When was the last time you watched what your customers or prospects actually do? As in, went down to where your customers hang-out and stood back and watched and observed them? What did they buy? How did they buy? Are they looking for a trial first before they buy? Did they seek out help? Did they make fast purchases? What was missing?
Some of this data you can gather from doing surveys and incentivizing taking them. Other parts of it you cannot. You may even have to pick up the phone and call a few people who bought and talk to them about their buying experience. This is a great idea if you are in SAAS sales. Perhaps you gave away a few of your items or courses to certain customers to let them trial it for you in the effort of gaining valuable feedback.
Seed launches work this way.
The purpose of seed launches is to get product out into the marketplace quickly either for free or for a big discount so that you, the product owner, can gather important marketplace feedback before you go ahead with a full-on product launch. Seed launches are effective. They work. And they give you great early feedback on your product. And they even allow you to make some money, too. You should try to get customer buy-in / revenue as soon as possible.
Customers will not always tell you what it is they want because they often do not know.
A Customer hanging around in a retail store may not know why they’re there. They may be in there just to bum around, to kill time. Others are more direct and Mission-oriented: they’re there to pick up a jacket and new belt and then get the heck out of there. Period. But they are not leaving until they find these two items. And by the way: they do not care about price. They care about efficiency and effectiveness.
It is through this observation that we can learn more about our customer’s desires, whether spoken or unspoken. What is it that they want? Would they like to trial something from us? What feedback would they like to give us? What’s missing from our product suite? Always be listening for their problems. What pains them? What are they having trouble with? This can be a big pain. This can be a small pain or inconvenience. People will pay up for convenience and ease of use.
Never underestimate the power of the live product demonstration.
When performed correctly, it is magical. I like to point out the simplicity of the quick informercial / As Seen on TV products because nobody else does. Take the Flex Seal. The Flex Seal solves problems: it seals and binds broken pieces together quickly and easily. It is also versatile. You can use it in various places around your home to seal, your car to seal, your boat to seal, and on cracks and broken pieces of possessions. The Flex Seal solves these problems and inconveniences, and does a great job of showing how it does it through live demonstration. Aside from training, which often is demonstration, there is no better form of marketing than demonstration, whether live or on video.
Have your happy customer perform your demonstration for you.
Even better, have your happy customer perform your demonstration for you. And be sure to capture her on video, performing your demo for you. Nothing elevates your product’s credibility — and your credibility — like your happy customer performing your demonstration for you. And you didn’t even have to pay her!
What can you show live and in-person or on video that is a powerful testimonial to your product? Can you get your customer to do it on your behalf? Collect as many of these success stories as you can.
Seek to make your product a habit, a part of your customer’s every day life.
What can you give away as a free trial to your customer in order to get them using your product? You’re looking to make your product a habit, working it into their daily lives. They are unlikely to pick your product up off of the shelf — physical or digital — unless there is some sort of deal or free trial upfront. People love to try before they buy. Think samples given away at the mall. Do what you can to make that happen. Get product into their hands — now.
Nothing recurs quite like revenue.
Then, do what you can to work it into a subscription. It turns out the damn cable industry had it right decades ago: we live in the subscription economy. When we really like something, we subscribe. And we do not mind being charged $20, $30, $47 / month for the product or service. In fact, we’ve come to expect it. Take a moment and think about all the subscriptions you pay for each month. If you’re like most people, it’s likely $200, $300, $400 / month collectively. And it is likely to go even higher. We’ve been conditioned to expect this method of payment, so you best take advantage of it because it is arguably the best business model there is. Nothing recurs quite like revenue.
Apple gives away a 90 day free trial of their Apple Music service before they ever charge your credit card. That is plenty of time to build this product into a personal habit. Don’t I know it: I’m listening to Apple Music as I write these words.