6 Ways to Sell The Problem You Solve, Not Your Products
So let’s talk about selling a bit. It can be an icky topic. Many people equate sales with sleazy, ass-kissing, obnoxious, in your face, annoying...I’m sure you have some words, too. But let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way!
Many people still think that in order to sell, you need to shove your business down your customer's throat and hammer them with "buy from us" messaging. Hence, the icky sales feeling. And most likely, your customer is going to run the other way. This is much less effective than companies who solve customer's internal problems with their external solutions.
What do I mean by that?
Think about it this way...if you're looking to buy a pair of running shoes, it's not just because you want to run (although a rare few do) or that you simply want them. There's an internal calling for those shoes, whether you're unhappy with your body image or maybe you'd like to be able to get up the stairs with less huffing and puffing or you want to pick up the cute girl/guy in a running club. Whatever it is, it's always more than just wanting to run. This is how you need to think of your business as well.
Solve your customers problems. Be the solution.
Then keep your customers happy with your company’s products and badass customer service. This creates brand/business loyalty and they become advocates of your company on their own.
Sales doesn’t have to be icky at all. And it doesn’t have to be in your face and pushy. Here’s an example of non-pushy, quiet sales:
At one point in time, I worked for a jewelry company. I had a very quiet, non-pushy, building relationships type of selling. My boss did not. He was the in your face, pushy, sleazy, pester you until you run type of salesperson. We worked together one day and my style of selling annoyed him because it wasn’t like his method or ways. He felt I needed to change it to be more successful at sales (sound familiar?). He pushed me into try role-playing with him to “teach” me his sales method (Don’t ever push me into role-playing. I’m an introvert. I despise it and will not cooperate with you. You’ve been warned.) And he was warned.
So instead, I issued him a challenge. We will both sell our own way and at the end of the day tally our individual sales and see who came out on top. Guess who came out on top? It wasn’t him! After that day, he never questioned my methods again. And I went on to be one of his most successful sales people to the point I helped run multiple stores.
You see, sales doesn’t have to be icky, pushy, or in your face. You find the method that works the best for you and stick with it. And stand up for yourself, especially if you’re successful.
Here are a few quick tips to embrace the “Sell your solutions to their problems, and not your product:”
Stop "overselling" - You don't need to come right out and say, "I'm in business, I would like you to buy from me." Although, there is a time and place for that kind of messaging (but use it sparingly). A soft sell is going to work much better than pushing the "buy from me" sell. A “buy from me” sell is all about YOU. You want to be all about your customer and solving their problems, not all about you.
You need to have one compelling reason why a customer should work with you - what sets you apart from your competitors? For instance, at Kat Collins, I’m honest, authentic, have a drive to help women entrepreneurs (new and established), and a bit sassy (if you haven’t noticed). This sets me apart from other businesses who are focused on just selling you their product or way of doing things.
You need to identify your customer and what problems they have - social listening is a great way to do this. If you're in the business of selling hand-crafted wigs (it’s a big market!), go online and find forums or blogs where there is conversation around high-quality wigs. This applies to anything you’re selling whether it’s a service like branding or a product like wigs. Listen to what users are saying or what questions they're asking and generate ideas based off of that.
Make it less about you and more about them - how can YOU help your customer? What ways will you benefit them and their life? Your messaging should revolve around your customer. Put your buyers first and focus on messages that speak to their problems.
Educate and ask for nothing in return - if you're not writing a blog at the very least to educate, then you're missing out on potential organic traffic to your website. If you don't have the time to write good content for a blog, hire someone who will because it will pay. Educate your target audience and then when they're in need of your product or service more often than not, they'll think of you first.
Answer these questions before crafting your messaging - this will help you get a better idea of what you need to say and who you need to speak to in your content:
Who are your target customers?
What's a problem that every target customer of yours has?
What are your customers doing while they're using your product or service?
What's their primary goal in using your product or service?
With these 6 tips, you should be able to start selling a solution to your customers instead of just a product or service. In no time, you should start generating more awareness around your business and find yourself becoming more of an authority in your space.
How do you sell in your business? Do you struggle with the feeling of icky sales? How can I help? Drop your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
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Glad you’re here! I’m the web designer and founder of Kat Collins Design, based in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.
I’m a designer that builds powerful and modern Squarespace websites and branding for women entrepreneurs who don’t want to be like everyone else.
I’m tired of boring. Are you?
On the blog, you’ll find a variety of topics that help you succeed in online business, such as website design, branding, being authentic online and in business, Squarespace design tips, and more.