As much as we hate to admit it, building the best product or service doesn’t guarantee sales in our contemporary hyper-competitive market space.
It takes more than a great service or product to beat your competitors and earn market share nowadays. This is the harsh reality and many founders find it very difficult to come to terms with.
This was exactly the case with Kayode, a very intelligent and talented welder. Kayode fabricates school playground equipment and samples them for customers to buy. His designs are quite spectacular and creative that you’d almost be tempted to wish you were still a kid and in school, so you can play and have fun in one of this playground equipment.
From a distance one may begin to imagine that Kayode would be swimming in money. Because his works were beautiful, plus he was strategically positioned by the roadside to attract eyes and no school would resist the temptation of buying one of these playground equipment. But that wasn’t the case.
The reality was that Kayode loved kids and believed he should fabricate playground equipment to make them have fun in school. As such, he believed if he found a way to build the best playground in the market, he would attract school owners who would buy these playground equipment from him.
It was based on this premise that he borrowed money from friends and families (who believed his vision…but didn’t know any better about marketing) and started fabricating these playground equipment. Trouble started :
- When he wasn’t seeing throng of customers flocking to his business
- When he was not making sales as expected
- And his creditors were all the customers he kept seeing
He knew something was terribly wrong.
Kayode’s story could be akin to countless other entrepreneurs who are churning out products, services, courses without getting the desired sales envisaged.
In this blog post, I will share with you marketing insights that will help you avoid being in Kayode’s situation and build a product, service or a business that attracts tons of customers in any market. Let’s dive right in with the first one.
FIND A STARVING CROWD
Gary Halbert one of the greatest direct response marketer and copywriters to walk the surface of earth once asked in one of his letters (boron letteres)
“if you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side to help you win?”
Most replies were along the lines of
Gary disapproved of all these answers. He answered that all that was needed to outsell anyone was to find a Starving Crowd of human beings!
A starving crowd of people will eat whatever hamburger that come their way irrespective of the quality,price and taste. This analogy goes on to show that it is not just enough developing the best products or services.
Rather, before going ahead to create anything to bring to the market, find an itch, a need, a desire in the marketplace that you can develop a product or service to fulfil the need or desire. This way you won’t be selling ice to Eskimos!
How To Find Need And/or Desire In The Market?
It starts from market research. Many CEOs and founders and even owners managers are too relaxed in their businesses-their comfort zone. They find it difficult moving to the field to interact with customers at customer’s business premises. This exposes them to relying only on hunches or gut feelings in the development of new products for the market. Once they develop products this way, they now expect the marketing and sales department to perform “magic” in the sales, promotion and marketing of the new product. The result is another failed product.
The product was dead from the design stage (because it was conceived out of a vacuum without any data from the market or feedback from customers)
To find your starving crowd. Find out the need in the market by listening and harnessing the voice of the customer. Ask and find answers to such questions like:
- What do these customers lack in the current product/service category
- In what ways can I improve the already existing solutions in this market?
- What gaps are there that the market hasn’t discovered yet that I can fill up with my service and/or products?
Answers to any of these questions will become the building blocks to a new product or service that would attract tons of customers to that newly created service or products. Why? Because customers would relate and identify with your value propositions because they feel like you knew exactly the problem they were having and developed your new product or service to satisfy that need of theirs.
CRAFT IRRISISTIBLE OFFERS
There is a quote from Osorn Scott Card which says
“we question all of our beliefs,except for the ones we really believe in,and those we never think to question”
Take a look at this value equation below:
This value equation tires to correlate the relationship between benefits and efforts in the mind of your customer.
It simply implies that to create value in the minds of your customers, they have to perceive that your product or offer would give them more benefits with little efforts. Once you can communicate effectively how your offer achieves the desired result with little effort, then the value of your product or service increases very much in the eyes of your customer and you can charge a healthy price for your product or service.
How Can You Increase Perceived Value With Your Offer?
Most often, all the offer you see in the market look like these:
“buy two get one free”
“discounts available ”
While these offers seem attractive to the uninitiated marketer. They are to say the least lame.
Many businesses were born out of the sheer fact that one person whose business seemed like it was thriving got copied by another new entrant to his niche, who believed he/she had the capabilities to run a similar business.
The result is a gross prevalence of “me-tooism” in the marketplace. Here you see “lazy” business owners-who would rather copy, than, innovate. Once they see their competitors come out with say “5% discount” they too will jump in fast with same discount, or a little different offer maybe “6% discount”
On and on it goes, talk about a perfect vicious circle!
Here’s how to be different…
Imagine coming up with superior offers by naturally thinking out of the box. Like bundling up your offers.
Here you add such attributes like:
- Free trial
- Shock and Awe
Lets imagine I sell knapsacks for professionals, for example. Instead of making the same lame offer of “2%,discounts,free…”
I could make this offer-
“This rugged leather knapsack is guaranteed to take the entire load that your back can carry in a knapsack without snapping. Payment gives you access to our weekly Online coaching programme for busy professionals on Time Management. Plus you receive our monthly newsletter on how to take care of your leather bag using everyday items at home. I will also throw in a face cap for you, if you pay now as we have a limited stock and these offers will disappear once we sell off this batch.
If for any reason you don’t get the satisfaction or performance from this bag, return the bag to us and have a full refund of your money”
While this is a top of the hat offer, it would beat the lame offers already existing in the market for bags.
You see how we have spiced up our offer from lame and boring to exciting and mouth watering?
Now, that’s how to make an offer. Look for innovative ways to wow your customers and make them believe or see how they are getting a better deal with your products or services.
If you master any of the strategies I have shown here. You would start seeing significant changes in your sales in the marketplace. They are tested and proven to work in any market.
Start using them today and don’t forget to connect with me to share your success stories using these strategies.