When clients work with you, they usually have two problems: the problem your client THINKS they have (their tangible problem) and then the problem you ACTUALLY solve. You have to know both of these problems so you can sell them the solution to what they want and what they actually struggle with.
Here’s the catch… They don’t know these two problems exist. They just know about the one they think they have. The other is intangible and they can’t (or won’t) see it. If you sell them the solution to the intangible problem, they won’t buy. They’ll say, “Hey, you didn’t listen to me. That’s not why I’m coming to you!”
So what are you supposed to do? You want to support your potential clients. You’d also really like to pay for dinner this month.
Success Tip: You need to speak to your clients and offer solutions to the problem they think they have and work towards solving the problem they didn’t know existed.
Quick Wins and Feel-Good Solutions
Here’s what I know: folks want to feel good. When you sell someone a quick win, they get a rush. “I did something! My purchase was valid! This was an excellent use of my time!” They also trust you. You’ve given them a solution to their problem, thus linking you in their brain as someone who steers them on the correct path.
Notice I didn’t say, “Sell them snake oil.” Oh, no, no. We’re not doing this. You’re actually solving a problem for them and you’re using small steps to do so.
The thing you have to ask yourself is, “What problem do my clients actually come to me to solve?”
There’s a distinction here between the problem clients think they have (and tell you they want help with) versus what the actual problem is (which is a little more complicated and takes a little longer to solve).
As the leader of your business, you need to listen for these to problems on sales calls.
This just happened to me the other day. I can get overwhelmed with the amount of content I have to produce in order to stay visible. It can create pressure to perform, be overwhelming, and add undue stress to my day.
What’s the problem I think I have? I might say I want to be more visible. What’s the problem I actually have? Needing stress-free, efficient ways to manage where and how I show up in my marketing content.
On a sales call with someone, I’d say that my problem is “being visible.” And I could hire a gal to help me with that. She’s an expert in giving coaches efficient systems to generate their content.
So, because she hears that I’m overwhelmed by the amount of content I have to produce, she could come up with a 27-step plan to fix that problem. Except… There are so many details! I’d get mired in the minutiae. And that’s exactly what I’d want to avoid!
On the other hand, if she gives me just one simple step to improve my visibility, I can see how to do the work. She could say to me, “Go live. Here are some ideas.” It’s one solution to one problem. That’s my quick win.
Your clients are doing this to you. They want one step, one win. Then you can begin to build on that success. By breaking down their struggles into steps with solutions they can tackle quickly and easily, you’re giving them confidence in you and in them.
Each time they work through a challenge and achieve a win with you, you both take a step up.
But first, you have to understand how to break down the intangible thing so you give them the answer to the problem for which they think they’re hiring you.
Success Tip: When you solve the simple problem, you’ll have gained their trust and you can move on to bigger problems and solving their full struggle.
No One Buys Your Process
We think people want to buy our process. So, we dedicate hundreds of characters of copy implicitly sharing how we do what we do. “When you buy Thing A, you’ll do Steps B-N, and have Transformation O.
I mean it lovingly when I say: No one cares.
I know, you worked hard on that copy. It’s great! But folks aren’t going to buy anything that sounds like work. The same goes for anything that won’t happen quickly or has them so mired in detail that they can’t see how to get there. They just won’t buy it.
They want to buy getting from Point A to B. They don’t want A to N. Therefore, you have to sell them Point B first.
How Do You Help Them Solve Their Tangible Problem So You Can Solve Their Actual Problem?
Easy. Create a small bite offer. A small bite offer is something simple and offers a “quick win” or easy answer to their problem. This is how you build trust and get them what they need at a deeper level (AKA: the solution to the problem they didn’t express.)
Going back to my visibility example.
My tangible problem (the problem I think I have) is visibility. The root of the problem is being overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do to be visible. So, that’s my actual problem. See, these are actually two different problems. And they require two different solutions.
The first solution is a list of daily live stream topics. That’s a small bite offer. It gives me a clear path to solve the problem I think I have (steps to aid in visibility) so we can get to the problem I actually have (efficient ways to produce marketing content so I’m not stressed yet showing up in all the places).
Here’s what I want you to see from that example…
If someone had said to me, “Here’s my full process and my Cadillac package where you get me on retainer and blah blah blah….” I would have heard Charlie Brown’s teacher.
When you start by giving your clients the answer to a problem they didn’t know they had, they’ll just think you’re a terrible listener and won’t hire you.
But if you say, “Great, here’s how you can show up every day. It’s easy,” they’ll trust you. You gave them Solution B. Now you can work toward giving them other small steps that work toward solving the heart of their struggle.
The Moral Of The Story
You have to know the problem your client thinks they have. It’s the tip of the iceberg. Speak that language so they can buy that tip of the iceberg solution. Then, they start to trust you and they’ll be ready to accept your help for the problems they actually have.
What problems do clients come to you to solve? What do they tell you they struggle with and what’s their actual problem? Share with us in the comments below!
And if you aren’t sure what problems you solve, let’s chat so you can walk away with some clear languaging and be prepared to talk to clients in ways they understand!