If product managers ran the world, we’d be able to sell our products to everyone at a very high price. However, since we don’t run the world (yet), we need to adjust and adapt in order to sell our products to as many people as possible for as high a price as is possible. However, when the global economy tanks, we’ve got a whole new set of challenges that we’ve got to deal with…
Slimming Down Your Product
When your customer have less money to spend, you’ve got to adjust how your product “looks” to them in order to get and hold their attention. Taking a large, expensive product or service and “slimming it down” can make it more attractive to your customers who are price-conscious.
This approach works best for product managers who are managing services such as marketing firms, design firms, etc. A good example would be a firm that does landscape design. Instead of selling a complete redesign of a yard, perhaps they could slim this product down and offer a consulting package that includes a site visit, a discussion about wants and needs, and a preliminary design. As always, this can be a great lead-in to a larger sale later.
Unbundling Your Product
For those of us product managers who have products, not services to mange, a different tact can be taken. Take a hard look at your product as it stands today. Is there any way that you can that product and “unbundle” it – basically break it into separate components? If you can find a way to do this, then you can turn around and start to sell the components separately.
The good folks who sell us cell phones learned this trick a long time ago. Batteries, carrying cases, earphones, etc. are all sold separately (and at higher prices!)
Product Manager Beware!
One side benefit of unbundling a product is that a slimmed down product has the ability to attract new customers. However, all too often product managers start to dream about upselling new customers on additional products and thereby boosting their sales. This generally doesn’t work because those new customers are simply looking for the slimmed down product and will go away if they don’t find it.
Slimming down / unbundling existing products are a great way for product managers to help their companies make it though tough times. However, you need to remember that times won’t always be this tough. That means that you’ve got to very clear about what your customers are going to be able to get at what price.
Customers associate price with value and that means that that they’ll understand that they will be getting less at a lower price. Make sure to leave the door open to offering more at a higher price later on. Follow these suggestions and you will have found out how great product managers make their product(s) fantastically successful.
Questions For You
Have you taken any steps to make your existing product / service more attractive to more customers at a different price point? Have you considered changing your service offerings to include a lower price up-front consulting offering? Can your existing product be broken into multiple components? Would this bring in more revenue? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
It’s time for some creative product manager thinking. Times are tough, our customers are strapped for cash and yet we’d like to keep sales of our products at least at where they are if not boost them a bit. No matter if your product is a service or a “real” product, there’s something that you can do to sweeten the pot for your potential customers – offer more services…