We all make assumptions. I do it. You do it……we all do it.
The problem with making assumptions is that they cost money and the wrong assumptions will send your business down the wrong path.
I encounter it with every business client. I start asking questions about the product/service and within just a few minutes I run into assumptions. I don’t have to point it out but I can usually get the client to acknowledge their own assumptions.
“How do you know this is a pain your customers feel?”
Most of the time they will start pointing to other products/services that don’t fully offer what they have to offer. Sometimes there just isn’t something in the market that they offer.
Now, I’m not saying that the assumptions are wrong but how they got those assumptions is wrong.
Knowing your buyer personas
This is often overlooked or looked at infrequently. Hopefully, in the early stages of the venture, some kind of buyer personas are created. A fictitious persona that feels a certain pain that your product/service relieves. The product/service is then molded around that pain point to deliver what your buyers want.
Relief from a certain pain.
Let’s look at this from a different point of view.
Would your customers buy what you have if they didn’t have a pain point?
Short answer……No, they won’t. They don’t have a need for it. It’s actually very predictable. People don’t like pain and they will do what it takes to relieve that pain.
It isn’t your product/service. It’s the outcome of obtaining it. Whatever that outcome is, it relieves pain in some way or at least that is the perception.
Knowing this is key to creating a reliable buyer persona and building products/services that perform well.
Now go back to your buyer personas and redo them with their specific pain point, as it relates to your product/service. You don’t need to spend too much time here because you still have to validate.
Validate your assumptions
So now you have some new buyer personas with the current assumptions. Remember, these are still assumptions. You should assume that those assumptions will change.
It’s time to get out there and start asking.
This part can be tricky but this first round of validation does not have to be perfect.
Very tricky…… go ask someone that fits that buyer persona if that is, in fact, a pain point.
That’s it. Go ask about it. Take your pain point and go ask.
“How does _______ make you feel?”
“Does _____ impact your daily life?”
“If you had a choice would you use something that eliminates _________?”
“What would you like to happen instead of _________?”
Make the questions fit your pain point but I think you get the idea here. It might seem basic and elementary but I can assure you there are products/services out there that never bothered to connect with their buyers. They just assumed.
You also get the added bonus of direct evidence to support your cause. When someone asks “How do you know this will work?” You can provide evidence that you physically spoke to your target audience and they want what you have.
The more the better.
HOW THIS IMPACTS YOUR SUCCESS?
It’s a relatively simple concept…….. people buy things that relieve pain.
Some of you will say:
“Well, ______ doesn’t relieve a pain.”
False. You’re just not looking at it from a pain point.
Clothes – Yes, brands relieve many pain points. Like status.
Vehicles – Maybe its a status issue. Maybe they are tired of walking.
Pencils – Its hard to remember everything. Writing it down is easier.
Any Service – They don’t want to do it or that service makes theirs easier/better.
I could keep going but you get the point.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T FIND A PAIN POINT
Stop, don’t waste your time or money.
If your product or service does not relieve some kind of pain you will always struggle.
VALIDATE! VALIDATE! VALIDATE!!!!!!!
That’s what it comes down to. Assumptions without validation are costly and can ruin a business.
It’s easy to avoid.
Get out there and start asking your buyers if your assumptions are accurate. Once you have enough evidence to support your pain reliever, go build it for your customers.
There is a lot more to add here. I didn’t feel like writing a book or putting on a seminar.
If you’re struggling with this I recommend contacting an expert, like me, to help you.