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Part Two: How To Get Product Validation And Commitment



Part Two: How To Get Product Validation And Commitment

If you haven’t read Part One, you need to do that before reading Part two. Part one is about how you interview people to determine if the problem you believe you are solving is really a problem people want and are willing to pay you to solve it.

So, now that you have nailed down the problem, spent time diagnosing the problem, and have an insightful product solution, it’s time to see what your potential customers think of your solution.

This second phase of questing is to validate your solution or product. It’s time to talk to people again (the same or others) to see if they agree with your solution and are willing to give you some commitment.

You will also have taken a preliminary look at your business model as part of your overall vision. You should layout the business model canvas to visually see the entire business and make changes and decisions as you develop more knowledge.

Introduce product

Now you are going to show them your product. So you are fighting the same problem as before of getting false information or compliments rather than facts. But the good news is you now have a product idea, and you can and must ask for some commitment.

At this point, your product or service can be a drawing, a slide show, a prototype, an animated whiteboard, or anything that will illustrate the product. You do not need a full-blown minimally viable product (MVP) at this time.

You will talk to people, and if they are a serious prospect — meaning you are getting real facts, not just opinions — you can go home and modify your product. Then talk to the next prospect. When your information starts to repeat, you can make that MVP.

Remember, if you are not embarrassed with your first product, you waited too long. This process should not have a firm milestone date as you will be modifying the product and your business model basically after each interview until the information repeats.

You need a commitment if you want real facts

By commitment, we mean are they showing they’re serious by giving up something they value — their time, money, or reputation.

  • time (maybe a longer meeting with everyone to explain the product in-depth),

  • reputation (referring you to someone else you should talk or

  • money (some step that gest them closer to purchasing)

 Note; if the person remains friendly, but you realize they are not going to buy, they can give you lots of wrong signals. That’s why getting some commitment is necessary, so you have facts, not opinions.

Meetings either succeed or fail.

There is no such thing as a meeting that went well. At this point, meetings either succeed or fail. You have lost when you leave the meeting with a compliment or stalling tactic (e.g., let’s talk again after the holidays)

A meeting succeeds when it ends with a commitment to advance to the next step.  Rejection is also real information. One opinion is not going to derail the company. You have to look at it as good news. Maybe your product won’t sell. If so, you have saved a lot of time and money. Not asking is a real failure. Commitment shows they care. The more they are willing to give up, the more seriously you can take what they’re saying.

Following  are some examples of good and bad meetings:

“Looks great. Let me know when it launches”. (bad meeting)

“There are a couple of people I can introduce you to when you are ready” (so so meeting)

“What are the next steps” (good meeting)

“I would definitely buy that” (bad meeting)

Conclusion

Remember, You will not know if your product or service could be a winner until you’ve given them a chance to reject you. Then you will know you have real facts on which to build your business. Also, keep having meetings until you stop hearing new stuff.


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