The fastest way to increase sales is to sell more to your current customers. These are the folks who already know you, like you, and trust you. They should be the customers you know best.
One of the best ways to do this is to develop a new service or product to sell to them. But deciding what to sell often stops the business owner right in their tracks.
The key to developing a new product is to discover a “pain point” your current customers have that is not being addressed by anyone right now. Start by asking your current customers, “What problems are you having that people in my industry are not helping you solve?” Follow up with, “If I had a solution for that, would you be interested?” Finally ask, “How much would you spend to eliminate this problem?”
I have been asking my business clients these questions for the last few years, and I have discovered small business owners consistently have the same answers. They want to pay less tax (who doesn’t?), they wish they had better information to manage with, they need to make more sales, and they wish they could expand and grow without killing themselves doing it.
Armed with this knowledge, I have slowly been developing and introducing products as solutions to the problems my clients said they would be willing to pay to solve. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Ask your customers what they would be willing to pay for, and then give it to them!
I have a fill-in-the-blanks outline that I use as a guide when I am developing new products. It helps me communicate to my customers and my staff why the product is useful. Here are some of the things the outline helps me keep in mind as I’m working:
- What should I call this product?
- How can I describe it in one sentence?
- What is included in the product?
- Who is the product’s ideal customer? (Who is it designed for?)
- Why should the customer buy this product? (What pain are we solving?)
- What benefits will the customer receive when they buy this product?
- What advantages does this product provide that our competitors’ products don’t?
- What three things should we always tell a customer about this product? (What should be in every marketing message for this product?)