What’s the difference between a product or service for sale, and a solution to an identified problem that costs a few dollars?
The answer is, subjective value. “The idea that an object’s value is not inherent, and is instead worth more to different people based on how much they desire or need the object. The Subjective Theory of Value places value on how scarce and useful an item is rather than basing the value of the object on how many resources and man hours went into creating it.”
The item for sale could be the epitome of their class in design and function, while the item as solution is mediocre at best. In fact they could be the exact same item built by different developers, one built to excellence and one built mediocre, but if any person places higher value on the mediocre item because he or she considers it as a need versus just a product then the mediocre exceeds the excellent for that person. That person becomes willing to invest their money into what they perceive a solution as opposed to giving their money away for an item they judge may or may not prove useful.
an object’s value is not inherent, and is instead worth more to different people based on how much they desire or need the object
Getting many persons to see the item as a need then is the objective of any successful marketing strategy since the item represented effectively increases in value and demand for every one of those persons persuaded. Of course excellence has its place in customer satisfaction and retention, but the initial strategy of marketing is to just get customers to buy at least once. Make the connection from item to solution for them instead of passively waiting for them to arrive at that conclusion.
That person becomes willing to invest their money into what they perceive a solution as opposed to giving their money away for an item they judge may or may not prove useful.
So how does one persuade others to see an item as a need?
1. Identify the need that the item addresses.
You are looking for a need that is broad in scope and relevance. It has to be something that a target audience can identify with quickly. Current social trends and issues always carry a large following as do most topics of controversy. The need does not have to directly be any social issue or topic of controversy, but it should be connected. An affect or consequence of the issue or topic is often a successful connection builder.
The goal is to establish that need in the eyes of the target audience where they see it and agree that it is indeed a need. Summing that connection into a five second observation is very affective in the typical attention span granted by most consumers.
“These are uncertain, scary times. People are losing their jobs, and being homeless is becoming a larger reality. Many of us don’t know what we’d do if we lost our main source of income.”
The identified need is certainty and security in these uncertain and scary times.
2. Demonstrate how the item is the solution.
First, what would be the solution apart from the item? In the above example solutions would revolve around finances. They could include refinancing the businesses, borrowing money, liquidating assets, increasing available credit limits, start a new or second business, supplement the current income – just to name a few.
Second, what solution lines up with the item? A financial advisor, a lending service, and a pawn broker would each line up with a different solution. The financial advisor would accentuate their area of expertise and likely promote refinancing and credit limits. A lending service might promote borrowing, while the pawn broker promotes liquidating assets. Our own experiences with the eFranchise opportunities promotes building that new business, or expanding an existing business, in a working partnership with us that develops on-line distribution.
Third, combine the need with the item. This is the elevator speech:
“These are uncertain, scary times. People are losing their jobs, and being homeless is becoming a larger reality. Many of us don’t know what we’d do if we lost our main source of income. At UserTutor Corporation we’re ready to partner with you in building an on-line distribution network of your idea for a product, or your actual on hand product line. Maybe you’re a garage sale enthusiast, or you build your own unique items, it’s all viable and we would be pleased to review your concept. If we partner, we’re in it together. We’ll provide technical resources and support, and business consultation while you focus entirely on building your inventory. You begin with us for zero down, and we only get paid from your sales because we’re invested in your success.
Together let’s build something you would leave your current job for, instead of you scrambling for anything if the job was suddenly gone.”
3. Tell, tell, tell.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t because no one is around to hear it. You have your item tied to the need – get it out there everywhere. Let people hear it.
Of course excellence has its place in customer satisfaction and retention
One last but crucial point, having that excellent product is, in our estimate, a necessity. Having people buy the product is part of being in business but we believe loyalty and respect towards clients is every bit as much a necessity. Getting customers and retaining customers are two sides of the same coin for serious entrepreneurs.
Commit to excellence, then tell, tell, tell.