What it really takes to succeed may not be what you think!
- Would you like to know the EXACT strategy that gives you MORE TIME for product development, and less time on marketing?
- How about delivering such incredible experiences to your customers, that your business begins to market itself?
This week’s expert Landon Ray has done just that, and he is going to show you how…
BVB: Landon, what’s working for you in business these days?
Landon: Focusing on consumption is working for me.
Most entrepreneurs are focused on selling their thing, and that’s good. Too many entrepreneurs get tripped up spending all their time getting ready to sell, and that’s a huge block that needs to be overcome. So, focusing on selling is good.
But, many entrepreneurs stop there and spend all their time and energy selling. In this category I put all marketing, advertising, traffic generation, sales efforts, etc.
Landon: If you’re passionate about your message/product/service, you really want more than just a sale. You want folks to actually get THE BENEFIT of your thing! You want your customer’s life to be better because of the purchase they made from you. You don’t want your advice/service/product to be sitting on the shelf collecting dust.
This sounds obvious, but many entrepreneurs leave the actual ‘consumption’ of their products/services to chance. After all, it’s up to the client to do their part, yes?
I say no; It’s up to you to ensure that your clients are actually getting the value they hoped for when they bought from you.
BVB: What are some of the reasons this is working now?
Landon: Let’s look at the benefits of focusing on consumption:
1. Focusing on consumption helps you achieve product/market fit.
My own experience bears this out. Finding the magical confluence between a market’s needs and your ability to fill them is HARD and it takes TIME. At OfficeAutopilot, we released two different serious products (both flops), and made some significant tweaks to the third, over the space of four years before we figured out the magic combination. It was a painful time, but having succeeded makes all the difference. We’re now a 40-person company that’s profitable and growing like crazy.
Out of that work, we discovered the details about what our clients love, hate, need, don’t need, are willing to pay for, or not. Had we focused on selling and left implementation to chance, we would have had a lot of unhappy customers and a product that misses the mark.
2. Consumers are repeat buyers.
Also, if a buyer doesn’t use what they buy, they’re not going to be buying more. This goes for everything from toothpaste to business advice. Even a magazine subscription that goes unread will get cancelled soon enough.
Now, I can hear some of you already disagreeing… “what about gym memberships? We all know that no one uses them, but look how many people keep paying for it month after month!”
To that I say:
3. Control your destiny.
If a gym is charging 100 credit cards each month and only 5 of those people are coming in and working out, I suggest that they have a serious problem. They are NOT delivering the promised benefit, and because of that, 95% of their revenue is AT STAKE. Those people are going to cancel, sooner or later. The entire business is built on a cracked foundation when there isn’t a fair exchange of value.
4. Consumers talk.
If you’re not delivering real, measurable value, you’re toast no matter how big you are.
5. Non-consumption is a bad experience.
Buying something and not using it stinks. Every time you think about the pile of unread newspapers piling up in the garage, or subscription service you pay for but don’t use… you cringe a little, right? And when you cringe, you’re not blaming yourself. However quietly, you’re saying to yourself, “God I hate Nordic Track”.
For sure, you’re not telling your friends how great this unused thing is. Given that word of mouth is the best thing ever for a business, this is a bad situation.
BVB: So what are some specific results you are seeing from this focus?
Landon: In our case, OfficeAutopilot went from having maybe $10k a month in revenue and three employees to 40+ employees and multi-million dollar revenue… with ZERO dollars spent on marketing.
How? Because we focused on making sure we were delivering real value, getting our clients to actually use the products. When they did, they loved it and told their friends.
There is nothing better than word-of-mouth for a small business. If you’re not getting great referrals regularly from your clients, something is wrong.
BVB: So what are the how to steps of this Landon?
1. Spend the extra time it takes to hand-hold a bunch of early clients all the way through the process of buying, using, and getting the benefit from your business. Use this as a learning experience. Be looking for ways to improve everything about what you do.
2. NEVER blame your customer!
Telling yourself that ‘people are lazy’ and that ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink’ is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You have to make the damn horse drink. Put Tang in it, spoon-feed it to them, do an interpretive dance… whatever it takes. If they’re not drinking, you’re not doing your job.
The truth is, business is hard. Solving the usage problem is hard sometimes. Getting your clients to follow your advice is hard. But solving these problems is why you’ll have a successful business. That’s what you’ll get paid for.
3. Look for unique ways to encourage consumption.
Creativity can breed new business opportunities. At OfficeAutopilot, we realized that leaving implementation in the hands of our clients was not good enough. We tried making fancy multi-step email trainings. We tried calling them and hassling them to get stuff done. We tried in-app wizards. We tried doing it for them. We did a lot of stuff wrong.
Now, we’re getting a lot better. We have a set of training videos that are well-done and hilarious. That they’re funny has made a HUGE difference.. people actually watch them now and actually learn how our software works. See what I mean here.
We didn’t set out to create a services business… we’re a software company! But, in order to get our clients actually using our service, we discovered they needed more help than just training videos. So, we created and launched two whole new teams inside our business: ProServices, which helps clients get implemented very inexpensively with templated business and marketing processes, and just recently we launched OfficeAutopilot Concierge, which is like your own personal OfficeAutopilot-trained VA who will do just about whatever you ask at an hourly rate.
These mini-businesses are not money-makers today, but they may be in the future. What’s more important, though, is that our retention and usage has shot through the roof.
Always ask yourself what extraordinary steps could you take to absolutely ensure that your clients are getting massive value from doing business with you…
BVB: Thanks Landon, this is powerful stuff!
Tribe, do you feel inspired by this incredible value?
If so, please share it with your friends!
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