You’re Always a Replacement for Something

A simple, yet profound question from Jason Fried at 37 Signals:

What are people going to stop doing once they start using your product?

What does your product replace? What are they switching from? How did they do the job before your product came along?

Habit, momentum, familiarity, anxiety of the unknown – these are incredibly hard bonds to break. When you try to sell someone something, you have to overcome those bonds. You have to break the grip of that gravity.

So, when you’re thinking about your product, think about what it replaces, not just what it offers. What are you asking people to leave behind when they move forward with you? How hard will that be for them? How can you help them overcome everything that’s tugging them in the opposite direction?

When you are selling services, stop focusing on the “benefits” you offer for a moment and think seriously about the changes you’re asking your clients to make in their day-to-day routines.  If they’re moving to you from another competing service provider, contemplate the difficult conversation they’ll have firing your predecessor.

By focusing on Jason’s question, you’ll have a far better understanding of your clients’ real “cost” of hiring you, and be better prepared to address those concerns as you ease their pains of change.


One Response to You’re Always a Replacement for Something
  1. Steve Pearson
    February 10, 2013 | 10:17 pm

    Looking at your product or service from the point of view of the client is always a great idea.

    Another thing I like to brainstorm is, “What does my prospect need to believe in order to decide to purchase my service?” After that I work on leading them from belief to belief down the path to my solution.

    Jason’s question is a good one that I never thought about.


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