Marketing That Solves Your Customer’s Problem

February 28, 2008

Marketing That Solves Your Customer’s Problem
By Adams Hudson

In any random sales interaction, which thought will most likely run through your head:  “That customer is a problem” or “That customer has a problem”?  The one-word difference says volumes about your potential for sales and marketing success. 

If you chose door #1 – “that customer is a problem” – you have chosen an expensive attitude that will cost you the money you spent getting the lead, the time you spent talking with the customer, and the “opportunity cost” you’ll pay for not selling to someone else while you’re spending your time not selling to this person. 

However, if you chose door #2 – “that customer has a problem” – and can follow up with “which I can help him solve,” you’ll be a winner time and again.   

In sales, your top priority is to help your customer identify specific needs and problems and provide the right solutions to same.  Your marketing can take the same approach. 

The marketing messages are already coming at your prospects from every direction – TV, radio, Internet, mail, email, billboards, door hangers, windshield flyers, store displays, even co-workers humming product jingles.  So, how can your message possibly stand out among all these other messages? 

Hint:  Focus.  Focus your own efforts.  You can’t worry about what everyone else is saying.  You’ve got to focus on the main thing you want to tell your customers.  And the main thing you want to tell your customers is how you plan to solve their problem. 

Is it a high utility bill?  An air conditioner that won’t cool?  A clunky heater that costs almost as much to operate as it would to replace?  A tight budget?  Whatever the issue, you’ve got the solution. 

For instance, how can you solve someone’s problem whose air conditioning just went on the bLink, but doesn’t quite have the money, thanks to a whole stack of bills that can’t be ignored?  Your head and subhead answers are:  “Get Ice-Cold Air Conditioning Today / But Don’t Pay Us for Six Months.”

Can you see how that’s a whole lot stronger than, say, “Call the folks who’ve been cooling homes for three decades.”  Impressive tenure, but what can you do today?  For me?  The prospect’s eye keeps searching for the ad that answers that need. 

You’ll see the problem-solving work to great effect in ads that promote “stop smoking now” or “lose 10 pounds in 30 days.”  They’re highlighting a problem, providing a solution, prompting a call.  And you can do the same. 

When you write your ad, think of the customer.  Think of what customers want to read, what they can gain, how they “win” with your offer, and most importantly – how they’re supposed to get these benefits.  Use one major point (the headline) and no more than five minor points in any ad (which simply supports the main benefit or build a customer’s reasons to act).

Think value. Think benefits. Offer something free with a purchase of something else. Anytime you can lower the risk or resistance for a prospect, you automatically increase his chance of calling you. It’s human nature. Your ads are to produce, encourage, and influence phone calls. “Free” items can and do melt the barrier between you and the phone call. Just make “free” valuable and it’ll work.

Also, make it easy for customers to buy by offering rebates and financing options.  Rebates help by giving customers a discount they can see.  The mentality of the visible discount can move them one more step toward purchase. 

Financing options come in handy on a very practical basis.  Think about it.  Would you rather write a check for $6 grand right now for a new system, or pay $95 a month?  And now, again, think about your customers.  How can you help them solve the problem of paying for their new system? 

Use your messages to show how easy it is to buy and watch your leads soar.  Focus your marketing on the solutions your customers are seeking – and then welcome every customer who calls with a problem. 

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a creative marketing firm for contractors. Call 1-800-489-9099 to request a free copy of a 16-page report, “Get More Leads in Less Time.”  Also check outwww.hudsonink.com for other free marketing articles and reports. For a free marketing newsletter, contractors can fax their letterhead with the request to 334-262-1115.

 

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