Yesterday, when I was looking for a way to explain to my client what I meant about solving a need that customers have, my wife’s frustration with passenger seatbelts dawned on me. Why is it that the driver’s seatbelt gives freedom of movement whereas the passenger seatbelts are restrictive, confining, and uncomfortable? It’s no wonder we need laws to make people wear them. This is an example of finding a need to something that isn’t working well.
Alex Mandossian in one of his podcasts made the point well that the money is made by innovators, not the inventors. Innovators take an existing concept and tweak it so that the public will want it more than the original. I think a good example of this is Starbucks. They certainly did not invent the idea of coffee shops.
Faith Popcorn in her book Clicking describes it as “Clicking Through Small Indulgences.” Actually, I think Starbucks tapped into “Clicking Through Fantasy Adventure” as well. They definitely tapped into the desire for community. They created coffee shops that specialized in fancy Italian coffee drinks and cleverly expanded the concept of “small indulgences.” They’ve done a lot more things right that I intend to cover another time because they are off the point here.
The main point is that the people who survive and even thrive in down times are those who manage to innovate. Find out what your customers want and need – what works well with what they are doing now? What isn’t working? What would it take to make it work? Why? Be sure before you invest heavily in manufacturing that 1) the need is large enough to support ramping up production and 2) that the market is willing to pay enough for it to be profitable.
Once you have done all of this, remember the world does not beat a path to your door for inventing a better mousetrap. You still have to do a great job of marketing – read that to say of describing and showing the benefits they have been looking for. And finally, you need someone to sell it, to “Help Customers Buy.”
In closing, please let me know
• What are your favorite innovations?
• What are you interested in reading or hearing more about related to sales and marketing?
• Do you agree with my point here?
My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. https://amzn.to/2BaP2AH I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.
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