A Guaranteed Way to Capture
the Attention of Prospects

You will capture the attention of your customers when you enter the conversation already taking place inside their heads.

One of the greatest mistakes companies make is developing products based on a "great idea." My friend and fellow consultant Rob Olic used to be Marketing Director for small business development at the prestigious Wharton School in Pennsylvania.

Every week he had entrepreneurs coming into his office, telling him "Man, my company developed this exciting new product that’s so good, it sells itself. I’ve got a warehouse full of these things, can you help me get rid of them?"

Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Even well executed great ideas are on every street corner, but that doesn’t mean they’re successful in the marketplace. Winning products and marketing messages talk to people about things they’re already wanting and thinking about. They address irritations that have been lurking under the surface. They solve problems that people have been laying awake at night wondering about and worrying about.

Several years ago I was working with a company whose "great idea" was scheduled delivery of household consumer products. The idea was that just when you were about to run out of something like taco shells or Kleenex or vitamins or peanut butter, the service would replenish your supply automatically. All you had to do was decide on a delivery schedule and you’d never have to think about those items again. It was a great idea because it was convenient for customers and it was an automatic revenue stream for the company.

This looked very promising, but nobody was losing sleep because they might run out of toilet paper or shaving cream. Nobody was really thinking about this at all. It was a great idea from a salesman’s point of view but not from the customer’s point of view.

It was a flop. I, and a lot of other people, lost money in that business. Why did it fail? Because that business did not enter the conversation that was already going on in customer’s heads. It didn’t harmonize with what they were already thinking about.

A very practical example of this is marketing on the Internet. Search engines are a very, very powerful way to obtain new customers, and they’re practically free. They’ve brought me a thousand of customers over the years. If someone types in a specific phrase in a search engine and your product comes up in the first few entries, it’s free advertising. I’ve gotten boatloads of quality sales leads just exactly this way.

But as we all know, it’s not as simple as just throwing some information on a website and waiting for the orders to start coming in. There has to be a precise match between the words your customer is typing in, and the content on your website. It’s a very strategic process and it requires that you know exactly what your customers are already looking for. That phrase that they type in Yahoo! or Google is part of the conversation inside their head. Tap into that conversation and your product will sell.

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