The tension of your customers needs

It’s obvious what a small business wants, they want to increase sales, get attention, and grow the business. In reality, it’s at odds with what they need. They need to solve problems for customer, be generous, and show up in the right places for opportunity to happen. 

Focusing on wants, businesses tend to look for “low-hanging fruit.” Of course, as time goes by that low-hanging fruit has all been consumed and even the lowest fruit is high up there. Not having trained your business to get that fruit and you’ve ended a good run. 

Low-hanging fruit is looking at your existing customers and thinking about raising the price. It’s looking at existing business and thinking that you can recycle what worked for a different group. It’s not wanting to put the effort in to solve new problems. Or to be generous in understanding the issues someone faces. Or to even understand where they hang out.

My most recent position has been marketing and selling engineering software and 3D Printers. No one wants what we sell. They need it. Why do they need it?

  • They have to turn around projects faster than their customers.
  • They burn through money quick when mistakes are made.
  • They do highly complex, highly technical work and they need tools that can predict physical behavior.

Make no mistake, they want to go on vacation, to get a raise, to be recognized for their work, but needs are how those things are actually accomplished. 

The tension between wants and needs is what creates opportunity. A business owner says, “I want to go on vacation, but I can’t find the time.” is a strong opportunity for someone who has a solution to the top 3 time sucking tasks the owner has. All of a sudden he’s not paying for software, he’s paying for being able to take vacations.

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