SIMPLE SALES SERIES
It’s No Good if It Doesn’t Sell
We don’t decide what is a great product or service. Customers and clients do. If we what we do well is what our customers value, it will sell. In my publishing job, I said this over and over . . .
It’s not a good book, if it doesn’t sell — at a profit.
Customers decide whether our offer is better than any alternative. They let us know by how they vote with their money. Our job is to make an offer they find attractive, knowing full well that we cannot coax or coerce them to behave.
The Recipe for a Product Offering that Sells
While I was publishing, I spent a great deal of time talking to customers who used my products and to customers who did not.
Most marketers would recommend that you find out how folks are using your “stuff,” what they like, what they don’t, what they wish for, and what other “stuff” they like just as much or better. They would suggest that you especially find out why folks who aren’t using your “stuff,” aren’t using it. I did all that — but only about 10% of the time.
The other 90% of the time we talked about THEM, not about my “stuff.”
That’s how I got to my recipe for a product that sells. It’s the recipe I used when driving the strategy of the company we turned around.
- Talk to your ideal customers about
- what wish they had more time to do.
- what they wish they could learn.
- what they wish someone would invent.
- what problem they would love to get off their mind or off their desks.
Listen actively to understand the outcome they prize. Find the patterns in what they say.
- Build a product or service that does one thing well — in less time. If you bundle more than one need, do it carefully. Less is more. Simple is elegant.
- Design the product or service to match customers’ sensibilities. Make it beautiful and functional, and a reflection of what they value. Adding “quality” they can’t see or don’t want is adding cost they don’t want.
- Price the offer at what the work is worth — what you need to make a profit and what it saves the customer.
- Test what you plan by asking customers who know you, who don’t know you, and who are notoriously on the opposite side of the fence.
Every bit of the development is about how the features of the product or service benefits the customer. Add to “How are WE doing?” the additional question “What drives YOU crazy?”
How do you find customer needs customers that aren’t being met? Are you your own customer? How might you use that in your favor?
I’m really interested in informal ways we get customers to talk about their experiences.
To follow the entire series: Liz Strauss’ Inside-Out Thinking to Building a Solid Business, see the Successful Series Page.