Are You Selling or Solving a Problem?

Minute Read

selling

If you’re frustrated by the sales results you are getting, and you’ve tried all the suggested formulas, then this is what you need to hear. Sales is a fun business; chances are you got into it because you used your product/service to overcome your problem. You know the problem your ideal customer is experiencing because you’ve been there and likely done that.

You may not consider it sales since you’re helping people solve a problem. Moreover, you may even hate sales. The thought of selling makes you anxious. You’re an introvert and selling isn’t your jam.

But…

Your mess has become your message and perhaps your theme. You are so excited about this ‘thing’ that you want to share it with everyone you know. And why not if it is fabulous for you, it will be great for them too. Everybody needs it.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling; this happens to all of us at one time.

At one point in my life, I was contemplating selling long-term care insurance. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and the insurance would have helped my family. Convinced that it was a solution to a global problem, I became a long-term care insurance agent. I was excited to share this solution with others because I knew the heartbreak families suffer when going through this on their own.

Naturally, I reached out to all my friends and family, the low-hanging fruit, to share this with them. I was telling them all about the company all the features and benefits they would have. I think I sold two people, my mom, and an older friend. Of course, mom is going to support her daughter.

But why was I having such a hard time convincing the others to move forward with this? It’s a good thing for everyone.


What to do when everybody needs it...

This is the roadblock many salespeople [yes, even you who doesn’t want to be called salespeople] have discovered. You find people aren’t as excited about your ‘thing’ as you are.

This happens in MLM, course builders, marketers, insurance agents, financial planners, entrepreneurs, and the list goes on. You get discouraged, and you’re ready to quit.

You answered all their questions, gave them all the ways they can use your ‘thing,’ and why it’s essential. They seemed to be tracking with your information, but in the end, they said, NO.

Your little inner voice tells you again; you aren’t good at sales. Why did you even try? This isn’t for you? I know I’ve heard that little voice too.

But it’s not your fault; the people who ‘trained’ you did the best they knew how. They gave you all the scripts. They showed you how to approach people. You got tools, slides, flip charts, and your tablet ready to go. Your manager is available on speed-dial for questions.

Yes, what you’ve been doing is exhausting, but there is a better way. Before you give up, you’ve got to give this a try.


What to do if you can’t sell

Stop a minute. Think about what was going on in your life when you discovered the magic solution you’re offering others. How were you feeling at the time? How desperate were you to find a solution to your problem?

If this sounds relatively simple, it is, and it isn’t.

The roadblock that holds most people back from remembering that time when you first started down this journey is knowing too much NOW.

Yes, you’re too smart. You’ve learned, researched, and know confusing words that scare other people. And, when people are confused, they say NO. 

Now, you start at the beginning. Before you knew there was a solution to your problem. Remember what that was like when you’re wondering about your situation. Think about how intimidating it is to learn something new. 

For example: while it might be said that a product is easy, there’s still a learning curve that will cost you time and possibly lost opportunities. That's a roadblock for people.

Even coaching services could leave your prospect with a blank stare if you don’t shape your conversation around the solution people seek. You’ve got to offer them a bridge to translate your answer into everyday language that speaks to where they are. Would you explain it the same way to a six-year-old?

When you’re selling to people who are only ‘problem aware’ they are unaware there is a solution. When your prospect understands, they start to care. They begin to care enough to learn more. 

How did you feel when you learned there was a solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem? This group of people needs to travel the education path first before they can be sold. They have much to learn before they’re signing up for anything.

This is common in my industry. Most non-marketing people don’t know what a copywriter does. They believe they work for patent lawyers or, more broadly, a person who writes anything.

Instead, I’m writing to explain solutions to problems. The truth is nobody needs a copywriter unless they have a problem.

You know how people make websites to build and scale their business, but for some reason, people don’t sign up for their email list or don’t sign up for their online course. Or you’re a real estate broker whose websites attract all the wrong people, wasting your time, patience, and lost opportunities.

As a copywriter, I find and fix the communication errors on a website that are jamming up your business flow. The mistakes that are causing people to walk away, because they don't know how you fix their problem.

They don’t see where to start, what happens next, or where they are supposed to click for more information. Those are the most common issues I see.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a flashing sign to tell you, you’ve got errors. There’s only your sad bank balance telling you that something isn’t right… but what could it be?


The Next Steps

Take a careful look at your website for potential communication errors. Next, let the least knowledgeable person in your world look at your website and ask them what it tells them—someone, who doesn’t know your industry and isn't advanced enough to understand fancy jargon. Ask them to explain your site.

In summary:

If you’ve been frustrated with your website's results, the problem could be you know too much. The thing is, when we already know a subject like a 5th grader does, it’s harder to explain it to the 2nd grader who doesn’t know what you mean. Or explain algebra to someone who doesn’t understand why they should care about x and y.

We’re all looking for the easy button in life. If you’re selling something, it’s your job to figure out how to explain it, so they are curious enough to ask questions.

If you’d like to chat about your next project, reach out at Linda@shinyobjectmarketing.com

Linda James Bennett; day 36 of 365 writing an article every day, making you a shiny object in the world.

Linda James Bennett is obsessed with creating clear brand messages to help business owners win online. She believes that marketing shouldn't be complicated to be great. Let's face it, as a business owner you need to focus on the bottom line that drives sales, not being a copywriter. She is also an author of the book, Becoming A Seriously Happy Special Needs Mom ~ 21 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place, on Amazon.com

Linda James Bennett

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