10X Business Letter
April 10th, 2014
San Diego, Ca
Comfortable 67 Degrees
Dear 10 X Business Builder,
One of the great benefits of being a public figure in your chosen space is you are always abundant with opportunity.
Meaning, people will always want to be involved with you, either as a client or as a partner.
It’s a phenomena that will happen 100% of the time if you put yourself out there.
People recognize, by the mere fact that you are willing to get out there and speak, you’re a go-doer.
Some of the opportunities are great and some are…. Well, let’s just say “not so great” .
You always have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, right?
Recently, Roberto and I had an opportunity that came across our desk that really sparked our interest…
It had all the things we look for.
It had a founder with a proven track record, who was a team player and knew he can’t do it alone. It had a patentable technology. It was well funded. A working beta version is already built. The exit strategy was easy to understand and very viable. The board of directors and advisors are a proverbial list of who’s who’, leaders of companies that are household names… — We were excited!
Roberto and I were honored that we might be able to be involved in building this company, so we set up an “exploratory” phone conversation.
When we got on the phone with the founder, we were instantly impressed with the opportunity, not only for the above reasons, but because the founder began expounding on all the verticals that this technology could be used in [the market size]… — Now we were really excited!
But in the back of mind something wasn’t sitting right. I couldn’t quite verbalize it yet, but I knew something was about to come spewing out of my mouth. [It’s a familiar feeling I’ve had many times before and usually it comes out quickly and without a filter.]
Sure enough, the founder was in mid sentence explaining all the cool features of his baby, when I rudely blurt out,…
“But,what PROBLEM does it solve UNIQUELY and BETTER than all the available alternatives?!”
I could see it kinda caught him off guard. (I’m not sure if it was the question, or the timing :0)
But nonetheless, he couldn’t answer it.
This is a common challenge that I see entrepreneurs make frequently, and that is NOT being able to explain what your widget will DO for your prospect.
Here’s why you must be able to answer this question or your business is bound to die.
There is NO company if there are NO sales. (Unless you are Snap Chat or Instagram!) And there is no sales if you don’t have an effective offer. And you can’t have an effective offer if you articulate what your widget DOES for your prospect.
Essentially, this is your USP (unique selling proposition). It’s the fundamental question that you need to be able to answer.
You need to step into the your prospect’s shoes and answer their dominant question, “why should I choose you, versus everyone (or every other option) that says they do what you do?”
When speaking with entrepreneurs I find they struggle with this because they want to talk about ALL the features.
Understanding USP’s and competitive advantages can become very complex and very academic if you let it.
It doesn’t need to be.
But, if you want to dedicate your life to studying marketing and knowing every possible way you can compete then read Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter.
But all you really need to know is people do things for one of two reasons:
- To gain pleasure, or
- To avoid pain.
Research shows people are more willing to act to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. So even though both can be used to sell something, I choose to stack the odds in my favor and use PAIN.
And when are people in the most pain?
When they HAVE PROBLEMS!
That’s why it’s so important to focus your messaging on problems you solve.
This is most easily illustrated with smoking as the example.
I don’t know if there has been more money poured into a cause than, “Stop smoking” campaigns.
I don’t think there is a soul on this planet who doesn’t know that smoking is bad for you — yet people still smoke.
Advocates use both pain and pleasure to try and persuade cessation. The promise of seeing your kids graduate (pleasure) and disturbing videos of people on breathing apparatuses (future pain).
But what generally has to happen before someone quits? Yep, you guessed it. The doctor reports cancer, emphysema or the like (Problem).
A vendor of cessation products is more likely to sell to that person now when they have a a real problem than when it was promises of pleasure.
This is why I say focus on the BIGGEST problem you solve and figure out a way to solve it uniquely.
At InfluenceOlogy we help people overcome their FUNDA (Fear, Uncertainty, Nervousness, Doubt and Anxiety) of speaking in front of groups. We solve this problem uniquely with our holistic four part teaching frame work – the psychology of an influencer, Structures, Delivery techniques and Increments of influence.
What does our program DO for you? It transforms you from a mediocre presenter, into a powerful Influencer.
Being able to answer the question, “What PROBLEM does my product/service solve UNIQUELY and BETTER than all the available alternatives?” is the starting point because if you can’t sell, you don’t have a business.
Loving Living Giving Large,
Editor, The 10X Business Letter