The most important thing I learned in regard to my online business today is that you should define your business by the people you serve, not by the product you make. You see, the point is, it’s all about your visitor or customer. You must be prepared to solve their problem and relieve their pain because that is why they are on your blog or website. They are looking for a solution to their problem.
I remember a post I read by a very famous internet guru that said, people don’t buy the drill because they want a drill, people buy a drill because they need to make a hole! I found out that statement actually came from Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt. While brilliant in its insight, it stops short in my opinion of the real reason people buy a drill! Nobody really wants a hole in their wall. What they really want is what the hole in the wall will lead to – you know, the end result. Maybe the end result is a shelf to give the purchaser more storage. Maybe it’s a picture hanging on the wall or a mount for that new flat screen TV! All I’m really saying is the hole is not the payoff. The hole is a means to an end!
The reason I bring this up is part of the reason I wrote this post. The hole is definitely part of the reason for buying the drill, but it’s not the desired end result, it’s not the whole reason. When you are adding a product to sell to your readers & customers, ask yourself if your solution is the entire reason why someone would be motivated to spend money on your product. If your customer really wants a hole, is the drill you’re offering the best tool for your customer to make the hole with! Or can you go a step beyond making a hole and provide the mount for the photo or for the TV?
We should always try to figure out the solution to the problem your customer has and try to provide as much of the solution as you can. Yes, you can provide the drill to make the hole, but why stop there? Provide unlimited value to your customer, tell them the best drill for their job which is helpful because there are thousands of drills out there and give them instructions on how to hang a mount with a link to the best mount for their particular job! Provide value to your readers and customers by taking the time to solve as much of their problem as you can! Provide as much free value as you can. Last but not least, teach everything you know!
Of course we could take the drill/hole theory to many levels and directions but I believe it’s still a valid place to start the thought process of what you customer really wants. No matter what the customer wants the end result to be, if they need to start with a hole, the point is still a valid one. Solve the problem by supplying the best possible means to the end result. Be a part of the solution even if you aren’t the entire solution, be a means to a desired end.