How to Transform Your Product/Service into a ‘Must-Have’

Alex Moscow
3 min readFeb 19, 2020
Brainstorms do not lead to buyers.

Becoming a priority purchase is critical but it can’t be done without understanding your market’s priorities first.

‘How do we make our product/service a must-have?’

I recently ran a workshop on buyer psychology for a group of business owners. When asked, why they’d come, this was the question that came up the most.

Many in the audience felt like they were having good meetings. But sales were stalling or not happening at all.

Their wares were generating good feedback but no cheques were written. No sales made.

They just weren’t a high enough priority.

It Reminded Me of a Story

In The Challenger Customer, the sequel to their paradigm-shifting bestseller, The Challenger Sale, Brent Adamson, and Matt Dixon, tell the story of Dentsply, a leading manufacturer of dental tools.

The company had spent a small fortune designing a groundbreaking new cleaning implement that was vastly superior to the competition.

Problem was, no one was buying.

When asked, every dentist they spoke to agreed the tool was magnificent. But they didn’t see the need to buy it.

The reason. Why buy when their existing equipment was good enough.

Dentsply realised it had worked out how to make its tool the best it could be, but not how to make it essential.

And Therein Lies the Rub

No matter how good you think your thing is, how well designed, unique or advanced. If you can’t convince your market of its value, they won’t buy.

I see this a lot. Business owners that have something amazing to offer but struggle to position their product or service as a must-have.

The problem is, you can’t tell your market why your product/service is a must-have.

It isn’t something you can identify in a brainstorm or by mapping objectives to potential benefits.

It’s something only your market can tell you. But you’ve got to know what questions to ask.

Dentsply did ask and the results were amazing.

How to Amplify Your Value

So, what of Dentsply and the £millions they stood to lose in R&D costs? Did they recover from this setback?

Short answer, yes…and then some!

To understand the needs of their market better, the company commissioned some research into the life of a hygienist.

The results uncovered something they did not expect.

They found that hygienists are particularly susceptible to sick days and that these absences cost a dentist practice a fair chunk of their profits.

Why so much time off?

Repetitive Strain Injuries, caused by prolonged use of their current equipment.

When Dentsply tested its new tool, it found that its new design did not result in RSIs.

More importantly, when comparing the cost of purchasing their new tool against the loss of revenue from the missed appointments, the tool was by far the better investment.

Their customers agreed and sales went through the roof.

The Moral of this Story is…

Your value doesn’t come from what you do or the potential benefits that your products/service promises.

Value is in the eye of the buyer. It comes from what they want and need, and how important they feel you are to the achievement of these goals and objectives.

To work out what makes your stuff a must-have speak to your best customers. Ask them:

  • Why they bought
  • Why they bought it from you
  • What they wanted to achieve
  • The problems they wanted to solve
  • The results you helped them to get
  • And most importantly, what those results meant to them

Value is the sum of the results you achieved and the impact it had. It is a measure of the momentum you generated and why they were meaningful.

This is essential.

People buy things that are meaningful to them. And you can bet that what’s meaningful to one customer, will be meaningful to many more.



Alex Moscow

I help ambitious business owners to showcase your value, enhance your message and attract ideal clients & employees.