Product development often feels like throwing spaghetti at a wall. (Though it doesn’t have to.)

And sadly, when that spaghetti doesn’t stick, I see business owners not only throw in the towel but blame themselves and their ideas for the failure. It’s never “you” that’s wrong with your idea; and, it’s rarely the idea that’s the problem.

Instead, there are 3 common reasons that products, programs, courses, and offers fail. Each of these can be avoided by creating and using a product development strategy that works.

3 Things to Consider in the Face of Product Development Failure

Here’s what to consider in the face of failure:

1) The transformation isn’t clear.

Value is transformation. If the transformation isn’t clear, neither is the value of what you’re offering. “Life coaching” isn’t value. “Website design” isn’t value. “Jewelry” isn’t value.

Value is telling someone how their idea of themselves, their environment, their relationships, their skills, or their behavior will change as a result of using your product. Value is making it clear that there’s a Before and an After and making that story come alive on the page, on the call, or in the conversation.

Many businesses or products launch without having a clear picture of this transformation. If you don’t know what the transformation is, it’s your job to find out. That’s the only way to ensure the success of what you’re offering for the long-term.

If you’ve offered a product or program without a clear understanding of how you’re transforming someone’s experience, you’ve not gotten the results you’ve aimed for. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or with the product—just a message you need to hone to create a much bigger return.

ACTION: Rewrite the top third of your sales page or letter to describe the Before & After your product creates for your customer.

2) The market wasn’t ready.

Few businesses spend the time to create market readiness. They have a brilliant idea and decide to hurl it on people they suspect might need it.

In order for your market to be ready for what you’re offering, they need to see how their current experience connects to what you’re offering. That connection takes time. Very few customers make the leap as quickly as you do—and, if you base your “failure” on the limited number of people who do, you will always see failure.

Instead, take time, paint the picture, connect the dots. Make sure your people have ample time to walk down the path of their own experience with you before you show them what you have to offer.

ACTION: Create a content sequence and sales conversation that starts further out (maybe 6-10 weeks from the time you want your first sale).

3) The offer wasn’t urgent.

People love to buy (we so often forget). But they prioritize things that solve immediate problems or frustrations over things that just sound cool.

At this point, you’ve got cool down.

What about urgent? Natural urgency in marketing isn’t telling people there are a limited number of spots (when there aren’t) or giving people only a fraction of time to buy. Natural urgency ties a pressing need to the promise of your product.

That pressing need, again, has nothing to do with “life coaching,” “web design,” or “jewelry.” It has everything to do with deciding to quit your job, landing higher paid speaking gigs, or looking great for a big interview.

Tie what you have to offer to a personal priority for your customers and you’ll sell more every time.

ACTION: Write a sales email for an evergreen offer that ties the product to a personal priority your customers have. Send it!

Remember, it’s not you. It’s likely not even your product. Failure comes from lots of sources. Next time sales don’t go the way you expect, consider these 3 potential problems and make an adjustment.


P.S. It’s time to great a program or course that works (better results for you and your students). Find out more about The Master Class today. We start next week!