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Target Customers who are aware of their problem
Don't sell ice to an eskimo
Every time we have released an offer without targeting a prospect “who is aware” of their problem - we have failed.
This seems like an obvious observation, but it's not so simple.
In this article, I'll discuss what I've learned while addressing this problem for one of our most recent Gistia offerings. If you want to receive the version where I look at this same topic as an investor, please consider subscribing to this free sub-stack.
Here are 5 Ideas Worth Cloning:
1. Product-market fit is not defined by you
Achieving Product-market fit is when you are offering something that solves a problem other people know they have. As defined, it is based on a problem "they know they have". It serves as a reminder to say that you don't call a plumber unless you have a plumbing problem. However, the proverbial plumber who isn't making it clear that they solve your problem won't get the business.
The issue is that the plumber thinks they have the right to define what the client requires. This isn't how it works, though. You will not achieve product-market fit if there is no connection between your solution and their problem.
So answer the following question: Can you draw a direct line between your services or products and your customer's pain? Or are you defining what your client needs?
2. Don't let Denial get in the way of solving the problem.
This is painful to admit. But prospects we are targeting to help with our Revenue Cycle Compliance offering do not “know” they even have a problem. As painful as it is for me to write this, it is the first step in solving the problem.
As the person responsible for solving this problem, I need to remove the 'ego' involved. That way I don't fall into the trap of thinking about myself, and how I was wrong. Rather, I start thinking of the fact that these clients still have the problem I outlined, but they do not know they have it.
Keeping my mind open at this particular point is critical because it allows me to think about "Why" they can't see a clear problem - that I see.
3. Follow the trailing indicators, not the leading indicators to discover the perceived problem
When the idea came up, it was clear to me that in the world of Healthcare, Revenue Compliance issues lead to weak revenue performance. This is because breaking the rules with the US government and private payers leads to high-denial rates, payer-recoupments (insurance companies taking payments back), and poor payer relationships.
In this scenario, the leading indicator is the surprise 'compliance' breach. Which by definition our clients are unaware of. They are in the business of making money, not defrauding insurance companies. But you see? I've been focusing on speaking about the thing they don't know that are happening to them.
The right approach would be to weigh the three options I have for leading indicators which are: 1) High-denial rates, 2) Payer-recoupments and 3) Poor Payer relationships. Then look at all and identify, which of these might be the perceived problem to our clients.
4. Talk to your clients to validate your hypothesis
While working on the previous problem, I had an impulse to focus on Poor Payer relationships. But thankfully I opted to have a conversation with one of our clients.
When I explained the above, the immediate response was 2) Payer Recoupments. That's the immediate problem that she wants to solve. She wants to be aware of when a payer-recoupment happened, to find out WHY a payer-recoupment happened, to prevent the reason for happening, and to be able to talk to the payer to solve the problem proactively.
If we had focused only on denial rates, or payer relationships we would have missed the fact that her pain is each time payers take money from them.
Note: If you don't have clients yet, then you must find a way to interact with prospective clients.
5. If you confuse your clients, you lose
The next step in solving this problem at Gistia lead me to make a few updates to clarify our message.
1) First, instead of calling Gistia "Healthcare Intelligence", which is meaningless to everyone, we will use terms our audience uses. Gistia Revenue Cycle Intelligence. Revenue Cycle is the industry term, and instead of using the word Analytics, we prefer the term intelligence. Analytics is a way to get to interpretation, and what sets Gistia apart is the delivery of such interpretation, therefore "Intelligence".
2) Instead of focusing on "Performance" and "Compliance"; we will talk about use cases, and their corresponding pains for a particular type of user. For example: for CFO's - Accurate forecasting, for Revenue Cycle leaders: Reduce Denials and be aware of payer-recoupments real time, and so forth.
I hope this was useful to you, as much as it was for me to write. If you are interested in receiving future updates of Ideas Worth Cloning subscribe to my Free Substack here.