learn-moreIf you’ve ever had what you thought was a great idea, but it didn’t catch on – maybe you put the cart before the horse.

Business people are often in a hurry to tell prospects what they need instead of letting their prospect tell them what they want.

Listen closely to the questions your prospects and customers ask. If you are hearing the same questions repeatedly, it means you don’t have a product or service that meets those needs.

One custom portrait studio went to great lengths to itemize every possible service they offered on retouching portraits. It was longer than a restaurant menu – stray hair $5, overall hair, $10, teeth whitening $15 – on and on it went. Despite repeated resistance from customers, they stubbornly hung on to itemizing services. Yet customers kept asking – Why do you charge for that?

The owner would launch into a long technical answer that only irritated the customer further. By the end of the appointment, either they had accepted a less than ideal portrait by not spending the additional fees, or they begrudgingly paid to remove stray hairs and blemishes – which caused them to wait longer before the next portrait session or look to another studio for their next purchase.

How much more successful they would have been to turn their retouching services into a benefit, so every finished portrait was finely crafted and expertly retouched without the nickel and dime add-ons? Then their clients would have been thrilled with the result and would eagerly show off their portraits to everyone they knew.

If you keep hearing the same questions – consider how  your answer could be a product or service.

One of the questions I kept hearing from prospects, (business owners who needed multiple items, such as web copy, a bio, a press kit and sales letter) was “What should I do first?” As an answer, I created a starter pack that not only provided the various copy they needed, but it helped guide them through the development process. It became a very popular solution with many thanking me for leading them through the steps.

Turning those questions into answers saves you an enormous amount of time in developing new products or services. Listen carefully to what is behind those questions and create a product that comes to their rescue. Most likely, you’ll be hearing “Thank you, that was just what I was looking for!”