"What Comes First? Your Products or Your Clients?"
10th September 2010
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You all know the conundrum of the chicken and the egg, don’t you?  


The chicken comes first because what lays the egg?  But if chickens hatch from eggs, the egg has to be there first.


And it’s the same dilemma for small business owners when deciding to create to products.


If you haven’t got any products to offer, then what’s the point of going out to get new clients?  When you do find clients, you haven’t got anything for them to spend their money on.


But if you spend your time on creating the products first, the chances are you create something that your clients just don’t want.


And this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating products to sell.


Do you know the life coach who decides they have got a work/life balance programme bursting to get out. They spend weeks writing the course content, designing the workbook, choosing colours for their flyers … only to find that no one is interested and they can’t get anyone to buy a ticket?


What about the hypnotherapist who decides to get clever with their time and produces a box set of CDs for parents who feel stressed … only to discover that most parents just don’t have the time or the patience to play the CD on a stereo, sit down and listen to the 90 minute recorded sessions.


Or have you met the photographer who decided to create a package for the wedding market, spent many weekends deciding on the price structure, what to include and researching photo albums ... only to be left standing alone at their stand at the wedding fairs with piles of leaflets that no-one was interested in?


So what does come first?  The product or the client?  


Like the chicken and the egg conundrum, there is no one or the other answer. You have to both to create a product that sells.


Before you even begin to map out a workshop programme, write chapters of a book or create an online self-study course, you’ve got to do your market research.


You’ve got to get out there and talk to your target clients.


You’ve got to spend time with them, find out about their pains and their problems. 


You’ve got to doing surveys, joining in on online forums and hanging out at the right events.


You’ve got to know exactly what is going to trigger them in to action, to make them jump up and track you down so they can buy the solution you have to offer.


Don’t assume.  Don’t second guess.  Don’t think “Oh, I am my target client and I know I would want this”.


Your target clients need to be involved in the product creation process.  You need their feedback on the "prototypes".  You need to be testing responses to price points and packaging. 


Because if you don't get your clients part of your product creation process, you will end up with a beautifully designed product – that will no doubt be something you would be very proud off - that doesn’t solve a problem of the very clients you want to work with.


And that won’t make you sales!


"  Karen Skidmore helps small business owners work smarter and use the right marketing tools so they can attract more of the right clients to their business. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice and marketing ideas that will move your business forward, visit www.CanDoCanBe.com"  

About the Author

Nick T

Member since: 10th July 2012

I launched The Best of Richmond in 2005 and am passionate about supporting all things local. In particular, we work hard to showcase the best local businesses who give the borough its character and make...

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