10 tips for product managers

10 Tips For Product Managers

Take Action Today With These Product Management Tips

A few of the last episodes – #331 and #329 – were pretty abstract, about mental models and how it’s hard to predict in advance who’s going to be a great product manager (“Product Managers Are Unicorns.”)

But this episode is a little more grounded, a little more concrete – it’s all tips you can start using today!

These are 10 of the most powerful actions you can start doing today to become a better product manager, get your sales people to love you, win more deals, and watch your profits soar.

I provide context for each tip and mention the article or podcast where I talk a lot more about the idea.

The Top 10 Things To Start Doing Today

I list the 10 tips briefly below, including links to blog posts on the Secret Product Manager Handbook blog (https://secretpmhandbook.com) and to related episodes you can find on this site.

  1. Reduce the perception of risk: I have multiple podcasts episodes and articles about managing the prospect’s perception of risk and what I call “the Value Inequality.” Check out episodes 306 and 307 for more.
  2. What Problem? What does your product do? It solves a problem for someone. A problem that’s so bad that your prospects are willing to pay real money for the solution. Episode 311 has more on this topic, as well as my articles on Value Propositions and What Does A Product Manager Do.
  3. Build in Knowledge: Your customers don’t want to buy capabilities, they want to buy solutions and knowledgeEpisode 319 has an interesting take on this as well.
  4. Find market problems: The most important activity we have as product managers is finding market problems to solveEpisode 308 is all about “getting out of the building” to talk to the market.
  5. Learn To Tell A Story: I’m sure you know that stories are the most effective way to communicate with people. Make sure to get emotionally compelling stories from your customers. You can listen to my episode on how to elicit and tell great customer success stories for more guidelines.
  6. Reposition Agile: Many executives have a hard time understanding “agile” (actually, many people at all levels of the organization do). Here’s my article on a better way to talk to your execs about agile, focusing around the outcome – delivering value to market faster. Which results in higher revenue and more profits. (I don’t have a podcast on this yet, amazingly!)
  7. Ask Better Questions: Being able to ask good, probing questions is one of the most important tools you have for finding and validating market problems. Create a set of questions for doing customer interviews about the topics you need to learn about. Then practice them so you’re natural when talking to customers. My article called “Get People Talking” teaches you how to ask open-ended questions and keep people talking.
  8. Give Marketing And Sales A Hand: Sales people who only talk about product features are unlikely to make quota, but in lots of tech companies those are the talking points they are given. Instead, they need to talk about how your solution (aka your product) solves customer problems. Episodes 320 and 321 have a lot more information on helping your sales people out.
  9. Pre-handle Objections: Handling product-related sales objections is one of the most challenging parts of a sales person’s life. Podcast episode 304 has more on this topic and other persuasion topics.
  10. Make Your Methodology Work For You: Are your company’s processes and methodologies no longer providing the value they once did? If your methodology or process is hindering your ability to get value to market, come up with one change to make immediately to align it better to your goals. Check out podcast episode 322 for more on this.  

One More Link

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