Episode 64 – How To Know If A Product Or Service Will Sell (Before You Create It)
When starting a business one of the big questions you’ll want the answer to is “How can I know if my product will sell?”
In my seven years working with new business owners I’ve found asking this question sooner rather than later can save a lot of heartache and trouble.
There are a number of ways to know if your product will sell before creating it. Checking what is already selling successfully and doing market research are two excellent examples. However, the best way to know if your product will sell is to check how many core human needs it satisfies.
Let’s start with the easiest way to do some due diligence before getting into the core human needs.
The easiest way to know if a product will sell
The easiest way to know if you’re on to a winner is simply to look if someone else is making money selling a similar thing.
Contrary to popular belief you DO NOT need to have a completely unique business idea or product to make money.
If anything it’s better to be offering something that’s at least familiar to your audience.
Otherwise you’ll end up wasting valuable resources explaining what your product is, instead of people already understanding the concept and potentially being ready to buy.
So check what is already out there – is it selling already?
Remember as well just because their website looks great does not mean they are making money.
One great litmus test here is to see if people are spending advertising dollars to promote this kind of product.
No successful company is going to continue to pay money to promote unless there’s money in it for them.
The traditional route – market research
Another way of finding out if your product is likely to make money is by doing traditional market research.
You can interview potential buyers about their buying habits.
You can see what people are searching for online.
When you find these products and services you may also be able to see what people like and dislike about them in reviews or feedback.
What are they wanting more of and what are they wanting less of?
Then we move into looking into psychology.
This is more about asking the question – What are they really buying?
People are buying their core human needs
Human beings are driven by very similar needs, and these drive their buying decisions.
So what do people want?
Here are the seven buying reasons – The Buyers Circle
1. More money
Ok, maybe a very small number of people don’t want more money, but most of us do!
Money creates freedom of choice. Any product or service that is likely to make the buyer money is going to be the easier to sell.
Sales coaching, investment property and further education are examples of this. Essentially it becomes a no brainer for the customer as long as it is priced correctly.
If your product or service has the potential to make the buyer money, as long as you can clearly communicate that fact and it offers good value, you are on to a winner.
2. To feel better
Who doesn’t want to feel better? People buying health coaching are not looking for the experience of being coached and maybe not even learning about new ways of eating.
Ultimately they are buying the end result – feeling better. Even buying art or home decor make you feel better and more comfortable in your environment.
3. To have better relationships
Connecting with other people is part of being human. Online dating and self help workshops/groups are just some examples of a products or services that uses this angle.
Even restaurants, florists and gift shops are in the business of helping people have better relationships.
4. To experience
Entertainment and travel is all about experience. People want to try new things and get away from their daily routine.
5. To look better
People will always want to look better. Skin, hair care and weight loss products fit into this category as does personal training.
This also extends to status symbols and luxury goods.
6. To improve performance
Productivity apps anyone? Anything that saves time fits in here.
Business coaching is a popular way for people to improve their performance in business and is something people are willing to pay for as they know it will yield results and save them from potential pitfalls.
No need to make other people’s mistakes again!
7. To protect themselves
Insurance, safety gear and Internet security are examples of products that people buy to protect themselves.
This also refers to protecting the status quo. People don’t like to lose anything including any drop in standard of living.
If the plumbing breaks, then yes you are going to pay to fix it!
The Extra Reason – Urgency
The other factor that comes into play is how urgently do your customers need this problem solved. If you are selling car batteries and your customer is stranded by the side of the road then they are going to be hunting you down wallet in hand.
If your product or service is more of a luxury than necessity it is likely to take more effort to sell.
Bringing it all together – How To Know If A Product Will Sell
So bringing all that together:
- First check if your product idea fits at least one and preferably multiple core human needs.
- Then see if you can find someone else who is selling this type of product successfully.
This will give you a very good idea before getting any deeper as to whether or not what you have is marketable and if it will sell.