Your First 10 Customers: 5 Critical Characteristics You Need To Look For

Your First 10 Customers: 5 Critical Characteristics You Need To Look For

Ever read about those outrageous “rider” demands that touring musicians demand from the concert promoter?

… Iggy Pop demands a Bob Hope impersonator.
… Mariah Carey insists on gallons of vitamin water to bathe her dogs in.
… Van Halen would refuse to take the stage if a brown M&M found its way into the candy jar.

Borderline insane right?

Well in this week’s video, I’m insisting that you be (almost) as “demanding” in what you look for in your first ten SaaS customers.

At this initial stage, most founders feel like they have ZERO leverage, and should be grateful to work with anyone willing to pay them.

But as I explain, not only is this mindset un-necessary, it’s flat out damaging and can throw you down a product roadmap rabbit hole that you and your team never climb out of.

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At a high level, here are the 5 critical things to look for in your first 10 customers:

  1. Early adopters
  2. Pay you
  3. Teach you
  4. Repeatable process
  5. Case study

Where I get the most resistance from coaching clients is number two.

Founders are SO reluctant to ask for large financial commitments in the early days. Especially from “lighthouse” customers that could provide a valuable case study or social proof.

I totally get it. But here’s the thing:

Without a financial commitment, your customer is far less likely to implement your solution,  provide feedback, or experience the results and outcomes your service can deliver.

In short — unless they pay, you’re more likely to waste their time and your team’s time with nothing to show for it.

Instead, insist on the financial commitment, and then work with them to achieve amazing outcomes which will yield those coveted case studies that can attract your next round of customers once you’re ready to scale.

Watch the full episode here, and then leave a comment letting me know of any additional “filters” you look for in your first group of customers.


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