Selling is not always about problem solving. If you are reading the hottest sales books and listening to the trendiest sales gurus though, you might think it was.
Every time I travel, I check into the hotel, throw the bag on the bed, adjust the heat down to 66 degrees (who can possibly be comfortable at 72?) then step into the bathroom to try to wash away a bit of the day’s travel. I then invariably look up into the mirror and realize the recurring dream I have when dozing off in a plane about my sudden hair growth alas, did not come true. I move on and peer into the mirror past my balding pate focusing in the space just behind me.
I see now as I always do in the reflection, the curved shower rod above the tub and get reminded once again so powerfully, that sales is definitely not just about problem solving.
If you haven’t stayed in a hotel in the last 3 years and have not seen the curved shower rod, this post may not make much sense to you though I think they are being sold in some Home Depots and Lowes now. (Here is a picture):
The curved shower rod. This thing is amazing. Without changing the size of the shower, it just now feels bigger with a curved shower rod. Who woulda thunk it?
That’s kind of the point. Do you think hotel managers across the country were suffering for decades with the pain of having straight shower curtain rods? Had they been for years dealing with complaint after complaint that the showers were feeling too small for the patrons? Do you think they got thousands of letters demanding they make the showering experience feel like there is more room in said shower?
Do you think then that a crack team of salespeople, product developers, sales leaders and marketers hunkered down in some basement trying for years to come up with the product that would fix this terrible problem of the normal straight shower rods? Do you think they created the curved shower rod as a solution to a problem and sold it that way?
Nope. Never happened.
Some brilliant person created and sold this product because it made the experience better, not because there was a problem that needed fixing.
Sometimes if we obsess with “solution” selling or “problem solving” as our lead mantra on the phone or in the field, we’ll fall on deaf ears or worse as we try to illustrate problems that don’t exist in the mind of our customers or frankly in the mind of anyone.
You might get more business when you sell products that add better to a business, not just solve a problem.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.