Book Review: Cold Calling Early Customers: Lose your fear and book ten appointments this week

Recently I read Cold Calling Early Customers by Robert Graham.


Robert Graham is author of a blog, where he writes of his adventures as a software entrepreneur.  He is a fan of the Lean Startup methodology and a follower of Eric Reis,  and Steve Blank.


The book opens with the answers to two questions; “Who should read this book?” and “Why cold calling?”  To answer the first he states:

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Managing Developers Using Trello

Managing developers for your software project is never easy, and it becomes even harder when they are remote (and many time zones away).

One tool I love for managing Devs is Trello (Free!).  It’s a simple card based task system, that is deceptively powerful.

Trello is primarily a web based application, but there are also mobile apps available for iOS ( iPhone, iPad) and Android.

The general way Trello works is that you create a “Card” for each task you want to get done, and then you drag and drop it from state to state – By Default this is  ToDo, Doing, Done!

But Trello is super flexible and will let you call your states (lists in Trello parlance) anything you want, and you can add new Lists as needed.


Getting Started

So once you get your Trello account created, you’ll want to add a new “Board” (plenty of tutorials on the Trello site for the basic setup mechanics like this)

Then you will want to create seven lists so it looks like the following:

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Clear & Concise Developer Specs (Using Clarify-It)

Without a doubt, one of the largest issues I see in most software projects is poor specifications (specs) and communication between the dev and product owner .

Somebody figures out a general app, and what it should do, mocks up a few key screens, and then gives them to a developer to go build.  Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, with this approach, there is a lot of ambiguity left, since the devil is in the details – and the developer is often left to guess or spend a lot of time round-tripping back and forth trying to understand what they should be doing.

I’ve said this many times to people early in a project – “For every hour you spend now thinking through the details, you’re going to save 1 to 3 DAYS of development time later”

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When is the best time to Send Email to your List?

Email based marketing is a key component in many SaaS businesses – we all know we need to do it.  But. have you every thought about WHEN you should be sending those emails for the best customer engagement?  Do you have a strategy in place?

If not, no fears, GetResponse, one of the leading email providers, has your back with a great InfoGraphic.  Based on real-world metrics from over 21 Million emails, GetResponse has put together an amazing resource on the best times to send mails, when you’ll see the highest open rates, and some logic (and lot’s of statistics) around the data.

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Price Intelligently’s SaaS Pricing Page Pageant

Saas Pricing Page

Over at Price Intelligently they spend A LOT of time discussing pricing strategy, analysis and customer value  for products.  As SaaS owners, we know pricing is one of the most important things to get right, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time (over)thinking through your price structure.

In this article Price Intelligently has a “Pageant” where they rate & review the pricing pages of five popular SaaS Services.  There is some great by way of example feedback in this article, and you’ll definitely pick up some tips here.  If you’re working on a pricing page for your SaaS, or your existing page just needs a sprucing up, make sure you check out this article.

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