The pattern in business, especially with physical products, has been to create something and then sell it. This has been the habit of most inventors of products, solutions, and services. Take the cotton gin for example. U.S inventor Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin to make the harvesting of cotton easier and more efficient.
There are many ideas that have been produced to solve a particular problem. Whether it’s creating a system, a software, or a service, the world is ever-changing for the better to produce the latest problem-solving products. But what if there was a way to sell something before creating it?
There is. And many businesses are using it to their advantage. The old trend of create-sell is now being replaced by sell-create. It’s backwards thinking that leads to making more money, saving more time, and creating a bigger impact that leads businesses to function in this newfound tactic.
Companies and large corporations are taking advantage of this one particular shift that shows their current and future customers that they care and want to do more: Asking questions. By asking the right questions, you can get the right answers that will propel your business forward in the direction it needs to go.
Some of these companies are Facebook and Amazon. They do an incredible job at asking their customers about their buying experiences and what can be improved. The reason why this is so vital to business is because they are asking their current customers what can make their experience better, which in return adds insight to what should be improved.
Some companies who failed to do such are Toys R Us and Sears. While companies like Facebook and Amazon are completely flourishing, Toys R Us and Sears are now struggling with the risk of bankruptcy. They failed to do one thing: Ask the right questions to their audience in order to stay afloat.
It’s one thing to ask questions, but it’s another thing to adapt to the responses that you receive. If you don’t adapt to the marketplace, you run the risk of following the same and lonely paths of Toys R Us and Sears. Learning how to apply what you learn is critical to success.
So how is it done? How do you ensure that your company stays afloat amongst the chaos? I’ve developed a three-step strategy to be able to sell something by the end of the month before you even create it:
Conduct customer research
The first task that must be completed before any type of product is created is to ask the right questions to your audience. This is always step one. You can do this in person or online. Reach out to your customers through email or other methods and ask them directly what they’re currently struggling with in their lives, that relates to the products and services that you sell.
Ask them what they want
Record all of the responses you receive, and store them somewhere safe. This can be done online as well with survey software like Surveymonkey, Google Forms, or Qualtrics. Qualtrics is the current customer research tool that is used by Amazon and Facebook,
as well as many other large companies like GE and HP. GoPro and HP use Survey Monkey, and anyone can use Google Forms since it’s a free tool provided by Google. These large corporations know the value of a customer’s response. Even to the point of paying for them and rewarding winners for their efforts. If the big guys are doing it, then you should too.
Next, organize the responses gathered according to trending phrases that you’ll find. These phrases will be similar in style and word, which will allow you the ability to talk to your customers in the best possible way.
Give them what they need
After organizing the responses, you’ll be able to find the trending patterns and phrases from your customers. Then, simply give them what they want. If they want it bad enough, they will pay you for the idea. This is how you find out if you’ve asked the right questions.
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Have a beta launch or create a paid test market that will allow you to get paid before you create it, and work out the kinks for the next launch. All of this can be done in 30 days if you have the right relationship with your audience. Then you’ll want to continue to perfect this process that will give your customers the best experience possible, and bring them back to buying more from you.
This strategy works with every known industry. It can be accomplished with anything from food service to software. Do it right, and you’ll have a business that will run smoothly and profitably.