Knowing What People Need

Dreaming of diamonds
Flickr Photo By Swamibu

All around you are opportunities if you can stop to take interest. A deep interest in what other people need means applying your faculties of observation and care. You may be asked if you know someone that can solve a problem or a product that exists to make life easier. These are signs. If you are not paying attention, you may simply give an answer of “Yes” or “No” while missing the opportunity.

Everyone is buying all the time. Look at your own bank or credit card statements and see how many of those items were sold to you. Most likely, the majority was bought based on your own initiative and desire. Thus, being tuned into what people need is critical, though it is often overlooked.

As an entrepreneur, I run into needs every day. When I see a need, I try to focus and understand what the need is as much as possible. I have created products and services from staying tuned in. Here are some things I do:

  • Identify the pain. I spend more time in this area than any other. Most people jump to answers and solutions. They don’t define a problem thoroughly or articulate what the pain is. Asking questions which clarify and shape the issues is of utmost importance.
  • Clarify the solution. I look at what are the solutions that can solve the problem. There often is not something out of the box. Integrating existing technologies or creating a new product or service has to be sketched out.
  • Present the possibilities. Ask “What if?” questions. What if you had a system for getting things done faster? What if you could win more business? What if I had an answer for you?
  • Spell it out. You have to have clarity for yourself and your potential customer. Write out what can be proposed then propose it as an offering via proposal, product page or email. Simplify it to make it easy to understand and say, “Yes,” to.

You can be of great value if you can simply look for needs and build something to meet the need. I have helped myself over and over for myself and my clients with this crucial area that many miss.

Russell Conwell’s classic, Acres of Diamonds, is a great read and testimony to this simple truth. He shows you what he did in a lifetime to apply this simple principle.

What kind of needs are you observing?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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