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August 2, 2014

Severe Pains and Badly Needed Vitamins

Severe “pains” that people will pay to solve and “vitamin” products that are valuable are easy to distinguish from minor pains, mere inconveniences and useless vitamins.

When you do customer development, if someone has a severe pain or severe need for a useful vitamin, he’ll be extremely emotional and passionate about it. It will be clear that the pain affects him and his business significantly.

Why do you need to tell apart severe pains from minor pains and powerful vitamins from crappy vitamins? It’s because your customers will only pay you to solve severe pains for them. They’ll only purchase your product if it’s an awesome vitamin!

Look for how emotional and passionate people are when they’re describing their problems, pains, and business-related areas that will benefit from vitamins.

If someone starts yelling expletives when describing a pain or a need for a vitamin, take this as a good sign that their need is pretty severe. If your prospects sound angry, excited, or especially sad when telling you that they have an intense desire to grow their businesses faster, it means that they severely need your good “vitamin” product.

For example, in one conversation Patrick McKenzie had with an exterminator about no-show appointments, the exterminator started cursing and yelling. People not being at their houses for appointments is such a big problem for this exterminator that he had to describe it by swearing and venting his frustrations. When Patrick had this conversation, he knew that there was tons of value and potential for his Appointment Reminder product.

If a pain, problem, or need for a vitamin affects people, their businesses, or their jobs extremely, you’ll be able to tell through these obvious indications:

Extreme problems cause your prospects to lose a significant amount of money. They may also prevent them from making more money.

Severe problems make people’s jobs so difficult that they cause them to dislike their profession and stop their business operations.

Extreme problems may cause wasted and unproductive working hours. These may also cause employee demotivation - the business may have trouble motivating its employees at a large scale to work harder and contribute more to the company.

A good general rule for spotting severe problems: they directly or indirectly cause people to lose a decent amount of money monthly or they prevent people from increasing the amount of money they make monthly. A corollary to this rule: if a problem causes a person to lose large amounts of time (several hours per week), it is a severe problem because it is causing them to lose money.

People will pay for “vitamin” products that a) help enhance something that’s good for their businesses or b) help decrease something that’s bad for their businesses. As we’ve discussed earlier, know what is important to your ideal customers and what desires they have for their businesses so you can determine if a “vitamin” idea is good.

Once you identify what’s important to your ideal customers, figure out if they’ll pay for a vitamin that enhances this by focusing on how they describe their desires. If they describe it with passion and emotion, this is a good sign that they can use a vitamin for the thing they’re describing.

For instance, if e-commerce site owners passionately say that they desire to have more repeat-customers to increase their business growth, then a very good opportunity for a vitamin would be a product that helps increase the number of e-commerce sites’ repeat-customers.

Chapter Summary:

  • Only look to build products that solve severe pains or provide lots of value to people in the form of “vitamins”.
  • To determine if a problem is extreme, keep track of your potential customers’ emotions when describing the problem.
  • To determine if a vitamin will provide lots of value to customers, pay attention to how they describe the business-related factor that your “vitamin” product will enhance or decrease.
  • Good vitamins will affect things in people’s lives that they are passionate about. They will also significantly affect your ideal customers’ businesses and lives.
  • If a problem or lack of a vitamin causes someone to lose a large amount of money or prevents someone from making more money predictably and consistently, this is a sign that the problem or need for a vitamin is huge.

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