Do you understand the primary problems that challenge your ideal customers?
If your business is intensely focused on relationships, then it is continually learning about the most relevant problems for which it can be the solution.
To attract new customers, they must immediately know your business understands their problems, and can offer relevant solutions for them.
Want to help your customers? Keep a list of their top problems posted in your office. Tweet this
While this seems simple enough, its importance cannot be underestimated. Helping is a vital aspect of your marketing and sales process, and that starts with being intensely aware of the various pain points.
Innovate Beyond Solutions Looking for Customers
Traditional marketers offered solutions in the form of standardized products and services
This one-size-fits-all approach treats every customer as being the same. Many small businesses fall in love with their solutions, serving them up to every new customer, regardless of the problem.
They effectively become a hammer looking for a nail. If they happen to find a screw instead, they attempt to hammer it too!
A smarter approach is to first commit resources to building a loyal tribe. Then design solutions that not only solve primary problems, but related secondary problems too.
For example, a primary problem may be learning how to lose weight. The secondary problems could be learning how to eat well, exercising properly, and reframing one’s self-image as a healthy individual
Thus, there can be multiple secondary solutions to solving the primary problem, with some being more important than others for respective customers.
Apple Computer does this well. Their retail stores offer skilled guidance, service, and training for selected computing devices in a range of sizes, styles, and capabilities. The result is solutions can be designed for customers that suit their specific budgets and needs.
How can your business innovate its solutions to be more relevant to the needs of its customers?
Tell Stories that Validate Your Capabilities
The surest way to engage buyers with your collaborative selling process is to share stories that authenticate your experience and expertise. This gives prospective buyers confidence.
Research shows stories are highly effective for activating the human brain, thereby making stories memorable content that tends to be shared with friends and influencers
As a practical matter, learning how to tell better stories allows prospective buyers to see their circumstances within the stories your business shares. They can then relate to the aspirations and challenges of the customers your business has successfully served.
Your social media is ideally suited to sharing stories. However, they should be first captured on some form of owned media. Publishing on your website or blog establishes the copyrights of your original stories.
Now your stories can shared from that central source for years to come to communicate your business capabilities in a meaningful way.
Ask Good Questions
Savvy buyers can spot inexperience within seconds. They expect your staff to know as much or more than they do, and that assessment is often the result of the first few questions your business asks.
A traditional approach for retailers is asking the prospective buyer how the representative can help them. These days, expectations are different. The business is expected to know how it can help, and readily communicate that, often by asking good questions.
This is one reason why your business needs to consume media to stay on top of recent developments in your industry. It is also why it should be blogging to explore them further.
What is new is often on the minds of your customers, so they will expect your business to be able to offer a relevant perspective to measure against theirs. Customers don’t expect a business to always be the answer to their problems, but they do expect it to care enough to try.
#1 – List the primary problems that challenge your ideal customers.
#2 – Then list the secondary problems that should be addressed to solve the primary problem.
This is where your business is likely to find new ways for helping its customers, and quite possibly new sources of revenue too!
About the Author: Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)