Understanding Needs

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You can care a lot and really want to help others.  Yet, until you understand their wants and needs, you will not be successful at that task.  You will know that the others are frustrated, and you will want to help.  Unfortunately, the right actions will only be understood by exploring the question of why.

People are a little strange sometimes. You can build something easy to use, foolproof and unbreakable, and even free. If people believe that what you created is not addressing their main concerns, they will not use your new Marvel.

You must get out and talk to people. And you have to listen to people. Words, emotion, body language, and inflection are all things which tell you what you need to know. This takes some time to ferret out. Sometimes everyone tends to talk in circles.

The other thing to look at is whatever you build needs to be an obvious answer to the desires of others. The better it appears to them the first time they see it, the better the chance you have of making a hit with your product. The hula hoop, Ford Thunderbird and the iPad, are all easy to use, make you look good, and are all manufactured to help you get the task done. Priced to sell as what they are, not free yet worthy of the purchase.

If you were starting to get the idea that this might be a little bit of work, you’re right. Yet, a little bit of work never really hurt anyone. And it’s better to do that little bit of work now, rather than putting a lot of time and money into something just to find out you got it wrong. Research is more than only time consuming, it’s the action which puts you on the right track to building the right product.

How easy is it to find out? It’s as easy as going out for coffee, take a friend with you and talk to them about it. Maybe ask them a question or two. You can’t stop with just one, or else you could’ve just listened to yourself. So plan to take some friends out over maybe a couple of weeks. If you have a bulletin board at a Co-working place where you can ask a couple of questions and have people send their thoughts to your email address, that could also be a start. You could even compose a survey and send it out to those you know or friends of friends, and ask a few questions. There are many ways to do this. I find that the best approach is to be with the person when they answer the question because then you get to see the emotion, the body language, and hear the inflections.

Of course, again, this is one man’s opinion.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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