Venture Dorm Week 3 was focussed on value propositions. Nick did a great job of our pitch this week, and updated the mentors on our successes of the previous week.
We surveyed 30 people, and found a resounding support for people wanting to do skilled volunteering. Over 70% of the people we surveyed had volunteered, and would volunteer again and would prefer to use their skills in a volunteering role. However, half of the people surveyed were not sure whether their work had a volunteer program. All of these insights provides us with a good opportunity to enter the market. We have 10 volunteers going to Cambodia soon, which is generating some revenue for us, and we are also meeting with the Flinders teaching department heads on Thursday this week to discuss volunteers for the BOSSCAMP program. We are still waiting to hear back from some people and organisations, but have received interest from SAPA but are still waiting on further specifics.
There were some great discussions coming out of the rest of the Venture Dorm students. We discussed strategies on overcoming the fear of talking to strangers:
– I don’t like talking to strangers. It’s weird going up to people and saying “I’m selling this”. But at the same time, it’s just something you’ve basically just got to push past. You’ve got this awesome idea that people want and you’ve got to think of it that way. You’re giving them access to it, rather than trying to sell something. You’re giving them access to something they actually really want or need. And it’s changing that mentality that really helped. When I’m passionate about the idea, I can do it. If I’m not, if I’m hesitant, it comes across that way and I become nervous. It’s about believing it’s a good idea and acting as such.
– I just have no shame. I just go out there. I’ve looked at a few different strategies of doing it. I see it as more of “there’s people out on the street giving you free information on how to sell to them”. I think that’s the most ridiculous kind of way. I need to listen. You’ve got to put yourself out there because it’s all value add, and that’s just going to make your business better. I think naturally no one likes talking to strangers.
– I do it all the time, you just get used to it.
– You don’t want to sell them the product, you want to give them a product.
– You’ve got to make sure that the questions you ask are promoting a conversation. People are willing to talk, a lot, if you’re accommodating to them. Smile! Ask, and you’ll be surprised. But make them open ended questions, not yes/no questions.
– It’s important to go where your potential customers are. Maybe get a nametag, or take a friend. Set a time, and take that time to do it.