One of my favorite activities is to ask people on LinkedIn to send me their websites. I know this is a very strange activity, but stay with me.

I ask them for two reasons. First, I’m curious about their business and second, I’m curious how they talk to their customers.

I’m looking to see if they talk about the problems they solve for their customers or the stuff they do. You see, when you talk about the problems you solve, you’re making your customer the hero in your story. When you talk about the stuff you do, you’re making yourself the hero.

Transcript

One of my favorite activities to ask people on LinkedIn is to send me their websites. I know this is a very strange activity, but stay with me for a second.

I ask them for two reasons. First, I’m curious about their business and second, I’m curious how they talk to their customers.

I’m looking to see if they talk about the problems they solve for their customers or the stuff they do. You see, when you talk about the problems you solve, you’re making your customer the hero in your story. When you talk about the stuff you do, you’re making yourself the hero.

So the question I wanna ask you, now I’m sure you’ve probably seen the movie, “Star Wars.” In the movie, “Star Wars,’ there’s two characters, there’s Yoda and there’s Luke. So who would you rather be? Would you rather be Yoda, and be the guide, and help Luke get through the problems that he’s having? And think about this in the context of your company. Or would you like to be Luke, where you’re the hero and you come in to save the day? Now, I’m hoping you answered, Yoda, because your customers are gonna wanna guide, they don’t want you to be the hero, they want you to understand what the problem is that you’re trying to solve for them, and the problem that they value having solved for them, and you do that.

So in today’s video we’re going to talk about how you make sure you know what problem you solve for your customers are. So, let’s get started.

  1. My first question is do you know the problems you solve for your customers?
    • I’m not talking about the stuff you do like investing money, if you’re a money manager firm or building a house if you’re a contractor, I’m talking about the problems that you help your customers solve. So, here’s a problem that we help people solve, is that we help people have a great transition into retirement. Because retirement is a huge transition. Is that all about investing money? Well, that’s part of it, and part of it is, how do you live your life? How do you handle retirees’ remorse? Those are all things that go along with how people’s problems be solved. so what’s the problem that you’re solving for your customers?
  2. Number two, do you show empathy for the problem that you’re trying to solve? You know, although it’s easy for you to think about how the problem’s solved because you may have done it hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times, for your customers, there’s a good chance, it’s the first, second, maybe third time, they’ve gone through it, and transitions are hard, people don’t like transitions. And the problem that you’re usually helping people solve is going through some sort of a transition. And the issues that I see along the way here is, too often, I see people act in a cavalier manner. Now what that means is you’re making the problem seem like it’s small, well, for your customer, it’s not small, otherwise they wouldn’t have come to you. This is a problem I have a lot with advisors, they walk in, they’re really smart, they wanna show how smart they are, they put themselves into the hero role, and they don’t act as a guide to the customer, the client walks away unhappy. Now you might think the problem that your customer’s having is easy, and again, your customer doesn’t. So the question you wanna always be asking yourself, how can you make it easy for them? How can you simplify what they see as something they’re stuck on?
  3. You know, here’s something else I want you to really be thinking about. Do you have a strategy for how you help your customers go from where they are, to where they wanna be?
    • This is around one of the four pillars of sustainability, systems. Your customers and your clients want to know that you have a predictable way of creating an outcome that they value. If you don’t have this, they kinda go say, well, this sounds like it might be right, but will I really get what I want? If you have a proven system, you can talk about that proven system and how that system relates to solving that problem.
    • Now, you have to be really clear with your customers here, you can’t try to make their problem fit into your solution. Now, a lot of times I’d have people walk into my office, and start pitching me on something before they ask me one question, I used to call it a solution looking for a problem. You wanna have a problem that you understand, and then have the right solution for that.
    • Now you can prove that you’ve done it before? And I’ve just talked about it, it’s called reliability. Can I reliably prove that I’ve done something before? And if possible, you wanna get testimonials on how you’ve done has worked. Now, if you’re in the wealth management business, you can’t have testimonials, because it’s against the law. So like me, I use case studies instead of testimonials, like, here’s how I’ve done it, here’s someone who’s been in a similar situation to you, and this is what we do along the way.
  4. You wanna make sure your customers feel like they’re being heard.
    • So before spewing stuff that you wanna do, make sure you understand what your customer wants. Stephen Covey has this great saying, “Seek to understand before you’re understood,” and I want you to think about what that means, think to understand, before you’re understood. What’s the problem your customer has and do you have a solution for that? If you don’t, be honest.
    • Now remember, it’s never, never, never about you, it’s always about them. That’s why you want your customer to be the hero in the story, in the service that you provide. You’re just helping them get to where they wanna get, that automatically puts you in the guide position, if you’re doing it well.
    • And you wanna make sure you’re not subliminally letting your customers believe they’re not being listened to, you do this through body language, you do it by looking like you’re bored, you cut your customer off because you know where they’re going. Well, you probably do know where they’re going, but you have to let them get you there at their speed, not your speed.
    • And finally, are you talking about features or benefits? The problems or the stuff you do? Features are the stuff, how fast does your car go? How much horsepower does it have? But it doesn’t talk about the benefit of what you’re doing, what problem you’re solving, or solution you’re providing for an opportunity.

So, if you pay attention to these four things, here’s what’s gonna happen to your customers, they’re going to go from not having their problems addressed, to being heard and valued with a focus on solving their problems.

So what do you think about focusing on the problem, not the stuff you do? Why don’t you scroll down and leave me a comment about this, and while you’re at it, DOWNLOAD our Free Infographic on The Alignment Conversation, you’ll see how we put the focus on what the customer wants, and not what we think they should have.

Hey, this is Josh Patrick, you’re at The Sustainable Business, thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Topics: Video, Sustainable Business, customer relations, problem solving, how to talk to customers, listening to customers, business goals

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