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My parents are Cuban.  I've inherited family traditions from them including Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) pig roasting.  Watch this short clip and you'll see the tradition continues.  My daughter Sofi's now our pig prep expert.  She can roast'em as well as I can.

Twenty plus years ago before my then 5 years old daughter saw her first pig being prepped, I was concerned how she would take it.  The movie Babe and Charlotte's Web were the thing and she was a fan.  Much to my surprise, her reaction while licking her chops and poking a finger at the pig's eye was, "Cool, Dad!"  She had little sympathy for what would later be her dinner.

Some people don't eat pork for religious or health reasons.  Even there I've made bad assumptions.  At a networking event, a Jewish friend of mine was enthusiastically going for the Cuban-style pork being served.  When I asked her,I found out her mom was Cuban and it was something she really enjoyed about the holidays.  Since then she has attended one of our Noche Buena pig roasts.  I was happy to have her join us for that family celebration.

We all make assumptions and they can easily get us in trouble.  We know the topic we teach really well  We assume because we know what we do that we also understand how other people see it.  This can be a horrible mistake and one that keeps us from connecting with perspective clients.  If we were to instead survey our market using some simple market research, we would discover what they want is not what we expected.  Without the research we can offer something and then wonder why it won't sell.

We see this way too often talking to customers wanting to work with us on their membership program or online course.

Let me give you an example.

Before I started my Breakthrough Course Building System program for speakers, coaches and experts with know-how in a specific niche, I incorrectly assumed technology was their biggest challenge.  I assumed that as they took on a membership site project, their biggest fear and frustration was around understanding things like Infusionsoft, Memberium, Wordpress and the tech systems you need to get the job done.

I worked with my coach to do some market research before I did anything else.  Running the research set me straight.  When I asked potential customers, I discovered - and it was really clear - that their biggest concern was whether their course would sell.  They were worried they would invest all this time, money and effort only to find out later they missed the mark.  They trembled at the idea that it would not sell.

Technology ended up being another concern, but it wasn't nearly as big a issue in their minds.

So in my Breakthrough Course Building System, I have the students spend more than half the six-week program focused on doing the research and surveying potential customers so the course they offer meets real customer demand.  Instead of making an educated guess, I show them how to use market research feedback to create an irresistible offer matching their customer needs precisely.  Then I have them convince themselves it works.  I have them sell their offer, before they actually build their course, so they gain confidence in their own program knowing they have a winner.  If they don't have a winner, they can instead cut their losses.

What a huge different that has made.

If you visit the offer page for my program (see /) , you'll see the customer testimonials.  These are the exact words of my students and they all agree my program made a huge difference for them.

So don't make the mistake I made with my Cuban pig roast.  Confirm your assumptions.  Ask your customers what they want.  Even ask them what course format they want and how much they'd be willing to spend.  Do the hard work up front so you don't have to face hard news after you've built it that your course won't sell.

Please do share with me what you think about this.