I’ll jump to the bottom line, then retrace my steps. “Customers buy holes in walls, not drills.” Actually, they may not be buying holes in walls, they may actually be looking to attach something to the wall…
Yeah, I know you’ve heard that old maxim or a variant for years, possibly decades. Perhaps the reason the saying is constantly resurrected is we are constantly forgetting it.
Take a moment and reflect on the last dozen prospecting calls or emails you received. What were they about? Probably 80% of the legitimate ones (not those in your SPAM filter) were about a product or solution. Opening my inbox this morning, I was inundated with prospecting emails:
- 2 from separate companies telling me I need to buy their solutions/attend their webinar on the value of account planning (both of these companies I highly respect).
- 3 on various marketing automation programs, all saying “content is king” and I need to get on the content bandwagon, creating more relevant content and leveraging it more effectively.
- A couple saying I needed to improve my selling skills. They went on to focus on specific skills, I’m apparently deficient in LinkedIn, Blogging, and Social Media.
- Several promising me more and higher quality leads. (But if their “dear occupant or current resident” approach to me was indicative of their approach, I’ll pass.)
The list goes on, all presenting their products and capabilities, but none tapping into things that might be useful to me.
They focused on what they were interested in, their products/services and their desire to have me hear about them.
They didn’t even present problem or opportunity scenarios that I might be having—which their products addressed.
Customers and prospects don’t care about you, they care about themselves and their businesses. They, like all of us, are drowning in complexity. They struggle to get their jobs done, at the same time want to learn, improve, grow, and address new opportunities. Most of all they want to be successful.
Engaging our customers can be so simple. It’s just a matter of finding out what they want to do, engaging them in conversations about that, and demonstrating how you can help them. But why don’t we do this?