Picture this. You walk into a store and the hyper-ambitious salesperson walks up to you and asks, “May I help you?”
What’s your response going to be? For most of us, the response is something along the lines of “No thanks, just looking”.
Why do we give that response?
Is it because we think that the salesperson doesn’t know as much about the store as we do? What I find is that we respond that way because we feel that the seller is looking out for themself, not looking out for us, the customer.
In fact, what they tend to do is focus on everything from their own lens. Thus selling instead of solving. I often refer to this as a form of ADD, or Axis Displacement Disorder. This is when the individual believes the axis of the Earth has shifted, and now, somehow, the world revolves around them.
Let’s talk about how not to come across this same way with your business.
Selling When We Should Be Solving
This happens in our business when we tend to focus on what it is that we are selling and overlook why people are buying.
So I want you to think of it as a medical metaphor. If you are a doctor and perform procedures related to carpal tunnel surgery, you can’t just walk up to people and say to them: “We have the best carpal tunnel surgery. In fact, our treatment is incredible. We actually make it so that your recovery period is pain-free. It happens so quickly you won’t even know that you had surgery just a couple weeks after the procedure.”
Lead With the Solution
Most of the people you talk to aren’t going to need carpal tunnel surgery. So if you lead with your treatment, in essence, the procedure that you perform, most of the people are going to think you’re just a crackpot and you’re crazy.
Instead, what would a good physician do? A good physician would think to themselves ‘Hmm, let’s see, I treat people who have carpal tunnel syndrome‘.
They probably also realized that most people who have carpal tunnel syndrome don’t even know they have it. So they’re not aware of the condition that they have. However, they’re aware of the symptoms that they would be experiencing.
So what are some of the symptoms that you might be experiencing if you had carpal tunnel syndrome? You might experience numbness in your fingers or have pain in your wrist or your hand. It might get worse under certain circumstances versus others.
Get to the Solution Early
Instead of going out into the community and telling people that you treat carpal tunnel syndrome, you want to get there earlier in the process. Let’s face it, once somebody knows that they have carpal tunnel syndrome, what do they do?
They ask people and start looking for references. But early on in the process, if you’re just having these symptoms and somebody helps diagnose that condition, that’s the person you already trust. They got there early and identified a problem you were experiencing that you didn’t even know you had.
What that means is that when we communicate with our potential clients, we need to be acutely aware of the problems that we solve or the symptoms they may be experiencing.
In your business, think about what symptoms you’re really good at treating. By doing this, you can better communicate to clients the problems you solve instead of what you’re selling. That way, all of your questions relate to what is it that your client or prospect is trying to solve that you’re good at addressing.
Now, you might actually bring up things they hadn’t even thought of. So let’s say you were a digital marketing expert. Instead of saying that you’re a digital marketing firm that does SEO and Facebook advertising, realize that people may not even know they need these services at first. This is why it’s important to avoid focusing on selling over solving. Instead, you might say, “Companies come to us when their inferior competitors are getting more attention, and your own great solution is falling on deaf ears.”
So next time, make sure that you’re showing up not as somebody who’s just there to sell something, but somebody who is there to solve something. The easiest way to do that is focus on the symptoms that you’re good at treating rather than focusing on the treatment that you’re trying to sell.
Feel free to take the Same Side Selling Academy Assessment to see how aligned your team is with same side selling.