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A few months after I developed the prototype for my app, I felt ready to begin recruiting customers. So I put together a short list of potential clients in Atlanta that I would’ve liked to offer the app. At the time, I was still working at my day job and waiting until after quitting time would’ve been too late. The next morning, I woke up, watched my morning motivational videos, said my affirmations, and prepared to sell. When lunchtime came, I was ready. I took a deep breath, said to myself: “You got this,” and called the first number.

It went something like this:

Restaurant: So and So Restaurant, this is Alex speaking, how can I help you?

Me: Hi, my name is Isaiah Thompson, I have a mobile app that creates coupons for Bla…

Restaurant: Not interested. Thanks. *click*

And just like that, it was over. I was a little stunned, but I consider it 30 of the most valuable seconds in my entrepreneurial career. What I learned in that brief interaction will stick with me forever.

Earlier that year, I read all the sales books I could get my hands on, from Brian Tracy’s to Zig Ziglar’s. A couple of lessons that each book taught was that “it’s a numbers game” and that “every no gets you closer to a yes.” So, when the first call ended badly, I knew there was something positive to take from it. I was closer to a yes, but there was much more than that. In that 30-second call, I realized I needed fewer, more meaningful words. Also I needed to do a better job of catching my customers when it was convenient for them — convenient enough where they could easily get the message and easily make a decision. You have to do the work for them. Use less words, use more impactful words, and make it so that they don’t have to do the work.

So, the next time I called, I lead with the fact that I was proposing a digital coupon that would increase traffic to their business with zero cost up front for the owner. And I got instant responses. It was in a matter of minutes. That is the whole purpose of the coupons themselves. After doing all the research for why people buy things and the psychology of the sale, there are so many barriers to getting a customer to the point of sale. When you factor in cost-saving digital coupons, they lower the barriers and they help guide customers through a sales process, from browsers to shoppers to buyers; again, reducing some of the work on the business owner and upfront costs that would typically be earmarked for marketing and promotion expenses.

Customers often say, “I love to ‘shop black,’ but I only have x amount of dollars and Walmart has it cheaper.” We get it. That’s what got me here to this point and inspired me to launch the company. I know they want to be more about our community. They love to shop black, but realistically, it is not convenient, or not as convenient as they would like. But black economics and communities, as conceptualized by visionaries from Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois to Malcolm X, were built on some sort of form of trade. We’ve always developed some sort of way to keep dollars coming in and going out. Whatever we do, to move forward, it has to start economically. Somebody has to keep the lights on. There’s no way we can do anything without getting into the habit of exchanging money and ideas within our community. This is something that we can do together.

– By Isaiah Thompson, Founder of Tap App Deals 

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