You have done all the preparations. Your product is ready. Your target audience is identified. The only thing left is for you to take it out for the world to see. How can you guarantee success and not put your efforts to waste? In this episode, Victoria Wieck shares with us how to achieve a successful product launch. She breaks down the process from the soft launch to the actual opening/launch date. Victoria also puts emphasis on feedback and how you can take each insight to strengthen your product. Are you interested in more? Tune in to the show to win and crush your launch game.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
How To Successfully Win And Crush Your Product Launch
In this episode, we’re going to talk about how you finally launch your business, or maybe you already have a business, and you want to launch a new product, division, or category. How do you launch? This is the final chapter of my book. It’s called Win the Game, but for this show, it’s How to Win and How to Crush Your Launch Game.
If you’ve been reading the last few episodes, you’ve already identified your dream, set your realistic aspirational goals, your target market, your one big idea that you can monetize, and negotiating skills and all of that. If you missed one of those episodes, please go ahead and click on it. It’s very simple. I also made them very short so that it’s not a long, boring thing.
Here it is. How do we launch so that it guarantees you success? I can’t sit here and say that every single thing you do is going to be a success. If you follow this episode, it’s very critical because you have put so much work into this already. I should say that you should have a reasonable expectation of success with the techniques that I’m giving you here.
When you’re launching something, try not to think of it. A lot of beginner entrepreneurs think, “I’ve done all the homework. I did all the right advertising and everything. I can’t wait until I launch. When I launch, it’s going to be an amazing thing. All these people are going to flock to my store or online courses,” or whatever you’re launching.
Let’s say it doesn’t show up, you expected 300 people to show up to your restaurant’s opening night, and you ended up with 30. What do you do then? Let me explain to you how I would go about doing it and how I recommend that everyone go ahead and launch your business. Think of launching your business almost like a job interview.
If you’re looking at a job interview, you wouldn’t go up to the first employer or a bunch of employers and say, “I’m Victoria Wieck. I’m qualified. I can do amazing things. Hire me.” You’re not going to do that. Most people will do their homework and find out if it’s a company you even want to be in, but you’ll do your homework and find out what they are looking for, the qualifications, who they have interviewed before, and who are the people that work there. You’re going to do all your research on Google to see what the corporate culture is, what they pay, and all these things.
Let’s say it’s a very conservative-looking bank. Everybody looks like they’re all dressed in a suit. You’re not going to show up with your Sperry boat shoes. You’re going to try to get into a culture that they’re looking for. It’s the same thing here. You’re going to do your homework, then show up to an interview, practice that interview, and ask people, “How do I answer these questions? What are the most asked questions?” You practice that and nail your interview.
Once you do that, provided that everything went well, you’re going to then follow up. You’re going to send them a thank you letter, “Thank you so much for interviewing me. I would love to work in your company. I loved when you asked me these questions.” You want to at least send them a thank you interview. You want to then follow it up and say, “I haven’t heard from you. I don’t want to be a pass, but you said you’re going to get back to me in two weeks. It’s been three weeks. I wanted to know if I’m still in the running.”
Treat the launch as a whole process that lasts a lifetime because you’re going to do this over and over and over again.
When you have a business and if you have a restaurant, you’re asking the customers to hire you to be a chef or entertainer for that day. Again, treat this as a job interview. It’s a process. I don’t want to like trivialize your launch with the dating site, but let’s say you’re on a dating site. You wouldn’t meet somebody online and say, “Do you want to marry me? I got all the qualifications to be a great husband.” You wouldn’t do that. Before you even go on a date, you want to know a little bit more about the person. What are they looking for? Is he or she a nice fit? You might want to have a safe lunch date or something before you move on to the next thing. Again, it’s a whole process.
It’s very similar. Treat this as a whole process that lasts a lifetime because you’re going to do this over and over again. How does this apply to a real product launch or business launch? Let’s say you are starting a restaurant. I happen to love Spanish tapas, like food from Spain as opposed to Cuba or Mexico, Latin American food, but let’s say you wanted to open a Spanish restaurant. I’ll pick someplace like San Diego. What you do is before you spend all the money, you might want to invite almost all the country clubs around the country, not just in San Diego, whether that’s a tennis club, a golf club, a country club, or a yacht club.
Most clubs are closed on Mondays. If not Mondays, they’re closed on at least one day because that’s the day that the employees get the days off. It’s much more efficient if they could close one to clean and maintain. It’s also cost-effective. Most clubs in San Diego at least are closed on Mondays. You might pick a Monday when you’re not competing with the club for food.
If your restaurant is Spanish tapas, you’re not competing with country club food. Go to the country club and say, “We want to invite you guys to come over. You’re such a special club. We’d love to get some feedback. It’s going to be a private gathering of twenty people.” You can serve them for very little money, but this way, you get a lot of feedback. You go club after club and could do a different club every Monday.
Those twenty people that come to your club will A) Give you feedback, and B) Most likely, if you help them and you give them an amazing experience of food, they’ll tell every other member. Every Monday when their restaurant is closed and they have no place to go, they’ll come to your club. By the time you do this twenty times, let’s say you do this every Monday for 3 or 4 months, you would hit all the clubs in San Diego. Not everyone is going to say yes, but they got boat clubs, yacht clubs, and all these clubs that basically provide a great experience for the members.
Again, you’re getting some feedback on the type of dishes you have on the menu. When you finally do open your restaurant, you can give these people the first crack. A lot of the time, they’re the ones that know the local PR people, broadcasters, producers, and honorary members of these clubs because their clubs want to have a great relationship.
This is a very easy way for you to do a soft launch, work out all your kinks and even get some of the customers already baked in. When you have an opening, they will come and support you because you’ve made them feel special. That’s one way to do it. You’ve already done the homework that they’re closed on Mondays, and it’s an easy day for you to get customers. Number two is what they want to eat. Number three, you’re doing your homework, providing a little bit of tweaking, and getting more homework, so each time you go to a new club, you’re getting much better at this.
Once you launch it, you can then do a follow-up like, “Can you give us a rating?” Cleanness, promptness of service, the quality of food, the quantity of food, and all these things so that they feel like they matter. You can also send them, “Thank you so much for coming to our opening.” It’s like your job interview. You did the homework, killed the interview when you first invited these people to come and do the thing, and then you follow it up. If you do this over and over, you don’t even have to open a restaurant yet. You could rent a venue. You will get a lot of information.
I can also give you one other example in this chapter. Let’s say you are a carpenter and want to start your carpenter business, but you don’t have a whole lot of money and a showroom. That shouldn’t stop you. There are a lot of places where you can get sympathetic people who are going to want to use you. For example, I had a friend of mine who was a world-class carpenter. This guy is an artist and he used to do beautifully carved woodwork at cathedrals, churches, and museums. When he came to this country, he didn’t know where to start. Most people in this country didn’t want something that amazing in their homes.
A lot of children’s hospitals have very stale white and gray things that are about 30 years old. The utility cabinets to house medicine are not fun and beautiful or anything like that. He went to the children’s hospital and bought some materials himself. They didn’t have a lot of cabinets there, but he made it very fun, interesting, and beautiful for little children. He painted them. The only thing he asked the children’s hospital for was that he be able to put, “Cabinets donated by so-and-so.”
He did it. The patrons of that hospital or the people who are donors and parents, their response was so overwhelming that before he launched it, it was at zero cost. We’re talking about a few cabinets that he bought some lumber and things like that, and he did this during his time when he didn’t have a whole lot of business going. His phone was literally ringing off the wall. He had to hire a team of people to start his business. Some of these donors were millionaires that saw that. They’re like, “We can’t find amazing carpentry ever in this country.”
He now has a multimillion-dollar business doing high-end or upper-end cabinets, custom carpentry work, and a lot of built-ins that are amazing. That’s one way. You can show them who your target market is, and this guy went ahead and did that. He went ahead and started doing this at local private schools. Even private schools have horrible cabinets because kids have stuff all over.
Those are two examples of people who’ve launched it softly and did some homework. This guy did the museum-quality carpentry and wasn’t looking for everyday Home Depot work. He knew exactly where to go. He approached them, and it was very easy to do. In the local hospitals that he went to, the custom carpentries are still there because it’s high quality. By the time he launched it, these people had got all the PR. He was on TV like crazy on Business Insider, FOX, and CNN, everything.
Again, doing a little bit of homework, understanding where your target market is, meeting their needs, demonstrating it, following it up, and care. These are two examples of how I explain to you how to crush your launch game. Launching is a process. It’s a 3 to 4-step process, and if you follow that closely, you’re going to have much better success than otherwise.
It’s a lot more effective than buying ads and hoping other people will do it. When you’re buying ads, whether you’re buying Facebook Ads, direct mailers, or billboards, you have no control over what’s going to happen. It’s like throwing good money after bad money because it’s a numbers game. You need to reach 1 million people so you can get 10,000 people to respond to something. They’re not emotionally attached to or emotionally invested in you.
This hospital thing, for example, these people are very invested in your success because they saw your heart. For what it’s worth, if you need to go back and reread this episode because it’s really critical. The last thing I want to say is that treat every day like it’s your launch day. Be on your best behavior and toes and make sure that everybody gets that attention.
A lot of times, people have a huge opening day and you think that that’s what you do. The next day, it’s the second day. Don’t ever run a business like it’s the second day in business. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you are sharing these episodes and getting a lot of value from every episode. Please stay healthy and happy. Make sure to understand that happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices. Until next time, bye-bye.