Augusta National, which hosts the Masters Tournament this weekend, goes to extraordinary lengths to cloister its roughly 300 members, a group that includes some of the wealthiest, most powerful businessmen—and, as of 2012, women—in the world. Guests must be accompanied by members at all times. Autograph requests are forbidden. And in recent years, the club has acquired an estimated $55 million in real estate surrounding its courses, clubhouse and cabins, creating a bigger buffer zone to insulate its members, and to better control the Masters experience.
On a series of calls, you should be able to identify if your lead is as involved in this offering as you are. He needs to cross-examine you on various aspects like the size of your business, how many customers use your product, how the product or service will help his business, etc. Questions like these will help you understand if he is interested in your pitch.
One of the beautiful things about owning an online membership site is that you can automate many of the regular tasks you need to perform to run and grow your site. With the right tools you can create content, deliver content, market your site, and manage your members much faster and easier than if you did it manually. And a good place to start is this automation checklist, which shows you the best way to take advantage of today’s technology to grow your site!
You must make your site as easy to use as possible. Potential customers won't waste their time trying to work out how to use your site. If it's not immediately obvious how they can get what they want, they won't do it. Not only should the UI (User Interface) be optimized, but the site itself should be designed to make it as easy as possible for visitors to convert to customers - i.e. it should be optimized for conversions.
The barrier to entry into the online market is much lower than traditional businesses, which is great. But, it's a double edge sword because the easier it is to do something, the more people try it out. This means that you have to work harder at distinguishing yourself from the melee of other startups out there - because, believe me, there are a lot.