The last question in”The First Seven Questions Any Product Plan Should Answer” is What Are You Replacing?
But after careful experimentation we learned that most entrepreneurs would instinctively cast themselves in the role of the early bird who gets the worm and say “Nothing. We are brand new!” So we re-phrased it this way:
Q7 How has the customer done without this product/service so far?
- Are you eliminating or reducing and existing cost stream?
- Have they tried to solve this problem on their own? Have they spent time or money on a partial solution?
- Are they currently spending cycle time or non-value add people time to work around it?
- Can you reduce errors, error rates, or iteration counts?
- Do you enable them to access new markets or opportunities currently unavailable to them?
- What are you specifically obsoleting or replacing?
There is always a status quo. The prospect has to stop spending time and money on some other activity or product to fit yours into the schedule and the budget. Always understand how they are solving the problem or meeting their need today before you tell them how good tomorrow will be.
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