If people aren’t buying your solutions to their problems, you need to stop and look at what people really are buying from you.
Normally, in business, marketing and sales, the common concept is that we’re ‘here to solve a problem for our customers’ – but I like to see things differently.
Sure, I’m here to help and serve, don’t get me wrong.
And addressing needs, and solving problems when needed, that’s all part of my job.
But there’s two fundamental flaws in the problem-solving approach.
First: why problem?
Why start out with a negative?
It’s much more fun and far more effective to reframe a customer’s need in terms of ‘job to get done’.
You might think I’m nitpicking on idiom, but the mindframe in the two cases is very different, and makes for very different processes.
For example: Think of a patient, talking to a doctor.
If it’s “I have a problem and I want it cured”, then that’s where the conversation will go. A problem. Looking for a solution.
But if it’s “I want to be healthy, and I’m not, and it’s because of ailment x”, the conversation will address the ailment, but it will also look at the bigger picture of what it means to be healthy, and how dealing with the ailment ties in with that.
Bigger impact, bigger ramifications.
My second objection to the problem-solving point of origin, is that if your thinking and inquiring is into what problem a potential buyer has, you’ll be working with two sets of assumptions: yours, and theirs.
If a client identifies a problem and asks if you can solve it they assume (by nature and default) that the problem they want solving, is the big and core obstacle to whatever it is they want.
But behind every problem is always another problem, an underlying cause – and looking at how to solve that obvious, initial problem, can easily skip over the unseen elements.
“I have problem x”, they say, and you go “Well, my product or service fixes that”. Not much joy. They might buy, they might not.
Instead, reframe your conversation as ‘what job are you looking to get done?’
Meaning: aside from solving the problem, what overall outcome are they looking for?
If they want more website traffic, what consequences does it bring for them, beyond a higher number in a dashboard?
If a client wants spiffy ebook design, what set of outcomes are included, in getting that job done?
Better positioning, more professional look, more authority…
In other words: your job isn’t to solve a problem… it’s to *find* a problem – that way, you’ll be able to convert clients because they’ll know that you get the bigger picture, the overall holistic impact you’ll have on their life or their business.
You need to forget problem-solving, and become good at problem-finding.
And you do that by taking on the attitude of the investigator, the researcher, the anthropologist, the insatiably curious asker of questions.
That way, buyers will step into buying change from you, instead of you having to sell them a solution.
This here 1-hour training video shows you how, starting with inquiry, and leading right up to asking for the sale.