Have you ever met someone at a networking event and walked away not knowing what they sell?
How about trying to get details out of a service provider about cost, timing and deliverables?
These are what I call ambiguous product offerings.
Your product is what you sell to your consumers in exchange for their money. Your brand then provides them with a promise in the form of your product, which is the value you bring to the market. It is specific, clearly defined, and completely understood by the person who wants to buy it.
You can’t have an ambiguous product offering if you want someone to buy your product.
How clear are you in describing your product and connecting it to your prospective buyer’s needs?
Making your product understood
Products can be anything offered in a market. Your unique product has a specific value and benefit to the consumer.
For marketing purposes, small business owners need to fully understand this value. Once clear, it can be used to effectively communicate with your target market.
Product features, functions and design impact how buying decisions are made. The look and feel of your product, the words you use to describe it and the experience consumers have of doing business with you are components of the overall product offering.
Take some time to step back from your business to examine what you are selling and what your customers are buying. They may not be the exact same words. The alignment comes from looking at the value you are providing to the buyer.
Be explicit in your product offering to attract customers who want to buy!
Example of a misunderstood product
Consider a mortgage broker.
On the surface, you may think that their product is a mortgage. Taking a closer look, the broker’s real product is making that mortgage acquisition as painless as possible. For some consumers, the product is a great interest rate, while for others it is helping them jump through the hoops to even get a mortgage.
Clarify your product by creating a value proposition statement stating WHY a consumer would want to buy from you.
What problem are you solving for your customer?
Even if you are selling cupcakes, you are filling a need.
To make it simple, ask yourself, “Is my product increasing pleasure, or decreasing pain?” Most products fit into those two categories.
Ask yourself, “What exactly am I selling?” .. AND …. “What is the customer buying?”
Activity to attract customers to buy your product
Here’s another activity you can do to see if you are on the right track.
Select your best-selling product or service.
Think about how much explaining you had to do to make your last few sales of this product. Did it take you more than 30 seconds to describe?
If you did, you could benefit from creating an elevator pitch. By creating a super short pitch, you have to choose the most effective words for your product. This helps you define what you are selling.
What words would you use to describe the value of this product to a consumer in 20 seconds or less?
Present your product so others can buy it!
A closer look
How are you going to know if the product you have is in fact in line with what your customer wants?
The strategic work here is spending time talking to existing and potential customers. Ask them if they understand your product offering. This feedback is priceless. Find out if there are any adjustments they would like to see.
It’s a busy world out there If you are clear you are on the value your product offers, you will attract more customers who want to buy your product.
Until next week, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!