I recently wrote a post about only selling what’s true. In it I explained that you should focus on customers pain points because those are the things they know are true.
Whereas the idea that your solution or product is the best for them is only an opinion … which they may or may not share.
So how do you get customers or users to share your opinion?
Own their problem.
First understand their problem, both the surface level challenges and the issues you don’t see or they can’t verbalize. Many times people have unconscious needs that they need help bringing to the surface. Other times the problem they have is adjacent to your solutions or products and you need to connect the dots for them.
For example, if you are in the healthcare industry and help people who have cancer, don’t just focus on the uses of your products to patients. Own the entire illness space for your type of patient. Own the way they look for self-diagnosis. Own the education around their upcoming surgeries. Own the videos that explain their post-surgical recoveries. Own the empathy and true caring on the support websites with their families. Own the routines for their follow-up care, diet and fitness.
If you’re into building the next big data analytics platform for farming, show farmers you know more than software. Show them you know what they need. Give them the 3 best early indicators of crop yield so they can plan ahead. Give them options to print stuff out instead of thinking they’ll just use an “app”. Get to know the names of the dogs they take inside their tractors or combines. Know when their favorite football team loses and how it affects their Mondays.
If you supply food and ingredients to restaurants, don’t just act as a supplier. Own the restaurants other problems too. Send them articles on dealing with high staff turnover. Find out how you can work together to stretch out a little more profit per dish for them. Give them resources on how to best use social media marketing to bring in more customers. Send the owner or manager a gift card for a spa day, because these guys and gals are on their feet 15-hours-per-day, 6-days-a-week. Show them that you really get how tough it is to run a restaurant.
Owning customers problems is not just good for business, it’s good for people. You will build better relationships that lead to long-term success for both parties.
Your ability to influence someone’s opinion about your proposed solution to their problem is directly proportional to the credibility you have around that problem. The more you own it, the faster you will be able to influence.
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