When we think about the things we need to have in place to create a new product or service we often plan for the sales cycle. If your introduction does not include marketing you will not have a successful launch. Let me tell you what I put in place to offer a 2 day seminar to ensure the people we want to attend will know about it, be interested, have a way to pay and we would have a way to manage the money and the clients.
This is the easy part for most people. We are great at our businesses because we are better than competent at creating our product or service and delivering it. In this case our product (a 2-day seminar) required some main development steps.
- Create event overview and outcomes
- Define investment ability and potential loss (what is our risk aversion)
- Determine where it would be offered and evaluate locations
- Sign contracts with partners and with venue location
- Create the program, handouts,
- Print workbooks, purchase gifts, event necessities (like pens), and other handouts
You will know your product better than anyone. My best suggestion is to picture yourself going through the program and taking note of the things you will need to easily run the event or distribute the product.
It has been recommended to me by all my mentors that it is extremely important to create interest in what you are going to do before you do it. I have seen this too. If people do not know it is coming, it will come and go and no one will seem to care. If you think you will create a product and offer it to the world and that same day you will sell out, you are wrong, unless you are Apple. Well, not even for Apple – they are the masters at creating anticipation and that feeling of urgency. People need what they want so much they are willing to line up for days to get it.
Have an introduction date of about 6 weeks before the launch. Don’t use words like ‘something new’ because they don’t have any value to your client. Use the benefit-rich words you have created to really reach your clients. Our language for the invitation to the 2-day event centers around what we know our clients need and what the outcome of the event is. If you have not built your brand around your clients’ needs you will have to spend some time defining what that benefit is. Remember, when your clients read the invitation to ‘try out’, buy, or join you for your new product/service they need to think to themselves, “Oh Ya! I really need this. This is Great!”
Take your language and build a schedule to touch your clients a few times before your launch. Maybe even pre-sell the product at a lower price to engage some of your most interested clients as soon as possible. Promise them a little something extra if you are going to take their money weeks before they get your product or service. Follow your schedule and offer ways for your clients to share the information with others (e.g. make your statements clear and short so they can Tweet it).
During the Launch
While you are selling your product or offering your service you should be getting testimonials. Find out what people think. Give them an incentive to fill out a survey after they have used the product or bring your camera to the event and get people’s feedback how the event affected them and changed their opportunities.
Post your testimonials, review your survey responses, create post event videos with people’s genuine reaction. Get the information out there and then share it in your usual marketing channels.
Follow up with your clients. If you have someone that was not satisfied it is better to have them telling you to your face then talking about you publicly behind your back. This may be your only chance to make it right if you can.
If your clients loved what you had to offer then give them more. More time with you, more opportunities to be first to get your products, more discounts, etc. Your past client is your best client and the more you do for them the more you will get in referrals and ongoing business.
So don’t just build your product, plan and develop for all steps in your launch so you will have lots of clients for this launch and every launch in the future.