Millions of startups are founded each year; it's not unique to see the news of a sub-par idea and team raising millions of dollars. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who spoke about his business and mentioned "Who cares about unit economics when you have investors?"

This is where I introduce you to my friend Jake Newfield, the Vice President of Alumnify, the man who is challenging this flawed ideology, and is focused on the two things that a business should care the most about: customers and growth.

Marcus Eagan, CEO of Nodal (acquired by Luma), mentioned "Jake Newfield has empathic superpowers," remarking on Newfield's ability to recognize an issue and parlay it into success.

Since joining, Newfield, along with other members of the Alumnify team, have single handedly grown Alumnify 20x in one year using this outbound strategy.

1. Focus early

For most startups in their first few years of operation, they have to go out and get customers, versus focusing on inbound strategies to get customers.

For Jake, that means starting his day early with prospecting. Sometimes at 3 AM.

First, he does research on potential customers, and discovering points of contact on websites like LinkedIn, and the businesses homepage.  Jake is looking for preferably a phone call, not an email, to start his initial conversation.

2. Start the spark 

Before jumping on a call with his prospective customer, he primes himself to understand more about who he/she is, cares about, and is incentivized by. He is hyper focused not on the name of the client, or why the product is great, but on understanding the needs of the client.

Here is an example of the first thing Jake says to the prospective customer on a call:

Jake: Hi, I'm Jake. I work for Alumnify, where we are building a mobile application for various schools to engage alumni. I was hoping to chat with you to learn what tools you are using, and to see if we can work together.

The first tip Jake gives is to jump straight into who he is. "Don't beat around the bush, and get straight to the point. Second, if you are selling to someone, you need to focus on putting them on a pedestal. The easiest way to do this is by seeking their advice.

This does two things:

1.   It gives an opportunity for open conversation.

2.   It sheds positive light on the mentee.

The goal during the initial conversation is to get a spark with you and the prospective customer, not the sale!

3. Qualify early

During Jake's 2nd call, he is focused on qualification. More specifically, he is focused on learning what the customer is currently using, their needs, and their budget. The second call is where he breaks out the demo, especially because the prospective customer has shown interest from the first call.

The goal during the 2nd call is to get a 3rd meeting.

4.  Develop a partnership

During the 3rd call, Jake is all in with the customer, and wants to get the partnership deal signed, not the sale (again!).

"The goal of a partnership is a mutually beneficial relationship between both parties, so in this case, between Alumnify, and the prospective customer."

This exact process is what Jake uses to close every sale, and grow Alumnify 20x.

What do you do to close more sales?