It goes without saying, as business owners most of us want to increase sales.
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Whether you are shifting boxes or selling services, one of the most prevalent business goals I hear when reviewing a potential new client is – I want to grow.
The trouble is, most businesses aren’t.
Why is this happening?
Like most things, the answer is simple. It’s not the product, and it’s not the price. The issue occurs way before your potential customer even sees the features or benefits of what you have to offer.
It’s at the very beginning. At the very start of the conversation. Have you guessed what it is yet?
You haven’t identified the problem
Our brains look for problems. They are superb at it. An excellent way to understand this, and the reason behind the title of this piece, is that of dog poop on the pavement.
When we are walking down the street, we have many things to be aware of – especially in London where we are based. Cars passing by, people chatting on their phones, cyclists either on the pavement or not obeying red lights.
So, how are we able to still notice the small pile of dog poop in front of us?
It is because our brains look for problems. They are attracted to them.
Another example (but not nearly as stinky) are news cycles. Have you ever wondered why the main news segments are nearly always bad news topics?
Because bad news often means problems.
Whether it’s Brexit slashing the value of the pound (making us poorer), ISIS (making us frightened) or train companies (making us late) the top of the news is almost always full of problems.
Here’s the danger. If you don’t identify the problem and instead jump straight to stating the solution, your customer will not feel compelled to buy. Why should they? They have no reason too. They don’t know they need what you are selling. Because you haven’t stated the problem.
Stating solutions in advertising is nothing new. We’ve been conditioned to do exactly that by having features & benefits rammed down our throats for years. It doesn’t make it right, though, and things have changed.
What should we be doing?
Here’s the way to ensure potential customers get the right message. First address the person, then state the problem, next state the solution and don’t over do it.
If you overstate the problem, you will scare them off to the competition. Overstating the solution will mean you are telling them how you’d solve the problem, and that’s the process.
They aren’t ready for the process yet.
Well yes, it is. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it, including yourself most probably and you (and them) wouldn’t need to read a blog about it. That doesn’t mean it is beyond you, though.
We’ll be covering this in greater detail in future newsletters (up first) and then blog. If you’d like to be the first to hear you can do that here for free. Else, if you cannot wait, please get in touch, and we’ll help straight away.
Until next time.