Having done sales and product management for a little while with startups including my own, I’ve realized how much “likes” mean little in the way of actual usage and conversion.
I’ve heard plenty of times how prospects “like” a product or service, but then these leads go cold. Or a trial sign-up that never converted. What sounded like sure-wins were not at all. (This is why I get excited about a sale only after two weeks have passed since the check’s cleared.)
A lot can influence these gone-cold leads from poor marketing that gave the wrong expectations, lack of sales diligence and perseverance, competitive products and services, etc.
You can sense a prospect’s buying interest by his emotion and his engagement in a conversation. I compare the “you have something here” or “I like how this does that” to the social media “Like” button. The term and the “feeling” is fleeting and seldom means anything of real consequence.
Instead, as a salesperson, as an entrepreneur, as a product engineer, etc., we should be chasing love. We should be doing what we can to generate love for our product or service. Taking a few words from Sam Altman’s (President of renowned startup incubator Y Combinator) Startup Playbook:
Your goal as a startup is to make something users love. If you do that, then you have to figure out how to get a lot more users. But this first part is critical—think about the really successful companies of today. They all started with a product that their early users loved so much they told other people about it. If you fail to do this, you will fail. If you deceive yourself and think your users love your product when they don’t, you will still fail.
Love comes from actual engagement and use of a product. Love comes from solving a real pain point… a “hair-on-fire” problem. It drives prospects to buy and users to engage. It creates word-of-mouth marketing and social proof. Love is the foundation of successful companies.
Though, can you turn all those “likes” you get into love?