In his book, Entrepreneur Revolution Author and Entrepreneur, Daniel Priestley shared a very great concept he called CAOS (Concept, Audience, Offer, and Sales). The CAOS challenge objective is to conduct a low-risk launch of a new product or service. You test the commercial response to a product or service by simply conducting sales meetings armed with little more than a brochure and a sign-up form.

The CAOS challenge can be used even if you have a business already, conduct a low-risk launch of a new product or service. I love formula/acrostics as a teaching mechanism, the books I remember the most are the ones with mnemonics; books like:

In order to launch a product or service, you will need four things:

Concept.

You need an answer for the basic questions people will ask: What’s this product or service about? What problem does it solve? Why should people listen to you?

To complete this step, put together a slide presentation on Keynote or PowerPoint so that you can present your concept to people in a presentation. Deliver this presentation to several close friends or associates in order to get feedback and criticism to improve it. Remember that the concept has to be something you are passionate about, something you can add value to and something people are willing to pay for.

Audience.

Who is this product or service for? Who do you need to get in front of in order to sell it?

Devise a questionnaire or survey that you can get 50 people to complete in order to discover insights into the drivers behind what kind of people are interested in your offer and what makes it appealing or what turns them off the idea.

Offer.

 What’s the deal? What do people get for their money? What are the terms and conditions?

Construct a four to eight-page brochure that outlines exactly what you are offering people, include the features and benefits of the offer and as much information as you can that will entice someone to buy. Accompany it with a sign-up form people can complete if they want to buy and a form that has the relevant terms and conditions on it.

Sales.

 Can you present and sell this concept? Can you handle questions, concerns and objections? Can you get payments or deposits? What is you conversion ratio from presentation to sale?

“When you sit with people and present your offer, be brave and ask them if they would like to put down a deposit or full payment in order to become one of the first clients for your business at a special rate. If they object, ask them why share any insights that might clarify the value you offer and see if you can find a way that they would comfortably make the purchase. Either way, record the main objections and your responses so that you can improve the way you and your offer address people’s concerns.”

“When you have these four areas covered, make face-to-face appointments with people to deliver a sales presentation, ask them to buy the product on the spot and see what they say in response. Your initial objective isn’t necessarily to make sales but to get feedback, and it’s hard to get real feedback unless you actually ask people to part with money for the product. Keep detailed records of every sales meeting to uncover the common objections and to determine the ratio of presentations to sales.”

The CAOS challenge isn’t designed to build a business on, it’s designed to quickly and cheaply test an idea in a commercial environment. If you go out and meet with 20–50 people and you make £10k+ in sales, there’s a good chance you have the makings of a business. Don’t worry too much yet about how it will scale or how it will run without you. At this stage, just see if you can get people to buy something.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

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