Success
Image by aloshbennett via Flickr

What? A bit unusual headline?

Perhaps…

But this one was actually brought based on experience while supporting my own product, talking to many friends who pride themselves in providing great support  for their informational product and just observations in general. I believe that #1 reason for failure to achieve for many people is…

Not Lack Of Action But Excess Of “Wrong” Action!

Followed closely by lack of guidance that fits that specific person learning needs and abilities. This post is not designed in any way to “bash” anyone but rather attempt to point out obvious and perhaps help at least one person change the way they view what is available and succeed in process!

Destructive Path #1

Here is one of the most common scenarios we see in supporting our product and one that I think sets the path for eventual failure:

  1. Person buys an informational product (one of the many)
  2. Takes a look at the beginning, perhaps even glance over the main points of the product and decides that he knows most of that and no need to follow what is “proven to work”
  3. Person runs into an issue
  4. Person IMMEDIATELY emails support with demand for support, most often NEVER even attempting to take a look at the training provided
  5. Cycle repeated for next product and then next – until that person finally gives up!

This is the path of self destructive behavior that does damage on several levels:

  • Person “KNOWS” that product “doesn’t work as advertised”
  • That person now feels that he or she was once again cheated of the money paid
  • Person wastes large amounts of time and effort to write emails, post on forums, submit support requests etc, instead of actually referencing the training provided.

Not only the person above sets himself or herself for the failure through negative state of mind, he or she also wastes time, energy and resources of the support team for the product or as is the case with our product – time and resource of the product owners.

Time we could spend a LOT more productively!

And its not that we don’t want to support someone but consider this – when we have hundreds of active customers, many of whom with legitimate issues that require attention and help – we have to spend 5-10 minutes per email answering questions that already have the answers in tutorials we provide.

From perspective of that person – not a big deal but for us it quickly adds up!

We LOVE helping our customers, in fact we consider this one of our core benefits, as we don’t outsource our relationship with customers but person has to have desire to help himself or herself!

I know it is a LOT simpler and faster to just sit down and write an email demanding support, than actually spend time following the guides provided that contain all the answers in most cases.

After all – “your time is important and you cannot be bothered with actually going through the training!” Right?

Destructive Path #2

Lack of the training that is designed specifically to correspond to abilities and learning patterns of the each individual customer.

No matter how great an Informational Product might be – it will be Complete Failure for many people!

Not because it was bad or failed to provide the correct information but simply because it was out of sync with those people’s individuality!

I’m not big on psychology or character analysis but I do know that for me personally some products simply fail to strike that spark that leads to complete understanding and then implementation that followed by PROFITABLE action!

Don’t ask me why, as I have no idea!

Perhaps some of you, with more understanding of all the psychological factors that come into play when learning, can explain the reason but for me its enough to know that I simply can’t sync up with the beat provided by the Info Product creator!

That’s It! That is my personal answer and I’ll stick to it!

From that point on there are only couple options I’m aware of…

  1. Search for a Different Product developer that provides study guide on same topic and hope I can sync up with his information flow better or
  2. Look into purchasing more direct training from that person, if available – it could be personal mentoring, consulting – whatever the options might be but if I feel I MUST learn from him or her – I have to be prepared to pay!

This understanding comes from simple fact of separation of the Product Support, Consulting and Mentoring! These things are not the same unless specifically purchased and generally a LOT more expensive!

And yet, I’m amazed when sometimes I reply to a person with a simple statement that I have to separate the product support from my consulting and state my VERY MODEST FEE of $250/hr for consulting – people get offended.

I believe my fee to be very modest because I know I will deliver on it and if someone is asking me directly for consulting questions – they obviously believe I posses the knowledge to answer those questions and provide solutions.

I also know a few people who charge a LOT more for the training and personal interaction but sometimes this is what it takes to make people start taking the correct action:

Vested interest!

Especially when it comes in very real and measurable monetary values! Truth is – anything can be discovered for free and answers found online but having someone else do it for you and then simply deliver it in format you personally will be able to understand and then forced to act on is one of the thing that people pay for in mentoring!

Yes, part of the consulting fee is that understanding that you will HAVE TO act on advice that you have paid for! Sometimes we all need a swift kick in the a$$, myself included!

Let Me Know What Do You Think?!