What are windows of opportunity and triggers? Windows of opportunity are times when the customer is particularly open to your offering.
Some examples of windows of opportunity include;
- Seasonality – You buy swimsuits in the spring, not in the fall, the customer is particularly open to swimsuits in the spring.
- End of the year or a fiscal year – Many companies have an end of a fiscal year, and they spend money because if they don’t spend it, they lose it. Governments the same way. For the government in the U.S. the contracts end in September, they’re throwing money away in September because they don’t spend it, they don’t get it next year’s budget. The fiscal year can be a big example of an opportunity.
- Budget planning cycles and how companies do that process and when they’re open to adding-in new items.
- Life transitions for people are usually big windows of opportunity.
- Changes in leadership within an organization
- Changes in regulations
- Crisis – One of the things I love about entrepreneurs is they’re very opportunity-minded. Many times when you see crisis and failure around you, those are the perfect opportunities for entrepreneurs to step in and solve a problem. It is not about making money; money is the byproduct of doing it. Entrepreneurship is about solving problems.
If there’s a crisis, and there’s failure, we need entrepreneurship to overcome these problems in these challenges.
What is the trigger within a window of opportunity? It is an action you can take to create urgency or a strong incentive to act. Some examples would include;
- Limited supplies – Indicating the limited amount remaining, there are only two left.
- Time-bound offer – You know, this offer is good for 30 days or till the end of the year.
- Things like trials, it’s, it’s a trial offer. It’s only good now.
- Your solution to the news – We have some candidate that talked some stuff on a news broadcast, the other candidate and his loyal followers immediately take advantage of that sound bite and create their solution to the thing that they just said. Your solution to the news can be a good example of a trigger.
Here are some more practical examples of windows of opportunity and triggers
1) Have you ever booked a flight online, on travel sites like Expedia?
You get the two seats remaining at this price flashing up on your screen. Well, if you want that price, there’s a sense of urgency, you buy it then or when you come back, it’s going to be more expensive.
2) The end of the year, fiscal opportunities.
Companies such as IBM schedule training in December; they’ve got this budget, they are getting to the end of the year, and they haven’t spent the money. If they don’t spend it, they won’t get their budget approved for the next year for those specific line items. This requires them to schedule training at the end of the fiscal year.
3) Students at the beginning of the semester or school year.
When students are going back to school, they buy sales and giveaways. That trigger is tied to the beginning of the school year.
4) If you’re buying enterprise software, some kind of a time-bound trading program.
5) If you’re visiting HubSpot, get the free website grader.
There are all these little triggers that make you remember. It’s not about having to purchase the whole project, product or service. It’s about taking a step, getting beyond the status quo or no action because the number one competition is a customer doing nothing. You want them to do something. That’s why these free trials are important.
6) If you’re a security company, and then there’s been a breach, you get a free audit of the customer status.
All these are examples of windows of opportunity and triggers. What are/your window of opportunity and triggers? The seasonality, the fiscal year, the budget planning cycles of the people that you’re selling your product or service, transitions, people may be in changes in leadership, regulations, crises.
All of these windows of opportunity may exist, and of course you may be saying, I can’t think of any windows of opportunity. Let me give you a little graphic which I think is kind of funny. This one takes all these bad things that just happened, I just lost everything, or I just moved or just got depressed, or I just got a kid or I’ve just been living the life.
It doesn’t matter what situation you are in, there’s always a window of opportunity in how you can approach the customer so that they see your opportunity as valued at this point in time. You want to think through those windows of opportunity because these are really important for your marketing strategy.
Then when it comes to triggers, it includes introductory offers when you first launch your company. Discount, really, in the minds of a customer is something you’re selling because you can’t sell it, you discount it. All of these are triggers that can cause people to move away from that status quo of doing nothing. Taking advantage of crisis and failure opportunities are big opportunities for triggers.
Price and Solution
One of the things I like to tell people when they’re starting their business, and especially setting their price and their solution; the more complex your solution, and the higher your profit margin, that is the space that your competition plays. When it comes to your profit margin, don’t be greedy because someone’s going to come along and undercut you.
When it comes to your solution set, you want to find the simplest solution so that you can overcome the status quo and people take action. The triggers can help take action.
What are windows of opportunity and triggers? These are times when the customer is particularly open to your offering and actions you can take to create the agencies. This includes even the bad things that may happen like a client losing everything or a security breach and the actions you can take as an entrepreneur to offer a solution.