What to Do When Your Product is Only a Suggestion (door Problogger)

Posted on 2 oktober 2011


This guest posy is by John Hoff of securemyblog.com.

When we’re new to making money online, many gurus tell us we should think about what we know, what we’re good at, and what we enjoy doing.

They tell us to think about it like this:

If money wasn’t a factor, what would you do?

They tell us to then take that thought and turn it into something we can create a business out of, but remember…

It’s not about making money.

No, it’s never about the money, is it? (Wink… nudge, nudge, wink.)

Solution or suggestion?

Image copyright Nikolai Sorokin – Fotolia.com

It’s about doing what you love and helping people better their lives because of the things you do. Do that and the money will follow.

The problem is, the money doesn’t always follow, does it?

Sure, you might get a nice burst of sales when you launch, but typically what happens after that launch-promoted surge of traffic disappears is a dip. A dip in sales and a dip in your attitude.

You don’t understand why people aren’t buying your product.

It’s good. Darn good. But sales trickle in slower than a race between a snail and a turtle.

Assuming you’re getting traffic to the site and very few people are buying, here’s the problem you might be having…

Your product is a suggestion, not a solution.

What your product may be lacking

Many of us bloggers look to make money online, and as you have probably figured out, blogs don’t make money: people do. If when you signed up for this Internet marketing gig your information came from a reputable guru, they probably told you that you needed to focus on these potential customer issues:

  • fears
  • pain
  • desires
  • wants
  • needs.

But sometimes when we’re all jazzed up about getting our own first product out there, we tend to forget things—or even worse, don’t listen.

It doesn’t matter what kind of product you have: ebook, membership site, advice, or coaching service, if your product fails to tap into any of these fundamental reasons that motivate people to “need to buy” your product, you’ve got a suggestion product.

If you’re one of those people who owns a product which is seen as a suggestion rather than a solution, the way I see it, you have two choices:

  1. Educate customers about the problems and convince them to buy.
  2. Set up a clever sales funnel.

Option three, of course, is to give up, but sometimes giving up isn’t what we want to do even when our logical brains tell us otherwise.

Option 1: The time suck—suggestion education

Hey I’m all for educating, after all, teaching sells, right? In fact pretty much everything I do online involves either teaching something or learning something.

But strictly speaking about product creation for a moment, I never lose sight of the fact that a product that provides a solution to something will require less teaching and educating than one which only provides suggestions.

This means it’s easier to sell.

As an example, my first information product is a WordPress security ebook.

When I created the product, I thought to myself, “John, there’s a real need out there for people to secure their blogs against hackers, and when you show them how bad a hacking problem WordPress has, people will be fearful and want to buy this product.”

Notice how I mentioned three of those big issues we need to tap into? But here’s the problem: they weren’t problems my target customers felt or understood (yet).

And that’s the difference between educating to create a sale (a suggestion) verses educating to close the sale (a solution).

The problem with educating to create a sale for a product which is a suggestion is that it typically takes a lot of time and effort, and unless you’re a top-notch content marketer, your sales will likely be sporadic.

Also, assuming this is the only strategy you use to entice people to buy your product, it is likely that many of your prospective buyers will never find you.


That’s simple: because they aren’t looking for what you’re offering them; they’re looking for something else. They are looking for a solution to a problem they have today, and your suggestion product couldn’t possibly be targeting every problem your target customers are having.

Option 2: Setting up a clever sales funnel

Okay, so you’ve got yourself a darn fine product and you know people will benefit from it. The problem is that even though you’re trying to educate them as to why your product will be good for them, sales just aren’t coming in the way you thought they would.

If this is the case, the most important thing you can do is take a really close look at where your buyers are coming from, and where they could be coming from.

You probably have a decent idea of what kind of person would buy your product. Now take that person and spend some time really digging into their true wants, needs, problems, desires, and so on.

If your product teaches people how to take control of their money and budget better (your suggestion product explains how to do it), then one of the needs your prospects might have is to make their next month’s mortgage payment.

Now imagine if you could create the website and a product which solved that problem for them.

Perhaps you partnered with a Payday Loan company or an investor, and offered a loan program which solved that problem for them in twenty-four hours.

After buying that frontend product and capturing their email addresses, you can then begin marketing to them about your how-to budgeting product.

Another problem your prospective customers might have is divorce over money. Assuming a person does not want to get divorced over money, they need to find a way to fix the problem they’re having.

So you create a site and new info product or service on how to solve divorce problems related to money issues. And there’s your second funnel.

What we’re doing here is creating secondary products which give people immediate solutions to their problems, then funneling them into your suggestion product.

The key point to remember is that when you’re setting up your funnels, you need to position yourself as the person with the answers they need. In other words, you need to be the authority in their eyes for the fill-in-the-blank niche.

Your best bet, of course, is to do both option one and option two as I’ve explained them here. But if you ask me, one option deserves the majority of your time (option 2).

Auteur: Guest Blogger

Posted in: Optimalisatie, Tips