Do you continue to create products/programs/services that you think your prospects need – offerings that seem the most logical to you that will help your prospects do, be or have better – but you can’t seem to sell many – or any? 🙂

There are two things you need to remember when creating any offering for your niche:

1. People buy what they want, not necessarily what they need.
2. People buy based on emotion, not necessarily on logic.

And if you’re a fan of The Apprentice, you’ll see time and time again that the team that wins is the one who nails both emotion and desire in their marketing message! 🙂

There are several ways to get this information and use it to help you create an offering that will solve your prospect’s problems and make a profit for you at the same time.

The best way is to do your research. Make sure you conduct market research of your niche on at least a quarterly basis. You want this to be an ongoing part of your marketing campaign so you can keep up with the changing desires of your target market and continue to offer them what they want (not what you think they need).

Here are some ways to do this:

1. Simple: Ask them!

Ask your prospects a simple, open-ended question, like "What’s your biggest challenge with building your business online?" or "What’s the one thing you’d like to learn more about that relates to balancing your work and family life?" Tailor the question to your niche and use the information you receive to help spark ideas for new products and services.

You can put this question to your target market a number of ways: as an autoresponder when they sign up for your freebie offering, periodically in your ezine, ask them on your teleclass and have them email you their response, or ask them on discussion boards and blogs in your niche.

2. Almost as Simple: Do a simple survey…

that asks 1-10 questions using a survey tool like Zoomerang or Survey Monkey. This allows you to ask more specific questions to elicit more specific responses. Doing a survey like this really helps you to NOT waste your time creating offerings your target market simply doesn’t want. (For example, in my latest survey, I’m discovering that no one really wants more information about "defining your niche." Now I know not to focus more energy in that area. Cool, huh?)

3. Advanced: Set up an Ask Database campaign (

This tool helps you ask your niche what they want in a sophisticated and professional-looking way. It does a few other things besides just asking the questions, so if you have the budget, it might be worth looking into. (And if you use this system, would you email me and let me know how it’s going? I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s part of my plan going forward.)

One last tip: To entice people to share their thoughts with you, offer them a free gift for answering your question or taking your survey. It’s also a nice way to say thank you for their time.

The information you glean from implementing this strategy (especially over time as your list grows) is priceless! Try it for yourself and see if you don’t agree… 🙂

© 2005 Alicia M Forest and

WANT TO REPRINT THIS ARTICLE? You may, as long as it remains intact and you include this complete blurb with it: Alicia M Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Queen & Coach™, founder of, and creator of "21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System™, teaches coaches, consultants, online entrepreneurs and solo professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create abundance in your business, visit