I help modest online products and service businesses (like your freelancing practice) going through situations like these…

You’re running a service business in a field that’s on the up and up. DevOps, AI/ML, Cybersecurity, SwiftUI, plugin development for e-commerce shops, animations, team coaching. You’re getting attention, but you know your site is saying something way too generic. Services I offer, Contact me. You know that won’t do it.

“I’ve just realized that the page describing my product doesn’t do it justice. It focuses too much on the benefits. I know I can make it communicate more sharply the problem it can help solve for my customers.”

So how do you move forward? You know that it starts by getting a good sense of your customers struggles. You know you want to help your clients get unstuck.

Your customers just want to make progress

Your product, your service, it gets hired into the lives of your customers for a reason. When they’re saying yes to your product, they’re saying no to something else. Saying no to that other thing was a key moment for them. It took time before they finally pulled the plug.

So what caused that switch from “not this, now now” to “yes, this, now”?

How is your product helping your customers to make some progress?

What was the job they needed to get done?

Are some of your product’s features causing people to think this?

“Hey, I don’t need this feature to get my job done, and that thing is causing me to hesitate. Should I pay attention to this?”

Just a few key insights are needed

What causes someone to buy two ebooks at the same time? “The price was too high for these ebooks, but I bought them anyway.” What’s that all about?

What’s going on in the mind of someone who buys a $450 pair of winter boots? Is it that he’s a millenial or is there something else in his life causing him to hire these boots?

In both of these stories, there’s something that can be learned. Anecdotes from your buyer’s purchase stories give you insights you can’t get from seeing stats or asking people why they bought your product.

You really need the whole purchase story. Because that purchase is the final decision in a string of many small decisions.

That insight you’re missing, that deeper understanding you’re after? It’s most likely found in knowing the story behind what caused people to pick your product, after all.

Purchase stories as part of your qualitative research

What’s needed to get enough purchase stories to learn something new:

  • 5-10 interviews of recent purchasers (no more than 90 days in the past);
  • Buyers who hesitated, deliberated before making the purchase;
  • 50-60 minutes per call;
  • A way to record the call and permission from the person you’re interviewing;
  • An interview technique that asks the right questions.

That’s enough to get started.

There are more articles on the blog to learn more about all this, or if you’d like some help, let me tell you a little bit about what I have to offer:

We’ll be a good fit…

… if you value understanding things deeply, if you’re interested in serving your customers in what they’re trying to get some progress on, if you’re interested in starting small and doing things right, if you’re into honest communication and being straight with people.

I’ll take the time to understand your business deeply, I’ll be thoughtful about serving the progress you’re trying to make, I’ll start small and do things right, I’ll communicate honestly and I’ll be straight with you too.

Hope to help

I’m doing this to help folks like you make a good living from the products and services you sell. So I hope I can be of some help to you.

Stay Sharp!

Pascal Laliberté
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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