I came across an interesting article, “Prospects Don’t Care About Your Products. They Want Solutions” I would take it a step further and say that people want solutions.
As a marketing director I try to identify a client/prospective client’s needs first to see what they are looking for. In my line of business, analytical testing is the service we provide. My goals is to meet the person’s needs by finding a proper solution. Often this solution is not testing. Let me explain.
Typically, I will receive calls where a person has sent a sample for analysis to a laboratory and he or she did not receive their results for almost 3 weeks. In our business we call that turnaround time. The person submitting the sample may be looking for a laboratory to work with that can perform analysis in a 2-3 day window. If the person finds a solution to this need, the person may end up sending several hundred samples.
This simple statement looks at working with people on a different level. In our business, we work with our field reps to always work with clients on addressing their needs in order to better meet the solution they want.
Successful companies are very good at this type of marketing and often spend more of their time with clients selling solutions rather than their products or services. Here are some examples:
Nebraska Furniture Mart – (Owner Warren Buffet) – Besides outstanding furniture, check out these services:
- will work with buyer on installation date/time,
- removal of old appliances,
- 1-3 year no interest credit,
- special order fulfillment
- smaller, convenient size grocery
- 8-10 butchers, deli-workers
- will bag and carry your groceries to your car
- personalized check-out, no self-scanning here
Affordable Solutions – I featured this company in an earlier post.
- provide key fab repair on demand
- will come to your location: home, work
- same day service when calling for an appointment
I am sure you could come up with a list of other companies. Notice that each of these companies focus on solutions and not their products or services.
This is a key differential that can’t be overlooked. It is one of my top initiatives that I work on with my staff. It really is the difference-maker for our company. If you are not working on this initiative, you are really missing the boat.
How is your company focusing on solutions for clients?
What are you providing to clients that your competitors are not?
What other companies come to mind when you think of this topic? Maybe you can emulate them in some way.