We’ve all heard this one: build a pain killer, not a vitamin. A must have, not a nice to have. Solving the right problem for the right customer – if you do it right – will get you rich.
It’s (almost) as simple as that.
But somehow it slips through the cracks. So, here are 5 good reasons why you should care.
#1 No One Cares About Your Product
The sad reality is: no one cares about you either. Except your mum. And if you are lucky, your significant other.
So you need to stop talking about yourself and your fabulous product.
Who do you think is the center of your customer’s attention? Him- or herself. People care most deeply about themselves. “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language” (How to Win Friends and Influence People). People are preoccupied with their job, relationships, their life. Much of their brain power goes to mulling over their own problems.
This is what you need to talk about.
#2 Everybody is Busy and Overwhelmed
Our e-mails, tweets and to-do lists are overflowing. We struggle to balance time between our work and our loved ones, sleep and maybe some me-time. Nowadays it seems impossible to even have a simple conversation with someone without being interrupted.
Everybody seems to be fighting to get our attention. And our attention spans keep plummeting.
Who are the we I am talking about? Your customers. Nice to haves end up in archive, trash, or in best case, at the bottom of our lists. And the lists are getting longer and longer.
So you need to stand out. To grab your customer’s attention. Remember what’s on their mind – themselves and their problems. That is where your product and your story need to start from.
#3 People Want to Get Paid, Laid or Made
You have a choice of solving many different problems.
There are a few however, that will really get your customers interested.
“How does your solution tap into the emotional, powerful, evolutionary needs that we as humans have?”, asks McClure in his 10 tips for the perfect investment pitch.
Cynical? Look at the offering of the most successful internet companies and blogs out there. Most of it revolves around sales and marketing, two activities responsible for bringing in new business. Or promotion (=influence, power).
When choosing a tagline for Grant Snap, I ran several Google AdWord ads with alternative messaging. The one with the overwhelmingly biggest CTR (click-through rate) was “get funding…”
And even when you solve someone’s big personal frustration – you still need to make sure this is the person with the budget responsibility.
Of course, there are many successful products out there solving a whole slew of different kinds of problems, or simply meant to entertain. The more you connect to your customer’s fundamental needs, however, or the closer you get to their core business, the easier it will be to capture their interest.
#4. They Will Be Anxious About Buying From You
You got their interest. Now you’ll have to overcome any concerns or reservations they may have.
Maybe your customer is so used to dealing with their problem, they simply cannot imagine a different solution. Especially not a technical one. So paint the picture of a better world, show them a better way.
And the stronger the emotional link to the problem you are solving, the more magical this new world will seem to them.
Or maybe they don’t perceive it as a top priority (“call us in six months”). This is almost sure to happen to nice-to-have products. Solving a really pressing problem will help. You can more easily create a sense of urgency. Or even play on the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) by projecting all the consequences and difficulties if they don’t not deal with the problem. Now.
They may simply not trust you yet. You build trust in different ways, but showing a deep understanding of someone’s problem is a great start.
#5 One of the Hardest Things for a Human is to Part from Their Hard-Earned Cash
That’s why money is such a good measure of value. You got your prospect ready?
It’s time to close.
And that’s not easy. Especially for innovators. You may not directly fit the established spending patterns and budgets. Even more so for Internet products, where so much is free.
You really have to make a difference.
Choosing the right problem will help here too. Take products that help people “get paid”. The ROI is a no-brainer. If I help you make $X more than you do now, you won’t mind giving me a piece of it, right?
But if I help you, say, improve collaboration, how much money is that worth to you?
Choosing the right problem for the right customer will help you get their attention and arouse their interest, but also increase the conversion rates and shorten sales cycles. And this stuff is more important than your mother (you’ve heard of the CFIMITYM acronym, right?)
Is your product a must have? If not, is there a way to re-purpose it to solve a more pressing need?