In the year 2010, Apple Inc, released a product. “This product is doomed to fail”, said a lot of the experts. After all the type of product had been introduced time and time again, and had never ever succeeded. That product was a tablet device, which we now know as an iPad.
And yet the iPad sold 3 million devices in under 80 days
And by the end of the year, it was gloating with sales of almost 15 million devices (that’s more than all the other tablet PCs combined). So a rank “outsider product” beat all the doom and gloom to become the darling of the nanas, papas and tech-geeks worldwide.
Fair enough. But Apple is Apple. How can you create the same intensity when you’re just starting up a business or just launching a new product or service?
The key factor lies in creating credibility
No one wants to work with some dopey product or service. They want someone who knows what they’re doing. And yet when you’re starting up (either a new project or new business) there’s always a dopey feeling.
You’re nervous, agitated even. And you’re not sure how to project that feeling of confidence that will in turn create a factor of credibility.
And yet credibility really depends on three solid pillars
1) Pillar No. 1: Portfolio.
2) Pillar No. 2: Information.
3) Pillar No. 3: Rules.
You know the portfolio part, don’t you?
If you’re going to sell anything, you need to be able to show and tell. And not be wimpy about your show and tell.
Have you ever seen how Apple sells their product?
They’re among the biggest, most well known brand in the world. And yet look at the trouble they take to describe their products in extreme detail. If you ever sashay across to an Apple product page, you could be reading about the benefits and features of a product well over two hours later.
They’re fanatical about their show and tell. And there’s a reason why.
When you show your portfolio, I need to feel your confidence
Sales is nothing but a transfer of confidence from one person to another. And when you explain minute details of a product/service, then I’m enthusiastic about your product and service.
But heck, what do most people do? They feel shy. Their mama told them not to boast. So instead of telling the product/service story in great detail, they get all coy and restrict the details to just a few lines.
When you go into detail, and often minute detail, you make the prospect salivate. They want to have the same experience, and so they read until they’ve read enough. Then they get in touch with you.
But portfolio isn’t always enough. Information is panting heavily behind.
So why is information so very critical?
Well let’s not forget you’re a bit green behind the ears. And being the new kid on the block means you may not have a track record or portfolio to show off. In which case, information—and this may be articles, video or audio—count a heck of a lot.
When a prospective client heads to your website, they’re checking you out in great detail. And this means they’re going to trundle across to your articles to take a little peek.
Of course they’re only going to take a peek, but two hours later they’re stuck. The information on your site is so darned compelling that they’ve lost track of time and are oohing and ahhing all over your insight.
And these doesn’t need to be an original insight…
In fact, it’s incredibly hard to write anything terribly original—and we all know that. But what’s captivating the prospective client is your tone and your perceptiveness. And hey, let’s not forget your enthusiasm.
Apple bounces around their website with enthusiasm—and information.
Don’t believe me—take a tour of the Apple site. And see how they have tons of very useful information. And if you’re in the mood to learn even more they have online seminars and training. When you empower the customer, they feel an uncontrollable urge to get to track you down so you can solve their problem. And this is because it’s so obvious (from the information itself) that you’re a pro at what you do.
So of course when they do call, or get in touch, you’ll need to have some rules.
Rules? Why do rules matter?
Rules are simply another show of confidence. Beginners bend over like crazy. It’s not hard to see why. When you’re launching a new product or service, the only focus is on making some money.
That’s the goal, the goal and the only goal. Ego doesn’t come in the way. You’re keen to do whatever you can, as long as you get the job—no matter what the conditions.
And yet conditions matter
You need to get paid. You need to do business on your terms. Because if you don’t do business on your terms, you’re just scrambling all over the place trying to please everyone.
And that won’t do at all. Having conditions not only show the prospective client that you’re a professional, but also radiates a sunburst of confidence.
And in case you’re wondering, Apple makes these rules all the time.
The iPad will fail, they said. You can’t have a device without a camera, they said. It won’t fit into your pocket, they said. It’s too expensive, they said. And no one really needs an iPad, they said. Apple went ahead and did what they thought was important anyway. They made their own rules. And as you know, they succeed wildly.
But can a product succeed without testimonials and proof?
Yes testimonials help, but new products and services don’t always have the luxury of testimonials. What they can do is give you solid information; give solid detail of the benefits of the product and service—and they can set rules.
The cynics will scoff, of course
They’ll tell you that products and services fail for a ton of reasons. And they’re not wrong. But you have no time for cynics. You need all the time you have to get your portfolio, your information and your rules going.
That way you can have the last laugh. Just as Apple does every day!
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