You’re succeeding, and every day, your team, product and sales revenue improve. Good for you!
If you’re like the majority of businesses, you work even harder to make your team better, improve your product and increase your revenue.
Unlike Friendster or MySpace (remember them?), there are two things you should do while you are focusing on your current success. You need to develop two products that most companies do not have in their repertoire.
The First Product (That You Are Most Likely Missing)
Your current product is a perfect fit for some but not such a great fit for others. Fair enough.
What do you do with those prospective clients who like your product, your industry or you, but are just not quite the right fit … yet?
Sadly, the answer for most companies is pretty much along the lines of “nothing.” They just don’t have anything for those prospects — even though those prospects like them and want to do business with them.
Well, here is where your first “missing” product comes in. Call it your “pre-product.” It’s a primer or “starter” product to grow interested prospects who currently do not fit your ideal client profile but very well could in the not-too-distant future.
What does the pre-product look like? It’s pretty simple, actually, and it should become amazingly simple for your team to develop and launch. Here are some characteristics:
• It’s the product that sits in front of your current product. That is, it prepares, educates and entices prospects who are not yet great fits to become great fits.
• You charge for it. Why? Because you want your prospects to pay for the value provided, not expect you to give them value for free.
• It’s priced between 10% and 25% of the cost of your main product. This prepares prospects sufficiently for the increase when they grow themselves to the point where they are ready to use your “main” product.
• It holds standalone value. That is, the pre-product does not require any other product (yours or another company’s product) for it to create value for the user.
• It prepares or positions your prospect to use your main product (in time). The prospect is not a good fit now, but by utilizing your pre-product, and by maturing their own business, they grow into using your more-expensive main product.
So What Might This Look Like?
Let’s consider an example.
Let’s say your business develops and sells custom online newsletters with a monthly fee. What if you had a pre-product that looked like a “do-it-yourself” online newsletter that your clients could build out, using your framework? The investment in the product would be 15% of what your “real” product costs (say $12.95/month versus $79.95/month). You supply the technological “frame” for the DIY users while your full-service clients rely on you to create the content, the look, and the delivery of their newsletters, albeit it at your full price.
You need a product with standalone value, for which you do not have to invest lots of client servicing time. If you had to interact with all of the $12.95 DIYers, you would create a nightmare. If they can proceed using FAQs and short video tips, you have turned a non-revenue prospect into a possible full-service client.
The idea is that you provide great value at a lower yet profitable price, and then grow the prospects into ideal clients.
The key is that they do not cost you money to keep connected and even generate some revenue. When a percentage of them (about 10%) grow into more ideal fits, you simply engage them appropriately. It’s much easier and more cost-effective than finding new prospects every month.
The reality is that most companies have products that only fit a small percentage of the population at this moment. The key is to grow and connect these clients to your offerings and grow some of them into ideal clients over time.
And, What’s The Other Product?
If one important product is the product before the one you currently offer, the logical, second important product is the one that follows your current offering.
Note, we are not talking about a sequential offering, like Rocky II, but a second, free-standing product that clients who already know and trust you can purchase. It might enhance what they have already purchased, or it might be another product that helps in a completely different way.
Here’s the best part: It doesn’t even have to be your product for it to be more profitable than your core offering. The simple reason why? Because gaining a new client is always way more expensive than selling a second product to a client who already knows and likes you.
Consider your offerings again so you can close more sales with your audience. What other offerings could you sell to clients who already know and trust you? What other forms of improving sales might be a good fit for a second product, even if you do not produce, market or sell them?
Continuing with the newsletter service example above, the options are plentiful:
• Sales training (online and in-person)
• Market data
• Video newsletter services
• Industry webinars from trusted leaders
• Photography and video instruction to improve the pictures and videos in the marketing
These are just a few that you might consider: some you can create, and others you would partner with a firm you know and like in order to sell.
Remember, running a secondary offering to your already loyal clients tends to be much more profitable and a faster sale than selling your first offering — statistically much more profitable than your first, since the marketing and sales costs are almost nonexistent.
All the best!