Solve customer problems, not yours

Johnny walks into a sales meeting with a potential client that has a dream project for Johnny’s company.  As he walks in, and he tries to mentally prepare for this important meeting, he reminds himself:  “I’m here not to make a sale!  I am here to help solve my client’s problem.”  

As we all know, in this day and age, there are plenty of so-called Technology outsourcing providers, from all parts of the planet .. and who knows .. maybe there are some Martians on oDesk for $12/hour! What differentiates a successful sales person, like Johnny, from others, is that he knows his job is not to sell staff or a project .. but rather to provide a genuine and honest solution to his client.

How does one accomplish that?  Well.. We are so proud of our process, and our vision, that we made it our mission statement:  Think outside the code .. think Solutions!

Here is our process, and feel free to contact any of our current or previous clients to check for yourself how successful it is!

1. FOCUS ON RESULT!

Successful salesman realizes that there is no excellent service or product out there on the market. It can be perfect only if it is satisfying customers preferences.

2. Economic impact

Selling a solution means that you present your product or service as something that will have an impact on client`s economic affairs.  The three separate steps of successful sales scenario are understanding customers’ problems, developing a clear picture of a solution to the customer and finally, demonstrating a solution of your company.

Problem-solving facts

  • For every problem, there is a dissatisfied customer. 
  • A business problem has dissatisfaction for someone, which means you have a problem to be fixed.
  • Never try to solve a problem without enough information. The most effective way to get the best result is to take customers’ problem personally.

5 WAYS TO FIND OUT WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT

1. Listen

One of the first steps is listening. Surprisingly, this step is often overlooked. You have to listen first to understand the nature of the problem and the effect it has had on the customer. This is the key to understanding the customer’s’ perspective and offering solutions that match. In many instances, customers simply want someone to listen to them and they want to be heard. Effectively listening without cutting off the customers allows them for venting, which often leaves them more relaxed and ready to move forward with a resolution.

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2. Acknowledge

The very second you hear the problem you need to confirm that you have heard and understood it. Understanding the customer’s’ problem ensures that you are on the same page. Without it you put yourself at risk of resolving it the wrong way. If the client doesn’t interpret information that you are trying to share correctly, do not hesitate to explain it as simply as possible.

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3. Alternatives

A specific remedy is not necessary in the case of customer oversight. If your company, product or service made a mistake, you need to offer alternative remedies to deal with the situation. We should always keep in mind that the customer not only didn’t get what he paid for, but also has been stressed by the return trip or phone call. You have to offer not only a resolution to the specific problem but provide the client with an extra product, service or gift voucher.

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3. Execution and Follow Up

Once you agree on the solution with the client, you execute it, providing the additional support. If you satisfied the full range of client’s needs that were connected with the services you provide, the customer will always leave happy.

If you do hear of a problem and make an attempt to fix it, you need to follow it up. That will also protect from spreading negative messages at the market.

You can’t deliver products that solve your target customers’ problems without identifying market problems. These problems may be stated directly as customer needs or implied indirectly. Your market consists of customers, who have already purchased your product, people who have not yet purchased your product but are considering it and People in your target market who are not currently looking for a solution.

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TRAPS TO AVOID WHEN LISTENING TO YOUR MARKET

 

1. INNOVATION AND COMPETITION

Remember, your main task is to identify that you are solving a problem for your target market. It is important not to pay too much attention to what competitors are doing and do not waste your time and resources on trying to beat them. In many cases, the customer does not care about extra features. While it’s always a good idea to keep abreast of what your competitors are doing, ensure that the market wants the problem solved.

2.  THINK ABOUT CUSTOMERS

Customers understand problems, but you are the one who move the product forward. Customers are a source of input, but not the only source of input. To see the whole picture, you should take into account all the prospects and target market users. They often see things beyond your current product.

3. STATED VERSUS SILENT MARKET NEEDS

Usually, you are always provided with the stated needs of the market and they really are important, but what is even more important are silent needs with undefined solutions. Whether or not you can solve your target market’s everyday problems, you should find out them, while interviewing potential users.

Yuriy Krisarchuk