Lead your customer to the problem and solution

why giving your customers the solution is not the answer

It can be very frustrating when you know you have a great product that could solve your prospects problems but they just don’t seem to see it! Unfortunately it’s often our fault as Marketers, simply having the solution to a problem is not enough to sell it. Even if a prospect has the problem your product solves they may simply not recognise that problem as an issue. Selling a product to someone looking for a solution to a problem is easy. Making a prospect understand they have a problem that can be solved with your product is much harder.

In an ideal world where we talk about the Buyers Journey there are 3 stages; Awareness – Consideration – Decision. In reality though before people even get to the Awareness stage you need to be influencing how they think and feel about the problem your product solves. Crafting the perfect messages and Calls-To-Action is all academic if the prospect feels they have no need of your product.

This is where your Buyer Personas become crucial. Understand the motivations of your target audience and think carefully about which methods will affect the greatest change in their outlook or perceived needs. Teaching a prospect why their current point of view or way of doing things is no longer correct is a very delicate process. In many instances you cannot simply tell someone why they are wrong and expect a positive reaction. Especially if you’re planning on trying to sell them a product or service soon after.

Rather than presenting the answer (your product) you must lead the prospect first to the conclusion they have a problem and then to your solution. In a perfect world once the prospect realises they have a problem you will have already positioned yourself such that they actively seek out your solution, you won’t even have to sell it to them!

The good news is all Marketing is a learning process, you shouldn’t expect the first iteration of a campaign to be wildly successful, especially if you’ve not done campaigns of a similar style before. All the data you gather from running a campaign can be fed back into the next one. Fine tune and hone your content. Build rich and detailed Buyer Personas that go beyond simple characteristics, that drill down to core motivations and common sticking points. Find out which pieces of lead nurturing content resonate with your ‘perfect prospects’ and build on them.

Affecting a change in attitude doesn’t happen over night. Equally you will always find people engaging with your content who simply aren’t ready to buy yet. This is okay! When utilising Lead Nurturing with Marketing Automation it is better to drip feed useful information over months than to push for a hard sell before you’ve managed to change the prospect’s way of thinking. Lead Nurturing means you should have a large sales funnel open at all times, with prospects being moved gently along it. Always resist the urge to ‘sell’ your solution before a prospect has had the time to change their way of thinking about their problem.

It’s important also to remember the experience from the customer’s perspective. If you engage in all of the steps prior to the actual sale properly then the customer should have nothing but good things to say. After all you helped them realise they had a problem, but you never tried to force your solution upon them. Obviously they should now also be happy with your product. Taking the slow sell, the nurtured sell, allows you to build a rapport with the customer and sets the tone for the rest of your relationship. Continuing nurturing efforts will mean your customer becomes a source of Marketing material in their own right.

A positive customer experience is one of the key factors in determining customer retention, lifetime value and the ease of cross-selling.