Can an offering become a client?

Every week we get at least one call that goes like this:

Caller: I’ve been in this industry since I was 21 and I’ve solved this important problem that everyone in the business has. I want you to see it – you’ll love it…and then tell me why it’s not selling!

Us: We can’t tell you why it’s NOT selling – but here’s a promise we can make and keep – we can help you identify what (if any) aspirations are valuable, meaningful, useful and important enough that your prospective users will want to buy.

The problem most offering creators share is this:

They confuse introducing an offering to prospects with the process of developing a committed community of users. We call this the relationship pathfinding process.

Here’s what we do:

After a brief look at the offering we ask them to complete an exercise – The Before and After Grid. This simple from-to comparison asks the caller to tell us how their offering changes a user’s world from before the offering came along to now that the user is an active member of the community.

We break the Before and After exercise into four areas of interest:

    • Have/have not
    • Feel
    • Average day and
    • Status

The results of the exercise provide us with these insights:

    • What does the current day look like for a customer?
    • How would the offering make the day better enough that description of the change will get your prospect’s attention?
    • What is the specific aspiration the prospect feels compelled to satisfy?
    • What is the “bleeding from the neck problem” that is at the root of the aspiration(s)?
    • What is the current roadblock that is preventing the removal of the bleeding from the neck problem – and therefore accomplishes the aspiration?
    • How will the customer relationship pathfinding process remove that roadblock?

Sounds easy, right?

Not so fast – most newcomers to this approach want to shorten the time commitment necessary to get to next steps – so they ask these questions directly instead of walking through the exercise. If you do that you get biased answers that won’t help. You have to take the time to go through the process and use the information collected to arrive at the answers to the questions.

In many cases, the exercise will only give partial answers. In that case, you’ll need to dig deeper – and we’ll share how we do that in some of our upcoming Blogs.

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