As I get older, wiser, and grumpier (I mean, more experienced), I’ve realized how important it is to choose my clients carefully.
In fact, I’d say I turn down about 90% of the people who want to work with me.
Sometimes it’s because it’s not a market I’m interested in (religious stuff for example)… and sometimes it’s because my “asshole siren” is blaring in my head (“I promise I’ll pay you AFTER we start selling things”)…
But many times it’s because the product simply isn’t up to scratch.
Now, obviously I have an ethical problem with selling crap, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Because while there are definitely people out there who are happy to sell baked turds and call it modern art, I’m talking about the business owners who have products that are “okay”, but not great.
And when I point out to them their product or offer needs work if I can sell it, their inevitable answer is “well it’s better than the leading competitor by 2%!”
Holy crap! How did I not see your brilliance before now?! Forgive me, good sir!
Here’s the thing…
Yes, competitor X may suck now. But I’ll bet when they launched they were a great option compared to what was available back then. They got the market share. They built the fan base. And now, they have enough momentum to sit back and coast by.
Fact is, unless you’ve already got massive market share, you’re the little guy. And if you want to wage war against the big dogs and actively poach their consumers, you need to give people a damn compelling reason to switch to you.
After all… people are lazy. Banks and telecom providers take huge advantage of this consumer inertia. They offer you a great deal to switch… but once they’ve “got you”, they know it’s too much hassle for most people to change any time soon… so they can stop acting like they give a damn.
Long story short, if you want that huge market share, you’ve got to *gasp* EARN it.
Now, most marketers don’t like to hear their offer isn’t the holy grail. Much like being told your kid’s ugly, it’s hard to accept something you’ve put a ton of time and effort into isn’t going to fly.
But as crushed as you are now, I bet you’ll feel worse after you’ve spent tens of thousands on rolling out a product to a marketplace that’s response is a resounding “meh”.
If you want to succeed in business, you need to be your own worst critic. You need to constantly be trying to improve your product and making it a real “no brainer”.
Apple did it with the iPod. Microsoft did it with Windows (sorry Mac lovers). And Ford did it with early motor cars.
So if you want to dominate your market place, ask yourself “how can I improve this product?”. Ask your customers. Ask your employees. Ask your friends and family.
Not every response will be workable (“Give it away for free!”). But you might get some great food for thought.
And believe me… once you have a killer product, selling the thing is an absolute joke for a marketing specialist. Because not only do they have a phenomenal amount of meat to work with when creating a promotion, the viral aspect will sweep through the marketplace like wildfire.
It’s not the Wild West anymore – it’s easier than ever for consumers to dodge crappy products (or get their money back). The proliferation of review sites, consumer protection and community justice has made snake oil sellers a dying breed.
Thankfully, that works in the favor of honest businesspeople. Because now – more than ever before – it’s about how good a product you can make, and how much love you can get from the marketplace.
And when you’ve got the perfect product, get in touch – because I’ll make us both a lot of money 😉