Running "the money test" after the mom test

Running "the money test" after the mom test

You've spent weeks, maybe even months, validating your product idea.

You've watched all the videos, read all the advice, and conducted countless user interviews.

Everyone agrees: "Make sure it's something people want."

But now you're left wondering, "Apart from validating the problem, what is left to do?"

You've followed the "mom test" and avoided pitching your product directly, but you can't shake the nagging feeling that people are just trying to be nice.

They always encourage you, but will they actually buy it when the time comes?

As one frustrated builder shared on Reddit:

"In my case, we talked to close to 200 potential customers before building and 75% of them said yes, and even indicated how much they'd pay for our product. We built exactly what we told them and they ghosted."

How do you know if people aren't just lying to you?

People often unintentionally lie or give false positives for various reasons.

They might want to be supportive and encouraging, avoid hurting your feelings, or not have a strong opinion.

Sometimes, they may not fully understand the problem or solution, leading them to express interest without genuine intent to purchase.

How can you be sure that your idea isn't crap, despite all the seemingly positive feedback?

If these doubts are swirling in your head, you're not alone.

Many founders and product teams struggle with the same lack of confidence and confusion when it comes to TRULY validating their ideas.

They throw themselves into creating something they believe in, only to be haunted by the fear that they're pursuing an illusion.

But here's the truth: there IS a way to cut through the false positives and get the cold, hard validation you need to move forward confidently.

And I'm going to show you exactly how to do it.

Approach your interviewees with an irresistible offer

To truly gauge the interest in your product, present potential customers with a compelling pre-sale offer.

When you're confident that you've identified a problem worth solving, push for a pre-sale by including an offer like this:

"Right now, we're pre-selling this with a 20% discount just for you. The amount is fully refunded if we don't launch by [specific date], and you have a 14-day trial period, after which we also fully refund you if the service doesn't match your expectations."

By putting an actual offer on the table, you'll quickly separate genuine interest from polite encouragement.

Potential customers will either commit to the purchase or provide valuable negative feedback, ensuring you don't waste time based on insincere or overly polite responses.

Pre-selling is the ultimate litmus test for your product idea. It forces potential customers to put their money where their mouth is and gives you the confidence to move forward or pivot as needed.

But what if you're not ready to start pre-selling yet?

If you're still in the early stages of idea validation, focus first on conducting user interviews and research to confirm you're solving a real problem.

Once you have confidence in your solution, a pre-sale offer is the perfect next step to gauge serious interest.

How do you choose the proper discount and trial period?

Aim for a 10-30% discount, depending on your price point and target customer.

A 14 to 30-day trial period is usually sufficient for customers to evaluate the product.

The key is to make the offer compelling enough for people to act.

What if you get negative feedback or low pre-sales?

If your pre-sale offer doesn't generate the interest you hoped for, don't panic.

It's valuable feedback that can help you refine your idea, targeting, or marketing approach.

Analyze the objections or hesitations you heard, and consider pivoting or iterating on your solution before trying again.

Remember to kill your darlings quickly if needed.

How do you present a pre-sale offer to interviewees?

When discussing your solution with potential customers, prepare a clear offer that outlines the key benefits, pricing, and terms.

You could say something like:

"Based on your feedback, we're developing a solution to help you [key benefit].

We're offering a special pre-release discount of [X]% for early adopters like yourself.

The full amount will be refunded if we don't launch by [date], and you'll have a [X]-day trial period to ensure it meets your needs.

Is this something you'd be interested in committing to today?"

Be prepared to answer questions about the specifics of your offer and product.

If you haven't done it before, try dry-running it with a business acquaintance to be better prepared for questions that might come up.

If they express interest, follow up with a simple contract or invoice to formalize the pre-sale.

This could be done through email, an online checkout process using Stripe or Gumroad, or even a verbal agreement, depending on your relationship with the interviewee and the nature of your product.

The key is to make the offer and commitment as straightforward as possible for your early prospects while protecting your business interests with transparent terms and agreements.

Get the confidence you need to move forward with your idea

Take action now:

  1. Craft a pre-sale offer with a discount, launch date, and trial period.
  2. Present the offer to potential customers.
  3. Analyze their response to gauge genuine interest and gather feedback.

Pre-selling is a powerful tool for validating your product idea and gaining the confidence to move forward.

Presenting potential customers with a compelling offer will quickly separate genuine interest from polite encouragement and avoid wasting time on insincere responses.

Remember, the goal is not just to create something people want but something they want badly enough to pay for.

Happy validating!