Now, I strongly believe that sales and marketing is all about understanding people and building human relationships. The more similarities between the nature of developing human relationships and your sales and marketing processes, the more likely they are to be successful. In my opinion.
“Solutions not problems” has been a phrase I’ve bumped into many times over my career. I personally really like it and have always turned to it as an ethos to keep momentum up and avoid roadblocks where possible. It’s always important to know the problems, but when there’s a solution to go with it – there’s no need for everything to come to a grinding halt.
Looking for the solution
In general, people don’t want to hear problems. We’ll all agree that there are always times where problems need to be heard and explored. But sales and marketing copy seldom works when we “sell the problem”. Someone will stop in their tracks to read more because of their “problem”. But it’s the solution they’re looking for.
So, this in mind, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when I made a recent breakthrough in the nappy changing department over the weekend.
Meet Said 2 Year Old
This is Joey, he is 2 and is also my youngest son.
Joey has always hated being even slightly dirty. He’s the only kid I know to run in the opposite direction when someone brings out the crafts or messy play.
One microscopic bit of dirt on his hands and he’s bobbling over to you, arms out-stretched already pleading – “wipe it”, “wipe it”, “wipe it”.
Now we’re talking.
But, even though he hates being dirty, he really hates having his nappy changed. You know when it’s time for a change, because (if you can’t smell it from a mile off) when asked if his nappy needs a change, Joey literally runs away. Before he agrees to being changed, there’s usually a Frube, a pack of cheese dippers, or a bowl of fruit sacrificed as a bartering chip.
This is why I was so chuffed with my breakthrough over the weekend. It turns out I’d been selling him the “problem” all his life. “Do you want your nappy changed?”, “no”. “Can I change your nappy?”, “No way”. I changed one small thing and it works like a charm every single time.“Clean nappy?”, “yep”.
Now we’re talking.
Let’s think about this in context.
Where’s The Sales & Marketing Masterclass?
What are some of the things we hate doing?
Spending money; filling in forms; receiving sales calls or emails.
Yet we still see prompts like “join our mailing list” and “buy now” everywhere. We’re selling the problem too. And we’re selling the wrong one too. The person seeing our ad, visiting our website, engaging with our social media content, or reading our blog post stopped to do so because they are trying to solve a problem. Whether consciously or subconsciously.
So if we want more of the potential customers to take an action we want them to – to convert – we have to start giving them solutions.