THE BLOG

Positioning: What Will Keep People Up TOMORROW Night?

04/10/2013 07:48 am 07:48:52 | Updated Jun 10, 2013

We have some serious bragging rights among the many species of the world. We made fire. But why did we make fire? Was it so we could read before bed? Or were we all born inherent pyromaniacs?

My bet is that we were cold, or maybe we were seriously afraid of the dark. Regardless, it isn't the fact that we made something like fire that makes humanity so inspiring. It's that we did so to improve our lives - to fill a gap.

When it comes to positioning your offer, there are two key dynamics at play. One is the offer itself, and the other (arguably more important) is the alignment of that offer to a market need. In demonstrating your ability to fill a gap, you become far more relevant and easy for your audience to support. To have any chance in today's market, you first and foremost must know the pain points of your potential customers. What is keeping them up at night? What are they worried about next?

These days, though, it takes more than addressing a current need. Don't just be a band aid and render yourself disposable after a single use! You must help those who you want to buy into your offer to see their problem as only being exacerbated by time. The recent belief is that to truly excel, you must identify future gaps in the market and proactively cover them today. Even Daniel Pink discusses it in his most recent To Sell is Human - problem finding is more persuasive than problem solving in selling the value of your offer.

Do your homework to figure out a way to make people's lives simpler and better, and then align your offer to that predicted problem space. Be the hero before people knew they needed one, and then position your offer today to solve the problems of tomorrow.

Once you watch the video, I have some questions for you to answer. This time, though, you are going to have to do some real-world research before you attempt to answer them. Who knows, maybe you can trump the creation of fire. Or the wheel. Or sliced bread.

I want you to setup 3 "coffees" with known buyers for your offer and let them talk. Seriously, shut up and let them talk. Ask them:
• What is on their mind?
• What keeps them up at night?
• What the major challenges that they really need to address?
• What would it be worth to them if you had a solution to one or more of those problems?

Then I want you to log onto any of the trend tracker sites which track keywords on web based searches and look into some of the words association with the problem your offer solves and with the offer itself. See if this is gaining in momentum according to people's online behavior.

Now, sit down and answer these questions in your journal:
• What problem does your offer solve?
• How does it do this?
• Can you prove it? Do you have any case studies?
• How is your solution better/different?

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Peter Sheahan on the topic of Making It Happen in Small Business, focused on turning those with the ideas into those with the influence. To see all of the posts in the series, click here.