Reaching customers in this day and age may be easier than ever but transforming the brief attention they may pay to your marketing efforts into actual sales for your business requires a marketing strategy that is decidedly customer-centered. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that in order to sell a product or service, potential customers must be convinced of the greatness of said product or service but this is a falsehood. Keeping your primary marketing focus on the merit of your products and services actively takes the focus away from what customers actually care about, solutions. Centering the product instead of the customer sends the message that your business is more interested in making a profit than providing its customers with meaningful benefits. Customers become invested in brands, products, and services for one reason alone and that reason is that it adds value to their lives.
Adding value to a customer’s life usually means solving their problems. This may mean removing the hassle or tedium of performing necessary tasks, making their life more efficient, or alleviating stress by providing guidance, entertainment, or enjoyment. Simply telling the customer what your business can provide and how great it is doesn’t directly link your product or service with a problem they are currently facing. The job of your marketing is to make that connection clear to them. Show the customer that you not only know what their problem is but that your business has the right solution for them. Being able to accurately identify customers’ needs is a crucial step in creating a customer-centric marketing strategy that allows for your business’ financial growth.
‘Solution Selling’ is the term for this customer-centric marketing approach and despite its modern usage, it too has needed to be adapted for maximum effectiveness in the current technological climate. Potential customers have access to a wealth of information at the tip of their fingers and are actively searching for solutions to their problems on their own. So how do you as a business owner get ahead of this? The answer is research. Research helps to keep your brand forward-thinking and allows you to anticipate the needs of your audience and consequently provide solutions. Having an acute knowledge of what your target demographic is and then keeping abreast of their interests, concerns, and problems as they progress will always keep you ahead. Incorporating this into your marketing strategy means that when customers are searching for answers to their problem, you will be ready with the solutions.
Solution Selling may also involve bringing to the attention of potential customers the problems which they may not even be aware that they have. Again, this is where research and intimate knowledge of the concerns of your marketing demographic can put your business at the forefront of your industry. Your audience may not yet be aware of all the latest developments in science, technology, or the economy that will affect their interests or how they engage with your industry. New industry developments may bring about health concerns, sustainability woes, environmental dilemmas, or humanitarian issues that can potentially impact how a health-conscious, ethics-conscious, or environmentally-conscious demographic respond in their capacity as consumers. Not only can your business be the one to make your audience aware of the problems that these developments present but, through marketing, you can also be the first to provide them with solutions.
As a business owner, you must always keep in mind where the reasons for your own investment in your product or service diverge from that of the consumer. Additionally, you must be keenly aware of the issues affecting customer choice in regards to your specific audience. Not investing enough time, money, and effort into marketing and not adopting the right marketing approach can significantly stall your business’ development or even weaken its foundations as an industry competitor. Solution Selling is a marketing approach that all business owners should be aware of so that they get the most out of their marketing and their customers get the most for their patronage.