For many small business owners, especially those just starting out, it’s hard to find your competitive edge against long-established companies already in the marketplace. Sure, they’ve got the marketing and the large budgets, but don’t count yourself out of the game too quickly. What many new business owners have on their side that many established businesses don’t is the scrappy desire to level the playing field and establish themselves as a viable business.
In today’s episode, we’ll be talking with Sangram Vajre, co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus, an account-based marketing software for B2B organizations. He shares how building a community can help build your business, and how those connections can turn into huge profit.
Welcome to episode five of One Next Step.
(04:07) Today’s listener question: “How to sell a new product in a new market or market an innovative, new product in a mature market?”
(5:55) How Sangram balanced selling Terminus’ technology while also selling a new marketing strategy to businesses.
(9:25) The power of falling in love with the problem, not the product.
(11:02) Why Sangram focused on community building and how it contributed to the growth of Terminus.
(14:43) Best practices on how to build a community.
(18:07) Sangram’s earlier mistakes in business.
(21:44) Recognizing the importance of owning your narrative.
(24:30) Tricia and Lisa share their takeaways.
(26:10) Today’s One Next Step: Download our Community Building Cheat Sheet, which is a compilation of essential best practices to build your own community.
Links & Resources Mentioned
Exact Target (acquired by Salesforce)
Jeff Bezos (Forbes profile)
Your One Next Step
In each episode, we highlight one next step for you and provide an activation or delegation guide to help you immediately take action, start applying what you learn, and get your team to help you.
Your Next Step: Start building your business’s community with the help of our Community Building Cheat Sheet, a curated list of top resources and best practices to cultivate the biggest impact on your brand.
This cheat sheet will help you serve a niche segment of people, as well as help you build awareness around a specific issue or cause impacting your business and its community.
Quotes From This Episode
“Fall in love with the problem you solve, not your product.” — Sangram Vajre
“Without a community, your business is simply a commodity.” — Sangram Vajre
“Your business is either growing or declining.” — Tricia Sciortino
“Focus on your current customers. Retention is the best acquisition.” — Sangram Vajre
- Opportunities often happen at the worst time. During uncertain times like the ones we’re in right now, it’s not uncommon for new business opportunities and new talent to thrive. Now is the best time to consider starting something new or expanding some of your current business ideas and practices.
- Without a community, you’re simply a commodity. Pursue the problem your potential customers may be facing, not your product. Your community will ultimately be the greatest brand ambassadors, and their buy-in will ultimately determine who you are as a business. Build and organize a community to determine if what problem you set out to solve with your product is truly meeting their needs.
- Think like a day one operator. You’re either evolving or you’re becoming obsolete. Hold onto that fire you had at the beginning when you first launched and be consistently intentional, which will yield massive output.
- Own your narrative. Be bold, be concise, and have a clear point of view. Remember who you are and decide what you want your customers to say about you. Then, make sure everything you do, from your branding to your products, aligns with that.
Reflection Questions for You | Conversation Starters Your Team
What would be your first logical step to building your community? What practices do you have in place to start right now?
What are your customers saying about you? Does it align with what you say about you, what your website says about you, and the products you offer? What problem are you solving for your customers?
Do you have any customers who have personally taken on the role as your business’s informal brand ambassadors? What are some ways you can better equip them to speak confidently and knowledgeably about your business?
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Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to One Next Step.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode when Tricia and Lisa interview BELAY’s director of marketing, Amy Appleton. Amy will be answering the question, “Who do I need on my team so I can delegate my marketing responsibilities and focus on leading the business?”