SIX WAYS TO GET FAST FEEDBACK
How do you
test market a
product or service? How do you find out if people are actually going to buy it?
8 Key Entrepreneurial Questions
First, make or get a prototype.
Create or get a sample. If it's being manufactured somewhere else, get a sample
of it. If you're going to manufacture it yourself, create a prototype so that
you can show it, demonstrate it, photograph it. So that you can let people see
it, touch it, feel it, and get an opinion from it.
It To Potential
When we brought the
Suzuki 4-wheel drive vehicles into North America, we bought three of them. We
brought them in and drove them around to about 20 or 30 dealerships and let
people look at them, test drive them, see them, touch them, smell them, feel
them. And went on to sell thousands and thousands of vehicles. So get a
prototype or a sample. That's the starting point.
the Correct Prices
get accurate prices
and delivery dates from your suppliers. If you're going to show the prototype or
sample, if a person says how much is it, or how long will it take to get it, be
sure that you have the answers.
Number three is get a
buyer's personal opinion. In other words, go to somebody who you will want to
buy the product or service and get their personal opinion. Say, would you buy
this? And at what price could you sell it? And always call on the individual who
makes the buying decisions. Always call on the person who can sign the check.
Your Products With Others
Number four, compare your
product or service with other products on the market. And be sure to ask this
question, "Why would someone buy from you instead of from someone else?"
If it's a retail product, try a 1-store test. Go and
see if you can't find a store who will carry the product on a limited basis and
see how customers respond to it.
With a Great Idea
Try a 1-customer test. If
it's a product or service, try to find one customer who will use the product or
service. Ross Perot, when he started EDP Industries, only had a thousand
dollars. He had a great idea that would cost an enormous amount of money to
implement, and he was able to sell his first customer on paying him in advance
for the services that he was going to sell them. With the money that he got in
advance, he was able to deliver the services, to prove that they worked and that
they were cost effective. And the rest is history. Ross Perot went on to build
one of the most successful businesses in America.
3 Strategies of Market Leaders
It To a Trade Show
A sixth way to test
market a product or service is take it to a trade show. There are 15,000 trade
shows per annum all over the country. Sophisticated buyers go to trade shows and
they will tell you rapidly whether or not you have a winner.
First, get a sample or
prototype of your product or
service and show it to as many people as possible, especially to potential
buyers. This will give you
fast feedback that can be very helpful to you.
Second, look at all of
the other competing products or services on the market and be very clear why
someone would buy from you rather than continuing to buy from someone else. This
can be the most important question you ask and answer.