Small Business Owners: Are You Selling or Solving?

No matter what you sell — a product, a service, a subscription, etc. — you’re selling a solution to a problem.

Prospects aren’t looking for our products and services, they’re looking to get their problems solved. The business owner who can understand the problem the best is most likely the one that gets the business. In almost every case, the act of solving that problem should be the primary focus of any engagement with a prospective customer.

Problem solving is the single greatest priority

There’s something to be said for a thorough, extensively understanding of your customer’s world. If you don’t take this seriously, everything else you do in term of marketing and sales will be far less effective.

A recent survey found that 80% of buyers don’t believe that the salespeople they deal with understand their business.

74% of B2B buyers choose the salesperson who was first to add value and insight in their buying process.

Clearly, insight into the problems customers are having is key because very few people want what you sell. That’s not a blow to you or your business or your solutions. I’m sure all are remarkable. People want what they believe they will get, achieve, relieve, dodge, or acquire based on buying what you sell.

What problems are you solving

Take the time to determine and list the problems your ideal customers see and feel. If you’re having a tough time thinking about your ideal client’s problems, think about the conversations you had leading up to your sales meeting, the things addressed in your discovery process or hopefully, you’re a good note taker and can revisit those for some insight.

So, your job is to understand the problems ideal customers are trying to solve and match your solutions to those very specific problems.

For example, a lot my firms prospective clients might say things like — I just want my phone to ring, I want to be on the first page of Google, I want more referrals, I want less marketing headaches, I want my website to generate leads, I feel like I’m wasting money on ineffective marketing, etc.

So my firm doesn’t sell strategic marketing or marketing plans or even consulting — all my ideal clients need to know about what we do is:

  • We make the phone ring — end of story.
  • We get you on the first page of Google — end of story.
  • We make more referrals happen — end of story.
  • We make marketing headaches go away — end of story.
  • We make the website generate leads — end of story.
  • We make marketing dollars go to work — end of story.

Another example, a massage practice: They might have the best tables, oils, and most highly skilled therapist but all their customers seem to care about is that their pain and discomfort go away.

So that’s the promise they need to communicate, shout about and promote. The rest is an expectation — I mean doesn’t everyone in the massage business have highly skilled therapist.

By turning your small business messaging into a problem-solving engine for your customers, you can in turn solve the biggest problem being faced by many business owners struggling to acclimate in this new business landscape.