The Problem With Solutions
The thing about networking events… You collect lots of business cards. I was going through them the other evening. Yeah, rock n roll. But hey, I was in a sorting kind of mood.
Anyway, one hideous word kept popping up. This word isn’t just on business cards. It appears everywhere with such mind-numbing regularity that I’ve decided to have a short rant.
That word is:
Seriously, it’s everywhere. IT solutions, business solutions, marketing solutions, stationery solutions and (I kid you not) office Christmas party solutions.
What’s the problem with solutions?
Well, that’s the point. If you’re promising solutions, you have to understand the problem.
Actually, do all customers have problems?
Let’s take `stationery solutions’ as an example. Do their customers have stationery problems? Do they lie awake at night worrying about paper clips?
No they do not. They want paper clips and the stationery provider meets that need.
But hang on…
OK, some businesses solve things.
IT people, for example. You’ll usually contact them in a crisis and let’s be honest, you really (really!) need a solution.
Your laptop has gone kaput, you can’t work and there’s a deadline coming up. You’ll lose a client. You won’t get paid and the mortgage is due.
But phew! They’ll fix it in a jiffy and you won’t get repossessed after all.
And then there are the benefits.
Streamline your office technology and hey presto, everyone can communicate effortlessly. Their lives get easier. Your staff are happier, more productive and profits go up.
You’re getting my drift.
This overused word is too bland to explain anything. Your customer doesn’t even know what you offer, let alone what makes that offering valuable. There are no benefits to be reaped.
Why would they care? They’ll ignore you and go elsewhere.
Next time you’re tempted…
If you find yourself using the word `solutions’… Please, just delete it.
Think about what your customer really wants from you. What worries them? Which pain points can you address head on? What will they save, gain or achieve?
Explain this in clear, simple terms and you’ll get their full attention.
OK, rant over. I’ll get back to those business cards. Hmmm…. Innovative.