February 26, 2020

Are you keen to get it right and validate your new business idea or direction before you spend a ton of money and energy into making it a success? Well at least you’re smart but market research is a minefield and mistakes can give you a big headache and waste precious time. 

In this episode we cover:-

  • How to successfully validate your idea or new direction without spending a ton of time, effort and money.
  • The biggest mistakes made in market research that lead you down the garden path.
  • When your eagerness to get it right goes wrong and actually holds you back from success.

Useful Links:-

Book a Call with Jen  – bit.ly/claritycallpodcast

Send your emails to jen@jen-hall.com

Read Full Transcript

Please note this transcript is machine generated so it is not perfect and should be used for reference only, you will get the best from the podcast by listening to it in it's designed format.

Are you trying to be smart and do your due diligence around market research and making sure that your business ideas are going to be a hit? Well, in this episode I'm going to be going through all of the mistakes and the successes of market research.

Hello, welcome to this episode of The Expert Unrivalled Podcast. I'm Jen Hall, your business positioning coach and market leadership expert. And today we are talking all about market research. Now before we get stuck in, I wanted to read out a recent testimonial from one of my amazing clients Sharmini Gillani who is fantastic. She is also a clarity expert and she calls herself a messaging maven. Now Sharmini is brilliant. She is what I call my real ideal, ideal client. She is somebody who is two takes action, who has bags of energy and passion for what she does. And she came to me because she wanted help with her own messaging because whilst we can all be geniuses in our own right when it comes to helping our own clients, when it comes to our own stuff, I think we all know this age old saying of we are never as good as we are for our own clients.

Probably not exactly a Chinese proverb. However, that's where she was and she wanted to elevate his, her position within the market and I just wanted to read you out this amazing testimonial that she wrote me discovering Jen has been by far one of the best discoveries I have made in my business. It has radically changed the trajectory of my future and my positioning in the marketplace, is so much more powerful than ever before. Not only that, but since working with Jen, I started converting dream clients with ease who didn't question my value. I had the confidence to double my fees and sold at the higher price point without question. I feel like the queen of my own niche and I'm about to approach one year in my business and about to hit six figures eminently which she has done, which is just fantastic. Sharmini his expertise really lies in helping spiritual entrepreneurs to align with their life's work, their life's passion and their niche.

Because she helps so many people who are feeling out of alignment with who they are trying to help. They don't have the clarity on their life's work, their life's mission. And she's able to cut right to the heart of what that is and give you the words to articulate it, which is just fantastic. So huge shout out to Sharmini. I just wanted to really sort of praise her for the work that she's doing and the people who she's helping to find that alignment and clarity. And if you are somebody who has that same ambition and passion to help your clients and you are looking to elevate your position within the market to market leader level and to really raise your game in charging higher prices and offering a higher level service, then do make sure that you book a call with me.

The link is in the show notes. It's bit.ly/claritycallpodcast. You can go there and book an appointment to speak to me and see how we might be able to work together to help you achieve that market leader positioning to help you to start becoming known for something that's truly desired by your market, that you are recognized and significant in the marketplace so that you can start dominating your market and getting those clients queuing up to work with you if that's what you're after there. Make sure you book a call with me in the show notes. So recently I've been chatting to potential prospect around working together and now this particular prospect is actually just starting out on her journey and she has all the ambition, has got all of the, the right things in order to get herself going in terms of her determination.

She's got all the right attributes. But she's also got people around her who are cautious for her as we all do. Whether you were in that position at the minutes or whether you started a business and you're well into it. We all know the types of people that can surround us who absolutely mean well. And that only saying these things because they are concerned about the success, but people get worried about whether the idea is going to be a hit quite brightly or you know, whether it's going to work out, whether it's going to produce money. Is it going to be, be a big waste of time? Is it going to be an expensive hobby? And obviously we have to take that into account. But obviously when we're trying to start our business up, sometimes it can feel like it's putting us backwards when we only want to move forward.

And so this particular prospect was saying that her other half wants her to do it a little bit more market research before she starts investing money into her business. Now, because of this conversation, I really wanted to do an episode around market research about some of the myths, and also show you how you can start doing market research properly. Obviously the more of an idea you have on whether you have a viable product or viable service, the better. And if you can come to me or any business coach with that information, it's going to take you a lot further. The more you've got, the further you go. It's simple mathematics, simple science, right? But what do you do when you're in that position? And even if you've been in business a while and you've perhaps wants to start launching a new idea or your looking to maybe pivot and you're wondering, how do I know that I'm heading in the right direction?

How do I know that this business idea is going to take off? And really one of the biggest mistakes that people make when looking at market research is that they actually start trying to lead with a problem that they think is important to their ideal client. And so it kind of puts words into the market's mouth. And so they are led into a kind of almost pushed into a corner to answer questions on something that really isn't a big deal to them. And so you end up with this response from people that is really doctored from the first point. And so it kind of fails before even really gets going. Now what someone says and what someone is willing to pay for are two very different things. Now I think you've seen this a lot and I've mentioned this a lot on the podcast actually, and I think it was in the last episode, the one before, where I mentioned around, you know, everybody would love a mansion if you were to say, would you like a mansion?

Most people, not everyone, most people would go, yes, absolutely. That sounds lovely. But actually in reality, you know, when it's put to them and they're slightly thinking about all the things that go with that and things like that, you know, it's like, well actually do I? And the same thing goes for, you know, problems that people have. You know, lots of people can suffer from the same problem, but not everybody's willing to do something about that problem. And we know this for instance, from even friends and family now this is a big mistake that I see people doing a lot. And that is kind of like throwing out a survey to their friends on Facebook in the hopes of getting some kind of validation of that ideas. And the problem with that is that your friends and family are probably not the ideal clients that you're looking for.

And they're also very different in perspectives. You end up getting, you know, I've done it before in the very beginning, at the beginnings of my entrepreneurial journey I did this and you end up getting this hodgepodge of different answers and from varying ends of the spectrum, some people absolutely trashing the idea. Some people like my mom going all, I think it's wonderful, dear well done. I would absolutely pay for this. No, you wouldn't, mom. The only reason you would pay for it is because I'm selling it, but anyone else trying to sell it, you probably wouldn't. And so it's really understanding who it is that is actually answering your market research questions. Don't go throwing things out onto Facebook if you don't have people fitting a particular criteria before they start answering because you have to have a starting point.

Sometimes the best way to test the market, it's just an attempt to sell it. Throw it out there, attempt to sell the damn thing, then you'll know whether it does or does it. Which is why I always say: don't put energy into creating something, putting together a huge package, writing a big course, even creating a product. Don't do that until you've validated it. And the only way you're going to get true validation is actually by getting somebody to buy it. Now, I've already mentioned this example before, but just to remind you of the February's example where they got it completely wrong. They did all their market research before they threw out there and they still got it wrong. They targeted the smelly houses with dogs and teenagers when actually they should have been targeting the house proud owners who wanted to make sure that they had that extra clean smell.

That's their real target market. That's who's going to buy the product because that's who's willing to spend money on it. The others are not. So even though they did the market research, they were targeting the wrong people with the market research. They led with a problem that they thought was going to be the one that stock when actually it wasn't the only way they were able to truly find out whether it was going to work or not. Yes, they market research could have been better, but they went ahead and attempt to sell it and found the act, you know, they were targeting the wrong people. And they had to stop pivoting. Otherwise they were going to go under. They did unfortunately. And now they have huge success of sales. But a lot of people stay in procrastination mode, on arming and over and over whether the idea is going to work or not.

And you know, you've got to, if you're really passionate about what you do, and really this is the thing, a lot of people get stuck in procrastination mode as well because they're unwilling to change things. And something I've said in during the challenge period was that you have to be willing to adjust and, and amend, adjust your sales and amend where you're going. Because if you're not, you're just flogging a dead horse and your, you're kind of running up against hitting a brick wall all of the time. You have to be willing to push things in a different direction if need be, make your tenacity and you'll stop and nurse for helping people don't it about the idea or the thing or the business name or the product that you've created. Because just because you spent a lot of time thinking about it, investing energy into it, even potentially investing money too into it.

If it's not wanted in the markets, then you're going to have to do something differently and there's no point. Keep running and hitting that brick wall because nothing's ever going to change. The more you stay in the segment of market research, market research, constantly, constantly, and you're still not getting the right answers back to validate your thing. You're just gonna end up standing still all the time. There comes a point where you just have to move forward and sometimes you can do the groundwork and I think it's a really smart move. You know, you don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't bother with market research. I'm saying absolutely do some digging, but sometimes you have to businesses also about going with your gut. And it's also about trial and error.

Fatal forward. Don't spend ages creating it, but absolutely presale, pre-sell it, put it out there, see if people will buy it. Let people know that they're going to be on a wait list and the deliverance isn't going to be straight away but they can get it at a slightly discounted rate or whatever. But test the market, do your groundwork, absolutely, but don't get stuck in this paralysis of trying to continually find the right answers. But I'm going to be talking about at few ways you can look at a starting point at least because otherwise you potentially are moving forward with with a dunce idea. So, let me help you out a little bit with that. If you really are doing market research and you really don't have a clue, look at what people are already paying for, look at what people are already buying.

That will give you some idea as to where people are prioritizing spending their money. At the end of the day there aren't any new ideas and it's likely that you're going to be selling something that somebody else is doing. Now, the biggest warning sign on that one is to make sure that the things that you're looking at are actually making money and people are actually paying for it. You want to see a few more than just Joe blogs down the road doing it. Who's telling everyone he's making a ton of money but actually behind closed doors he is not. So be very cautious about believing sales figures. Make sure that your sources are trusted and make sure that the research you're doing is solid. But looking at what people are already paying for is a great way to look at, okay, what's already being validated. And it kind of gives you that ballpark as to, okay, this is where people are spending their money.

How can I be different? How can I offer a similar solution? that's better or quicker, faster. Whatever you spend, you want to put on it that you put your own stamp on it. Because what I don't want you to do is go and go all they're sending that. So I'm going to set it to obviously make sure that you're qualified to do so. But you will say want to be making sure that you're finding your own category of one. But all that said, it's at least going to give you a starting point where you go, okay, people are paying for that. Right? That's kind of my arena as well. That's good news. Now I just need to look deeper into that arena to find my category of one and to really make sure that I niche and put my own flag in my own space.

That I'm not just copying what someone else is doing, that I am creating something for that market and for the problem that that market is experiencing. Focus on solving problems in business. If you do that, then you're always going to be heading in the right direction because people want problems solved. The bigger the problem, the more people are willing to spend. I think I'd just put out a t-shirt. Cause I seem to say that a lot. But rather than kind of leading with what you think is the problem, when you kind of get that ballpark figure, go and ask those people what are their priorities, what's important to them right now that would hopefully help you get a true answer. And talking about finding that ballpark. The quicker you can find out your who and get really specific on that person that really helps you to conduct your market research with with an error of security, knowing that you are asking the right people.

Because like I said, if you throw it out to your face, Facebook, friends and family, you're going to get a bunch of different answers. But if you can really narrow it down and speak to a specific individual and then you can really start to dig in. So you look at the criteria of that person, what is their situation that they are in that you can say, okay, you are the right kind of person to be answering my questions. So create that criteria first and foremost so that you know that you're getting the right people pull through to get those real true answers. And then it comes with yet another warning because even when you get those answers, you would say they'd have to look at, okay, so all these people ideal clients to work with because I could ask a bunch of business people to answer my market research questions, but then when I actually get to speak to them or look at we know who they are, they might not necessarily be if the right mindset of the person that I want to work with or they may not be at the right stage in business to need or want the product that I have.

And so you have to be very specific and very clear on who it is, even at that granular detail. Because if I listened to all of the answers, again, you'd get very sporadic view on whether this, this, this idea is valid or not. And also another way to look and get that ballpark arena is to look at, okay. Was I my ideal client? If you were, then you want the best market research tool out there. So many people start businesses like that. It's not for everybody. Everybody starts one, but so many people do. They realize that they would have paid anything if someone could have just helped them solve the thing that they've now finally gotten done. Cause obviously they, you can't still be struggling with the same thing and selling a solution because that's not within integrity.

Right? But if you were your ideal client, put yourself back in the shoes of where you used to be and use yourself as that starting point. Find more people like you who are in that position and dig into your market research for them in that way. And I would advise having actual conversations with people. So once you can dig into that, that strict criteria of who it is that you're asking, actually get on the phone with these people, have meetings with these people and really start to dig in and interview them. Because surveys are great, but they can give very lukewarm results. If you can actually get on the phone with somebody, you could have a real decent conversation and also get a gauge again for, okay, so let's put this into a real situation. Would you be somebody that my business would want to work with?

And I'll give you an example of this. For our adventure travel company ever track, just to kind of elevate the example a little bit. You know, there are people who get on the phone with us at ever track and their thoughts, they start saying words like, Oh, I'd love to go on a holiday. And even just that word, holiday is a buzzword for probably we're not the right company for you. We sell hardcore tracking adventures, not holidays. And if we're expecting a holiday, then off you go to first choice to the other travel providers are available. Even just that word, there we go. Okay. I don't trust what you're saying to me here because you're not definitely not the person that we want to be working with anyway. So you have the conversation, be polite, so and so forth, but you can scale it.

I'm not going to count this information exactly. I'm not going to hold it in much stead because they're not the right kind of fit. But these other people are and all of their answers a congruent. And I'm starting to see a similar thread following through. I definitely advise doing that. And as kind of finishing up this episode, I just really want to suggest to you that if you focus on solving big problems for serious buyers, and by that I mean people who are motivated to have these problems solved or who are motivated to achieve a goal and are willing to spend money. If you focus on those people and you focus on solving these big problems, you're going to be heading in a great direction in order to make sure that you're validating. And the only real true validation is when you finally ask people for money.

When you do that and people are buying it, you know that you're onto something and that you're absolutely on your way to a successful business journey. So there we have it, that there's my advice. Absolutely. Do market research, but don't procrastinate. Don't stay there forever. Push forward. If you truly believe that you're onto something and they go for it and to test it out and if it doesn't, then that's cool. That's fine. At least you have an answer. It doesn't mean you give up on that idea. It just means it needs a few tweaks and changes. You may need to go back to the drawing board a little be like: okay, so what am I offering? What am I solving and who am I doing that for? If you can have a look at those things and adjust the sales slightly, you'll find that you'll probably have better success.

But don't try and get it right first time. It's not going to happen. You've got to fail forward. So there we have it. There is the episode. I really hope you've enjoyed it. Again, if you would like to speak to me to get more clarity around who it is, just speaking to that big problem that you're solving and how you can start moving forward in a really positive direction in your business to elevate your position within the markets and market leader level to start seeing traction where people start knowing you for something specific that is desired and wanted within the market that you could start writing that book, you can start hosting that event and being someone significant within that market, within that industry. Then do make sure you book a call with me. The link is in the show notes. It's bit.ly/claritycallpodcast. Go ahead and book a discussion with me. I'd love to speak to you and again, as always, if you have any feedback or questions or you'd just like to talk to me over email, then make sure you do that at jen@jen-hall.com and I will speak to you again in the next episode.

About the author 

Jennifer Hall

Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts.

Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects.

She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.

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