James Schramko here. I want to talk about what you do if you have an idea for a product or service and you want to take it to the market, but you’re just not sure if it’s going to be worth putting together all the resources and energy required to make this thing a flyer. So what are some of the tactics you can use?
Something I look for is, I work on the copy, I work on the offer, the hook, how compelling can I make it? In fact, I want to test it on different people I speak to over and over again, until somebody says, “Tell me more, I want in. How do I get it? When can I have it?” Unless it’s that compelling, it’s probably not going to work well. And I think a lot of business owners have trouble articulating what it is they’re actually selling and how it works and what the offer is. So you need to refine that. And that means practicing.
Practicing your word hooks on as many people who can get on a call, or face to face, even friends, family, or whatever, just keep pitching it until you’ve got it down pat, so that everyone you talk to even when you’re getting your haircut (which I still do from time to time), they finally say, “I’m interested. Tell me more.”
Another thing you can do as a quick start is set up a waiting list. If you can’t get people on a waiting list, then it is very unlikely you’re going to make sales of the products. So, set up your waiting list. This is one of the easiest things you can do to start testing demand for a product or service. There are websites out there where you can actually put up the idea of a product and start collecting pledges. The trouble with websites like that is a lot of people are just addicted to buying new and interesting things. But they don’t really validate the product in terms of beyond that. So you might then make the product and then find there isn’t really a market for it. You just had a market of people who love pledging for really interesting, cool new things.
A technique I like is the “Can I ask your advice?” technique. This stems from Professor Cialdini. He said people love to give advice. So if you talk to your ideal prospect or who you think would be an ideal prospect, and you ask them for advice, they’re probably more likely to listen to you. And you can tell them about your idea, and what you have in mind and what you’re going to be doing and how it works. And then you can listen out for that “I’m interested tell me more”, or “That sounds like something I could use”. And you might actually get good advice that will help you refine your word track or your pitch for the next prospect.
A kind of side doorway to test a product is to tell people that you’ve got this thing and you want to know who they know that might be interested in this. Now, maybe they’re the person who you really think could be interested in it. But it’s a slightly softer way to approach this with them, rather than going directly at them. You can say I just wanted to share with you an idea that I’ve got, something that’s coming through and I’m curious to know if you know someone I should be talking to about this. This is what it is, this is how it works, etc.
You can also build a pre-order list. Often your best prospects are going to be people who have already bought something from you. So what would come before this product or how could you build a waiting list that’s more qualified than just the general public? When I’m testing an offer, I can usually send an email out, just a single email to an actual person and just test the offer slowly. I like to test small and rollout big. Don’t send a broadcast to your entire email database until you’ve had some people who are actually really interested in it on a small scale.
And remember, when you do start your version, it’s better to call it a pilot version rather than a beta. Beta is kind of code name for not very good. Pilot is a little more interesting and exciting. Like the first pilot of a new TV season. If it goes well, it’ll go into production. It’ll get funded and they’ll commit to longer seasons. So think of your new thing as a pilot. That way you as the founder or the product owner doesn’t have to commit to producing this for the long haul. And the customer knows this is just the first one and it might not be perfect.
I hope these tips are useful for you when it comes to finding out if there is a market for your new product or service without having to spend a fortune.
I’m James Schramko. This is SuperFastBusiness.com
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