Is Your Product Or Service Any Good?


questions on products
by Valerie Everett under CC BY-SA  with

You know how it is when you really want something. Your stomach can knot up inside. You start to take shorter breaths (or no breaths at all!). You maybe break out into a sweat as the moment of truth approaches.

You start to think about what would happen if it all went disastrously wrong. You worry if your extreme nervousness will show. Your mouth starts to dry. Your reptilian brain kicks in and your emotions rise faster and faster to the surface. If you get a brief respite from the frenzy, your neo-brain kicks in and you start to question the logic of the decision you made that brought you to this spot.

It all just gets terrifying and a little confusing.

There’s a reason for all this and luckily it is easy to fix. You just need a little bit of ‘reductio absurdium’ as Harry Potter might say.

Recently I had to make a decision that for me, had all the above ingredients. It was a decision with the possibility of losing my income, and therefore the ability to keep my son at the school he loves, lose the house that both myself and my wife love and lose my Audi A4 (lol, well I was not that bothered about the car).

It took many months to overcome, but I eventually did. And I did it by going through all the worst possible outcomes. One by one, starting with my son’s schooling.

He is in his last year before the sixth form, so a very important year for him. Would I send him to another school to finish off everything? No I don’t think so (unless he wanted to). So I looked at how we could do this at home. It turns out to be no problem at all (and actually, on a one to one basis of teaching he would probably learn considerably more). Who would teach him? My wife plus himself.

So where would we live? We would rent. Where? Wherever. Does it really matter where you live?

And work? Again, wherever. There is always work if you want it badly enough. Like many things in life, all you need is a very strong reason. A very strong ‘why’.

To really reduce everything to the absurd we need to go a lot further. If your problem seems insurmountable, then you need to go the whole way! Here’s an example:

After years of trying, you finally get to see the buyer from a large retailer. They have 400 outlets, and if they like what you have to sell, your whole company is transformed in a single moment. If they don’t you will probably go to the wall.

Everything hinges on just one person’s decision. The meeting draws near and you get into the state I described at the beginning of this article. What to do? Here’s some thoughts:

Is your product good enough? Research all possible objections. Ask people you trust to be honest with you. Ask anyone you know if they would invest in you AND your product. Take a look at any relevant online forums and see what people are saying about the problems products in your niche are meant to solve. In short, become an expert in your field (it is not hard, it just takes work and time). You need to know everything that is CURRENTLY in the mindset of your target audience.

Does the above make you feel better about your product? Can you push all objections to one side with authority?

Now, here’s the thing. If you can’t do this, well, you have a good chance of failing with your pitch. So why on earth are you worrying at all? You have discovered the cold hard truth that your product is not up to scratch. Why fool yourself that you were ever going to get the deal at all?

What we are doing with this exercise is lowering YOUR expectations (obviously if you did the above and know your product is the best there is for whatever reason you wont be reading this).

If you want success, know your audience, know your product, know your competition. It’s the same old, same old, but always always true. You can absolutely guarantee that the person you are going to pitch to will not have anywhere near the knowledge you have, and that will give you the confidence to close the deal.

About the author 

Quentin Pain

Quentin Pain started his first business, a courier company aged 23. He sold it 4 years later and used the profits to start a recording studio. A couple of albums later, he started two software companies, the last one being Accountz, which he grew from zero to 36,000 customers and retired from in January 2013. He is a director of ProofMEDIA, a specialist digital consulting business. He's also a published author (including a Dummies title), and has won many awards including the IAB Small Business Mentor of the Year. Copywriting is his speciality and he runs 3 groups on Facebook under the Science of Copywriting brand, which combined has well over 180,000 members. Quentin is also Founder of the International Copywriters Association and former SEO Lead for Circle Health Group, the UK's largest private hospital group.

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