Nice to have is the goal

The first time I ever heard the phrase “Need to have versus nice to have” was at the company I worked with before starting Schedulefly. We sold a software product that sales people used to help prepare themselves for sales calls – kind of like cliff notes – to quickly get up to speed on industries they were calling on. It was an awesome product and company. I recall hearing (pretty often) that many felt the product was a nice to have and not a need to have – so it was tough to sell. And that makes sense – it’s hard to sell something that people don’t need. So it seemed the question was always – how could that product be turned into a need to have? Something that sales people could not live without? Who knows. Honestly I think that would have ruined what made that company and that product special and as far as I could tell – they never figured that out – but were still a huge success with very happy customers and a wonderful business. Being a nice to have was (if you ask me) part of what made them unique and special and a pleasure for sales people to use. So my point of this post is this…

I want Schedulefly to always be a nice to have.

It’s not something that any restaurant should ever need. I want them to want it, not need it.

Wait, what?! Why? Because, in my mind, the things that a businesses needs are (usually) not stuff that they talk about and admire. Usually need to haves are not all that unique or special. Everyone needs them so many many companies make them and often the only real difference is the price. Think about it. When a business gets started – it picks up the things it needs – and likely the brand is not even that important. “Yeah, we need those, grab whichever ones are cheapest. It doesn’t matter which ones”. Think about that. Who wants to sell a product that was purchased and it didn’t matter why it was different than the next one? Who wants to be a product where brand (and even a story) is not very important? Not me. And this is precisely the reason why over the years I’ve ignored requests to have our software integrated in with larger (need to have) systems and requests for our software to be white labeled and re-branded by other business who want to sell it. It would dilute our brand and I’m sure be sold by people looking to market it as a need to have.

So it’s awesome to be able to offer something that people hand picked to own and use – even if they didn’t need it. A product that helps them – but also makes them feel good about being a customer – because they chose it. A product made by a company with a brand that the customer likes and cares about. A brand that they even associate themselves with and talk about. So much that they sometimes even wear items with the brand name on them – without being incentivized to do so.

Nice to haves are special. Nice to haves are what people have an emotional attachment to. Nice to haves are what businesses often purchase to make life better for their staff and for their customers. They are important things that of course they could do without, but they just don’t want to.

If I thought my team would let me, I would change our tagline on our home page to say one thing at the top….

“You don’t need Schedulefly, but we think you’re going to like it”.