You Must Solve Their Problem

by Dave Jackson

A few days ago, my seat broke on my mountain bike. Okay, I’ve gained a pound or two in the last months – but now they’re coming off and part of my regime is riding my bike.

So there I am, riding, standing up, holding the broken seat in one hand and steering with the other, heading home, certainly something for the passersby to do a double-take. Two days later I’m at Naples Cyclery, about a mile from the house, explaining to the tech that just putting another seat on the bike isn’t going to solve the problem.

The fellow wanted to sell a seat and be done with it. However, that didn’t solve my problem.

My problem was that because the seat never fit correctly on the post, undue weight was placed on a place on the bracket that wasn’t designed for it. Okay, I know I gotta lose a few pounds, too.

But realize that people buy solutions to their problems, not products or services. As a matter of fact, as a salesperson, you need to see yourself as more a problem finder than a vendor. You see, the more you focus on the problem, or the distance between the problem and the solution in the customers mind, the faster you’ll find a place where your product or service can fill a need.

Think about it. One of the deepest subconscious needs of all people is that need for self-esteem, for feeling important, of value, worthwhile. If you can figure out what people need to do to increase themselves in any one or all of these areas, and show them how to do that by using your product or service – and how they can gain the appreciation of those around them – they will often be motivated to buy what you are selling.

You know, when I meet a prospect for the first time, most of the time they are totally unaware there is even a gap between where they are and where they could be. They’ll come back with, “I’m not interested,” or the famous, “I can’t afford it,” or “I’m happy with what I’m doing.” Hey, these are normal responses. Who likes change?

Your job is to articulate a state of even greater satisfaction that they could enjoy if they did something different. Almost all advertising is directed at showing people how much better off they could be with a product or service that they haven’t purchased.

Okay – time for your homework.

I want you to identify the personal benefit to your prospect of using your product or service. Show her how much better off she will be.

Secondly, help them see the true costs of not using your product, or continuing to use their existing product. Expand that “gap” with good questions.

Resolve to not sell, but solve their problem!

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1 comment

Matthew Anderson May 18, 2010 - 11:29 am

David Archuleta is definitely one of the best singer in American Idol.”**

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