11 March 2019

The Equalture Story (3): How we lost a client for the very first time.

The Equalture Story. A series of stories to give you a look behind the scenes of our company. Milestones. Failures. Lessons we’ve learned. Just the honest story about a SaaS startup trying to conquer the world.

In this blog: How we lost a client for the very first time.



Losing a client. The biggest fear of every single entrepreneur. I felt failed.

Now I know that it wasn’t a failure. Or well, maybe a small one, but we’ve learned quite a lot after this happened. It actually made us even better. And this is why.

The classic startup mistake called Sales Madness

That feeling after you’ve just launched your company. That enormous pressure, because practice hour is over now. This is the moment to get in the ring and to kick some ass.

Within Equalture we’ve been working on the beta version for a year with a dedicated crew of UX/UI designers and fulltime developers. That year is the biggest rollercoaster you’ve ever experienced — or at least, that’s what you think at that point).

This is the time where you can see your idea coming to life. And how cool is that! I still remember the day that me and my Co-Founder Fleur were sitting on the ground with at least 50 sticky notes around us. That collection of sticky notes was the fundament for Equalture.

Alright, so we went from sticky notes to developing a product and finally launching the beta version. If you think that’s the biggest rollercoaster for you, you’re wrong. Because now it can either work or blow up in your face. You need to sell the product. That’s where the sales madness starts.

The rollercoaster 2.0

I always call this the rollercoaster 2.0. This is the time where you so desperately want your company to work. So it will work. No matter what.

At this point all that matters is sales — because the more you sell, the bigger success your company is. Right? Well, actually that’s not true.

The power of saying no

So you went through the first sales madness. Companies actually bought your product, cool. But how about the steps áfter selling your product? Every client needs to be a happy client. Are you able to make them happy when all you’re thinking about is selling? If you are, you’re a superhero! But those only exist in movies and fairy tails.

We lost a client for the very first time because we couldn’t say no. Sounds stupid, right? We were so focused on growing in terms of clients that we forgot that growth is not just about gaining clients; it’s moreover about retaining them. Because that means they’re happy.

Where you should say No to

The lesson I’ve learned here: no is the strongest thing to say.

Equalture is a pre-selection technology. We help you selecting the best candidate. That’s what we’re good at. However, we’re not going to help you to enlarge your talent pool. We aren’t a sourcing technology, we are a selection technology. That’s our focus.

You always need to keep in my why you started grabbing those 50 sticky notes one day, because that’s what your company is all about. That’s your focus.

So the reason we lost this client was because we didn’t dare to say no. This client was hoping for better hires ánd more candidates to choose from. And we just didn’t dare to say that we could only help with one of those two challenges.

That’s why no is the strongest thing to say. Not because it scares clients, but just because it empowers your focus. And that’s what every client wants — knowing loud and clear where you can help. It’s okay to be good at one thing. Just make sure you kick some ass in that specific focus area and you will never lose a client again.

So no, we do nót source candidates. We simply rock your business by making sure you hire the best candidate for the job. ?

Cheers, Charlotte