Tribal exercise

Sent by Jonathan Stark on August 8th, 2019

A few days ago, I asked you to share your tribes with me. Things like hobbies, interests, politics, religion, sports, charity, etc. Here’s a partial list of what I received:

As I scan down this list, it looks to me like every single one would have some tribe members who can afford to buy things. And I am fairly confident that every single one of these tribes would have members who have some sort of unmet needs (e.g., pains or dreams).

If you’re up for an exercise, consider this:

The next time you’re hanging around with your tribe, keep your ears peeled for emotional charged language. Words like “hate”, “love”, “sick of”, “wish”, “crazy”, “heavenly”, “can’t stand”, “would do anything for”, “insane”, “wouldn’t it be great if”, etc.

When you hear emotionally charged language, put on your active listening ears and delve into the comment. Try to understand the details, the background, the motivations, the nuances. Empathize with the speaker’s specific situation.

Once you’re confident that you totally understand where the speaker is coming from, ask how much it would be worth to them to alleviate the pain. NOTE: Don’t suggest a particular solution! Just ask how much they would pay to be rid of the issue. Ideally, pitch them a ballpark number and gauge their reaction.

For example, let’s say you’re a trail runner who has been chatting with another trail runner about blisters wrecking her last run:

“Just out of curiously, would it be worth, like, I dunno, $100 bucks to you to decrease the odds of getting blisters on your next run?”

If the person says something like, “Heck yeah!!!” then you have learned that the value of a solution to this person is at least $100. You could then set your mind to dreaming up a solution that would cost you less than $100 per unit to produce. It might be special socks or silicone spray or a short training video or a daily pumice regimen or who knows what else. Once you’ve got your idea (and maybe even a prototype or draft), have your friend give you feedback. Refine the idea, show it to a few more people. Wash rinse repeat. Before you know it, you might be taking orders!

Here’s the thing...

You probably won’t get rich off your tribe-centric side hustle - or maybe you will! But in any case, it’s a great way to practice uncovering the value of something to a buyer and then reverse engineering a solution that you can price in a way that is profitable for both parties.

It’s basically the same process as having The Why Conversation with a prospect to uncover the value of the project, and then coming up with three prices, and then deciding what you can do for them (i.e., the scope of work) at each of the prices.

Value then price then cost.

Yours,

—J