CHAPTER 36Objections from Customers

Note: Much of this discussion is informed by chapter 21, “Partnering with Customers.”

“Our users believe that it's absolutely essential for you to provide this specific capability. Unless you can commit to that, we can't commit to buying your product.”

This is a very common and often reasonable objection from customers.

It's especially important to keep in mind that many of these customers have heard years of promises from companies, and their sales and marketing staff, yet have seen very few deliver on those promises. It is understandable that people would be skeptical after that.

First, it's important to make sure the customer understands the difference between a commercial product company and a custom solutions provider.

Second, realize that it's very normal for customers to express their desire in the form of a solution, and it's the job of product to determine the problem behind the solution they are requesting.

If the customer's situation is truly unique, and represents a market of one, then it's usually most appropriate to direct that company to a custom solutions provider that has a business model designed around this case.

However, if you believe the customer is part of your current or upcoming target market, and you believe this capability is in line with your product strategy, then this is a good opportunity to engage directly with this customer to gain a deeper understanding of what it will take to succeed.

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