#62: Crafting An Irresistible Offer For The Paid POC

Here's the offer framework

#62: Crafting An Irresistible Offer For The Paid POC 

Read Time: 3 min

Today, I’ll teach you what I’ve seen work, how to implement it, and the correct way to scale responsibly through the art of crafting a killer offer.

In the startup game, speed can make or break a company. Scaling too quickly can lead to a host of problems, including burning through a ton of cash and high customer churn due to an inadequate product. On the other hand, scaling too slowly can cause many opportunities to go to waste and make it difficult to close your next funding round.

Your goal should be to scale quickly but responsibly.

What does “scaling responsibly” mean? Scaling responsibly means growing the business in a way that enables you to extract impactful feedback from paying users while also learning and iterating on your product from qualified opportunities that do not move forward. It’s a win-win regardless of whether you close or don’t.

If used correctly, the strategy discussed will cut your sales cycle in half, increase conversions, and validate your assumptions about market demand, customer use cases, and product-market fit.

Great storytelling is an essential ingredient

in making an irresistible offer.

~ Reed Hastings

How do we scale responsibly?

The way to scale responsibly is to charge for the POC. I’m amazed at how many founders struggle with this idea. Whether you charge or not, customers churn for three primary reasons.

  1. You didn’t deliver on expectations.

  2. Cheaper competitor with comparable value

  3. Customer support/experience sucks

The message above was sent to me from a client. This is lazy advice, and it is one of the reasons founders become confused.

To be clear, a paid POC is not incentivizing customers to churn—a poor scoping call prior to going live on the POC is. 

The fastest and most effective way to get someone to use your product is to make an offer that is impossible to refuse. 

If a prospect is willing to give you a vote of confidence and move forward on a pilot, they will likely want some assurances. Consider this: as an early-stage startup with no track record, social proof, or validated technology, it is a big decision for them to make.

This is exactly where the offer comes in.


Here’s how it works:

You present an offer (price) with 2 different guarantees to be delivered over a specified period of time. If you can’t deliver the two guarantees, you refund the money and allow them to use the platform for free for the next 30 days.

You present the offer in a way that makes them feel special like you’re only extending this offer because you feel like you can crush it for them. And once you’re able to deliver, you want two favors in return.

Here’s an example of how what this looks like.

One very important note. Prior to going live on the POC, you would have a scoping call to understand what they’re looking to validate or solve with your technology. If you feel you can’t deliver on their expectations based on what's conveyed during the scope, you don’t move forward on the POC. 


Here are 6 reasons why this offer is so effective.

  1. You completely mitigate their downside risk. 

  2. In many cases, your sales cycle will be cut in half.

  3. You have 3 chances to validate and close as opposed to one.

  4. If the POC is a success, the customer is very likely to move forward.

  5. You’re getting paid to build rather than building to get paid, hopefully

  6. Following the scoping call, you can almost guarantee a successful POC.

This is how you scale responsibility.

That’s it for today!

See you all next week.


P.S. If finding PMF and scaling to $1M in ARR through founder-led sales is on your radar, book a call with me here

💡 How We Can Help

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