One of the things we love about our work with Eleven’s startups is the variety of industries and aspects that they cover. And there’s always a B2B case. This time it was Adora that brought on the B2B challenge, and in such cases you should remember to always consider both Points of View – that of the decision maker, and that of the end-user. Emphasize what’s in it for them. It will get you miles ahead if you do it right.
Having a lot of experience with startups within our team, we know how difficult and confusing it can be once you start getting advice, questions and demands from multiple directions. In most, if not all, cases you end up in a whirlpool of opinions and perspectives and in your aim to be liked, accepted and successful, you tend to become mainstream and focus on adapting to people’s expectations. The worst that could happen? – You could lose your sense of direction and forget where you came from. This is why you should always remember your purpose and get back to it on a daily basis. You’ll be surprised how reassuring this can be. (Ask Colomb.io if you want to know more :-))
Another learning, which is always a good reminder, is to avoid being too technical, which in startup world often happens. With all the tech talk around you, your own communication can become rather stiff. Over time, you tend to focus on the functional benefits and forget about the emotions. And emotions are what matters and what can really strike people. Scoutee, for instance, empowers baseball players to achieve their dreams - they do not just sell them a tool that can help them be better at their game.
While we are on the topic of communication, there is another crucial aspect you should pay attention to – getting too much in love with your own product. This often leads you to speak in your own terms because everything is very clear to you. Often, though, people need a simpler explanation – or perhaps a more detailed onе. Or a personal story. What helped us get into the shoes of a potential enWake user was doing a role-play with Alex (enWake) and Plamen (ARTery). It actually helped Alex realize what parts of his story trigger people’s attention and understanding, and where and why his product actually fits into their lives. Or, in this case, in Plamen’s life.
..and while you may think that people’s lives have little to do with the success of your product, you are likely underestimating the value a peak into the-day-of-your-human can give you. As part of the empathy stage, we encouraged observation of people’s natural habitat. ThiefScry did an excellent job and realized that expectations are often quite different from reality and ended up moving their prototype from the shopping mall into the bike shop. In short – you should go to your customers rather than expect them to come to you.
On another note, Kuknall taught us that the Hollywood action movie recipes do not always work. Usually, in Hollywood movies, when there is misery (your customers are in pain) you bring in a superhero (your product), who reassures them of the beautiful future. However, a much better approach is to simply show them the positive sides of create that beautiful future with them. Or in Kuknall’s case – remind them of the positive sides of health, of going back to nature and that in the end, nothing is as bad as it looks like. You just have to take a leap for the better.
..and to finish our story, let us all remember the importance of story telling. Regardless of how clear your solution appears and how logical the steps are, you should know that people listen much better to stories. They relate to them. And they understand them. So, next time instead of explaining your product or service as a sequence of steps, functions and technological processes, try telling a story. And in this story, show how you actually solve the problem. It can do you wonders.