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Technology Companies need to tune to WSIC

By Patrick Malone, CSE

Your new product launch is well underway and all the BETA testers love the product. The initial surge in revenue was nice but sustaining that momentum and achieving the real revenue potential across the broader marketplace is proving challenging. You might want to try a new radio station - WSIC

Your initial customers bought the product virtually unassisted. All they really needed was to understand the features of your new offering and they could translate those into their potential benefits. They are the risk-takers, the early adapters and have the need to be first. Unfortunately, their early positive reactions have caused many product launches to fail.

The real revenue potential is in the broader market and your potential customers in that space are not as adept at translating your features and functions into benefits. They are not risk-takers. In addition they do not want to be sold. But they need your help in deciding whether or not to buy.

And by the way, they don’t want to educate you about their company. But they do expect you to have done your homework.

This broader marketplace is listening to WSIC – “Why Should I Care?”

Unfortunately, many of us get so excited about our new product launch and our initial success that we end up trying to tell this market every benefit we can offer. Guess what? They don’t care and your laundry list of benefits doesn’t tell them why they should care. The answer to WSIC is that one benefit that is important to them.

Consider the following example. Assume your new product is a medical laser that is twice as expensive as your competitors but has features and advantages that produce the following benefits not currently available in competitive lasers:

If you are calling on a multiple physician practice that specializes in this procedure and does more than 50 a month, their WSIC may be the reduction in procedure time and follow up appointments. So after the cursory introductions your best way to open the interaction with them could be:

“I’m calling today because we have been able to help specialty practices like yours reduce your XYZ procedure time and eliminate the need for extensive follow up visits. I'd like to explain how our new laser produces those results and then you can determine if this would be of value to your practice.”

Another part of your broader marketplace may be a multiple physician general practice that only does 4-6 procedures a month, so the simplicity of use may answer their WSIC and that opening could be:

“I’m calling because we have really simplified the XYZ procedure for practices that perform it on an occasional basis. I’d like to show you our new laser and explain how we have helped practices similar to yours so you can decide if we might help you and your practice.”

Also, part of that broader marketplace is a single physician practice in a small town that has never done the procedure but does see 1-2 potential cases a month, so less patient discomfort, ease of use and/or the financing option could be their WSIC. That opening might be:

"I’m calling because I know your primary concerns with the XYZ procedure is your patient comfort and ease of use. I’d like to explain how our new laser can give you both of those benefits and still be an affordable investment for your practice. Then you can make a well informed decision if it should be part of your practice."

So, the first key to identifying your value to your broader marketplace is being more interested in them rather than trying to be interesting to them. Your potential customers in the broad market want to do business with people who are interested in helping them be more successful.

If you want to prove this point to yourself try this little experiment. The next time you are in a social setting with strangers try introducing yourself to one group by telling them all about yourself. Then find another group of strangers and introduce yourself by asking them about themselves. Which group is more likely to invite you back?

While your new product may offer multiple benefits, only one or two will be important enough to your potential customers to answer their WSIC. Identifying that benefit and confidently stating it up front will get their attention.

Secondly, you will be viewed as helping them reach a well-informed committed decision about whether or not to buy when you acknowledge up front that they are the decision maker.

Changing your station to WSIC will not make a bad product successful but it will help a good product reach your potential customers and the broader marketplace quicker and much more efficiently. Try it for yourself and then you decide if it helps.

Patrick Malone is a Senior Partner at The PAR Group, an international training and consulting firm in Atlanta, GA and the co-author of Cracking the Code to Leadership. He may be reached at Patrick.malone@thepargroup.com

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