What Problem Do You Solve?

“I help increase sales productivity,” he said.

I met with a friend recently who is doing sales consulting. Sales consulting is a big market. There are lots of areas to focus on, so I asked, “What do you mean when you say you increase sales productivity?”

“Did you know that 97% of sales people have call reluctance?” he asked.

Prospect Receptivity

“I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. What person in their right mind wants to make cold calls?” I responded.

“Exactly,” he said.

“And did you know the number one problem in the market is prospect receptivity?” he asked.

“Maybe that’s the reason for call reluctance. The sales people don’t want to call because the prospects don’t want to talk,” I said.

“So what problem do you solve?” I asked. I was still confused. I shouldn’t have to work this hard.

Solving Call Reluctance

Most business owners I meet tell what they do. They speak to the service or product they offer. I usually make a comment like, “That’s interesting.” Meaning I don’t care.

The successful business owners state the problem first. They engage me. I don’t care what you do until I understand why you do it.

“What problem are you aiming to solve?” I asked.

“I solve the call reluctance problem,” he said.

“Nobody walks around defining their sales problem as a ‘sales reluctance’ problem. Business owners don’t talk that way. Consultants do,” I said.

He then gave me statistics and talked about the issues surrounding this problem. Percentage here, sales consulting industry jargon there, blah, blah, blah. I got frustrated.

Getting Results

“Are you helping anybody now?” I asked.

“Yes. In fact, since using my services and approach, the two companies I am working with have increased their sales by over fifty percent,” he said.

“Now that is impressive,” I said. In fact, he had some really interesting and almost unbelievable stories of how individual sales people became successful using his methods.

“How would these existing clients of yours describe the problem they were wrestling with before they found you?” I asked.

Problem Defined

“I guess they would say, ‘My sales reps aren’t doing what they were hired to do. They are not making enough calls,’” he said.

“That’s it. That’s the problem defined. Stated simply and in everyday language. No confusing sales jargon like ‘call reluctance.’ You stated the problem just like a business owner would,” I said. “That’s the problem you solve.”

You must get to this level of clarity to be an effective marketer of your product or service. In fact, the added benefit is you make everyone you meet a sales rep for you. When they hear the problem, they will think of you!

Secret Sauce

People remember problems and the people who solve the problem. This is marketing. This is how you get business.

If I have a toothache, I call my dentist. If I don’t have a dentist, I call a friend and tell him I have a toothache. He gives me the name of his dentist.

If I ever hear anyone complain about their sales reps not making enough calls, I will tell them to see Joe Calovito. Why? Because that’s the problem. Here is Joe’s email.

Problem and Association

That’s how you build a brand. That’s how you get the people in your network selling for you. People naturally associate problems and problem solvers. I don’t know why, but we just do. That’s how you grow your business.