After I quit my job, I had two prospects. But because the PIT count is federally required, the US government maintains a public list of all organizations required to conduct it. That’s how I initially discovered there were 400 potential customers.
I returned to the well and started with all the organizations in Florida (where I lived at the time). There were 26. I started with the smallest and started making cold calls. Most didn’t answer the phone, and most that did gave me the run around. In the end, three were willing to talk to me. Two of the three were largely because of referrals from THHI (the organization I built the software for in 2019).
The director of one of the three really liked me and my vision for the software (at this point I had a small prototype), and he sent an email to all the organizations in Florida, recommending they take another look. This was completely out of the blue and not something I asked for. That led to two more interested organizations.
If we include THHI and the two organizations I met with earlier, we’re up to eight promising leads.
I read The Mom Test and sat down (virtually for those not in Florida) with each of these prospects and asked them a bunch of questions. What was their current workflow? What would they like to see in the software? What problems were they looking to solve? I asked what they thought of my pricing, and how likely they were to use the software in 2020.
I learned a lot from these meetings. I spent the next few months fleshing out the prototype into an MVP. Once I was done, it was time to try to get more customers.