Your clients spend enough time managing their business, employees, cash-flow, sales, paperwork, and more. What they really want is the freedom to focus on what makes them stronger, faster, easier to manage, and more profitable.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t Sell, Solve”. All companies at least attempt to offer a product or service that their prospective customers can buy, but the most successful companies focus on solving their customers problems.
From a sales perspective, I get it. As soon as you identify an area that you can potentially add value and it fits into your sales box, you are ready to provide the solution. But in all actuality, if you don’t drill down to diagnose the root cause of the client challenge, many times you are treating an effect of the problem rather than the actual root cause.
This may seem simple and straightforward and it is, kind of.
Let’s take a quick look at a simple process that can be followed to begin truly solving your client’s problems:
To better identify the core issues, the symptoms of the problem need to be understood. Frequently a client fixates on the effects that are clear and present but not the issue itself, and this can cause confusion. Often times, the core issues have to be peeled back a bit to gain a more global understanding of what is going on.
You always have to remember that most clients aren’t experts in solving the types of issues that you are being brought in to help solve, or you wouldn’t have been brought in. Typically asking questions related to the adverse effects that the client experiences within their business is a great place to start. With identifying the core pain points of what the issues are, you can better understand the challenges and needs at a high-level perspective.
After taking a strong look at the effects and identifying the core issues, a strategy is drawn up and created about how to address these issues. This strategy should focus solely on the solution, not just the products and services that are being sold. Our job is to educate as well as deliver our services.
Putting the plan together; if you are truly focused on the solution for you client, this can get tricky at times. Many times, your recommendations can fall well outside the scope of what you traditionally offer, and that ok. Clients rarely fit inside your sales box and very few companies can do everything that helps their clients. Always remember, it’s about them and not you.
If you determine your company is not the best fit for this client, be honest and recommend them to a company that you trust. This honesty will build a new layer of trust with your prospect, and they may hire you for one of your core competencies anyway!
This part is simple… for the most part. Focus on your wheelhouse and what you do really well, and then help the client with any additional requirements that you recommend. If they want you to assist them with other vendors to get everything done, just do it (as long as you can do it well). Again, it’s about them and solving their problems.
It’s one thing to add value to a client by supplying a service that you provide, but it’s a whole other issue if you are actively helping them solve their issues and reach their long-term goals.
At the end of the day, everyone should be more focused on building strong relationships with their clients. Nothing grows business relationships stronger than understanding your clients problems and truly helping to solve them. It should be why you’re here.