“If you build it will they come?” is the title of a new book by Rob Adams. I attended a workshop taken by Rob last week and was impressed enough to make it my next business mentor tip. Forgive me Rob if my interpretation of your material in any way undersells it!
The key to successful business is having a product or service that enough people will buy to meet your financial targets. Many (dare I say most) business start out with what Rob calls the ‘ready, fire, fire,fire, aim’ approach which typically goes like this. Think of a product/service idea that you think people will love, get it ready for market, dress it up in the way you believe your target audience will find attractive and then attempt to sell it. When sales don’t meet targets you re-visit your sales strategy and try again. And again. Sound familiar?
Well think again. Surely a way to increase your chances of selling people what they want will increase if you ask them what they want and then deliver it to them in the way they want to receive it? Or in other words as Rob Adams says … ‘ready, aim, fire’.
This is called market validation. In essense this means that you go out to your market and find out what their problems are first. Then you develop the product or solution that will meet those problems better than anything else out there. You get it right before you invest in development and marketing. It sounds so logical doesn’t it?
So how do you validate your market? In Rob’s book ‘If you build it will they come?” he takes you through the methods and steps involved. But before you rush off and buy it, I’ll share the tip he gave us at the workshop:
Before you launch anything new – a new product or service/a new brand or a new campaign – call up 100 people who represent your target market and ask them what they really need. In Business Mentor Tip #63 – Gather Your Insights I gave you a list of questions that a someone developing a new business planning tool might ask.
In these questions you are looking for the problem to solve. What frustrates people? What annoys them with current options? What are they trying to do that your product or service could make easier for them? It’s all about easing pain. Find the pain and offer the solution. Ask questions that give you meaningful answers to help design your products and marketing campaigns to meet the need.
The added bonus is that people will pay more for something that makes them feel better. If you can give them what they really want, they are happy to pay for it.
So… as you think about your product development and marketing from now on, remember, Ready, Aim, Fire!
You can buy your copy of Rob’s book here: http://www.amazon.com/You-Build-Will-They-Come/dp/047056363X
From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies. Based in Wellington, New Zealand.