Engaging New Clients: Strategies to Get Them "Skin in the Game"

Keith P
Keith P Member, CS Leader Posts: 8 Navigator
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We all know the challenge – convincing potential clients to take the leap and try a new SaaS product. But how do we encourage them to be truly invested in their success with our platform? In short, how do we get them to have 'skin in the game'? This concept, popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, emphasizes the importance of personal stake in achieving positive outcomes. Here are some strategies I've found helpful:

  • Free Trials with Value: Free trials are a great starting point, but ensure they offer real value beyond basic features. Provide access to features that demonstrate the product's impact and incentivize users to see the full potential. This could include premium features for a limited time or access to dedicated support.
  • Quick Wins and Onboarding: Early wins are crucial for engagement. Focus on a clear onboarding process that helps users achieve a specific goal quickly. This initial success story builds confidence and encourages further exploration of the product.
  • Value-Based Pricing: Consider alternative pricing models that tie cost to the value clients receive. For instance, usage-based pricing incentivizes them to find success within the platform. Tiered plans with clear value propositions at each level can also help clients invest in the features that best suit their needs.
  • Community and Success Stories: Showcase existing customer success stories to demonstrate the platform's impact. Building a user community fosters knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer learning, encouraging new clients to actively participate.

What are your best practices for getting clients invested in your SaaS product? How do you encourage them to 'have skin in the game' from the outset?


  • Ed Powers
    Ed Powers Member Posts: 186 Expert
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    Interesting question. Who's skin? And is it just an individual or perhaps is it multiple people?

    In my experience, often the senior leader is the person with the most skin in the game. He/she/they are expected to improve business results. They usually have a lot to gain—or lose—from the buying decision.

    The "champion," the mid-level manager, technical buyer or project lead designated to set up and maintain the solution, certainly has a personal stake, too. They're the ones accountable for the project, and in many cases, the solution impacts processes and people they manage.

    And if end users see dramatic, personal benefits from the solution in their day-to-day work, they will invest as well. But unlike the others, they face the prospect of losses in status, certainty, autonomy, or relationships switching from the old way to the new way of doing things. They must change their daily habits, which requires their brains to expend precious time, attention, and effort to inhibit the old routines and create new ones. We tend to overlook these facts. Behavioral economics suggests individuals must see at least 2x the payoffs compared to the risks and costs in order for the investment to be motivating.

    A well-planned and executed initiative, including effective change management, engages all stakeholders (economic, technical, and user buyers) in the process. Establishing, communicating, and realizing personal and collective wins is absolutely essential. However, most companies struggle to change not only their technology, but the people and processes affected by it.

    In my view, this question is not about encouraging, educating, or applying industry "best practices." It's about uncovering and aligning with the purchasing motivations and expectations of the members of your account's decision-making unit. Then it's your job to facilitate a smooth transformation from point A to point B, from the value promised to value delivered for each person in the DMU.

    In my experience, how that's specifically done depends on many different factors in your environment. One size doesn't fit all, but if you do your homework, I've found the answers always become self-evident.