when they finally realize that marketing is still king, despite the power of technology, and they are up against competitors who have a hundred times their spending power. digital marketing entrepreneur message startup

Gina Callari Of RelayCars: Using VR And AR In Automotive Sales

socalTECH

Five years ago, somebody in the market for a car might go to three or four dealerships before deciding which vehicle to purchase. There are some stats out there that say that 80 percent of the market is doing online research, and out of those 80 percent, 60 percent are looking at sites like Youtube and Google to help with their purchasing decisions. Gina Callari: That's our competitive advantage.

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How To Size Your Marketing Budget For Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s not uncommon for me to see a startup business plan “mission” to be the “premier brand” for their product, yet their marketing budget in the financials is trivial. When questioned, founders usually mention word-of-mouth, viral marketing, and a top quality product.

10 ‘Best Of Breed’ Marketing Practices For Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

The world of marketing is changing faster than technology these days. Winning entrepreneurs have long since supplemented conventional print and video “push” marketing with digital online interactive “pull” marketing, and more recently added social-local-mobile ( SoLoMo ) to the mix.

7 Keys To Market Growth - Think Global, But Act Local

Startup Professionals Musings

This approach, popularly known as “ glocalization ,” means you have to design and deliver global solutions that have total relevance to every local market in which you operate. Not every international market matters, but some are larger than life.

Some Thoughts about Selling at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Jeff (also an HBS alum) co-teaches the LTV course with Professor Eisenmann about a student of theirs who had written a blog post about sales taking on some of my previous assertions. My list of excuses includes: product, pricing, competition and lack of sales support.

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Social Media Marketing Should Not Be Used Alone Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs and startups often ask if they should select only social media for marketing, or stick with digital media, or just count on traditional media. None should be considered competitive mutually exclusive to any other. Traditional marketing is sales-focused, one-way push.

Prepare Your Startup Now for International Markets

Startup Professionals Musings

This approach, popularly known as “glocalization,” means you have to design and deliver global solutions that have total relevance to every local market in which you operate. Recognizing this is as much about culture as about language, ensures an understanding of regional motivators, cultural taboos and local customs – so that your solutions are ideally designed and marketed to deliver value that has genuine local relevance. Reinforce your brand in international markets.

CapLinked Worldwide Pitch Competition | Submit Your Startup

Tech Zulu Event

CapLinked , the online platform for private investment funded by members of the “ PayPal Mafia “—announced that it is launching a worldwide pitch competition for entrepreneurs to present their business ideas to a panel of all-star judges from Idealab, Rincon, Rapidfire, and Actarus. Entrepreneurs from all over the globe and in any industry can submit their pitch to CapLinked’s Business Plan Competition.

3 Important Facebook Marketing Trends in 2016

Tech Zulu Event

Social networking continues to be a superior force in marketing, especially Facebook. Top 3 Important Facebook Marketing Trends to Watch and Emulate. The way to get ahead of the competition is to look at what they’re doing right and do it better.