Create your own answer, but say it with feeling.
Solution selling is a legitimate sales methodology. In this approach, rather than just pushing a product, the salesperson focuses on customer pain and then addresses the problem with his product or service offerings. From the salesperson’s perspective the tacit resolution is enough to constitute a “solution.” But not all customers buy to address a “pain.” And certainly not every need is a problem looking for a solution. A hit solution is different. While a customer may at times have a pain, the focus is on accommodating the customer—whatever the need. The product is never pushed and the customer remains in the drivers seat. It’s quite powerful.
So put it out there unconditionally
Ever made a business call only to get the company’s president on the phone offering, “ … what can I do for you?” It’s unexpected and sometimes it’s a little shocking, even off-putting. Unless you’re worried something’s gone terribly wrong you can’t help but feel touched and just a little more important for that moment. And since it’s highly unlikely that the president would let you down, you both gain from a brief effort he was willing to make for you. And most of the time this convenience sets you up to make a decision you hadn’t allowed before—to allow a little more of that company’s relationship into your life and business. It’s a good feeling.
The president who picked up the phone is both smart and very rare. He understands that helping customers feel better is the key to improving their lives. By simply giving a shit about his customers’ well being (remember, he didn’t know who was calling), his company becomes a little more valuable to them—and by extension, more of a necessity. There was no intent to create a “WOW” moment—no game face or pretention either (most of us could easily sense the insincerity). This may prove that if you can’t put it out there unconditionally and with feeling, you really must not give a shit. And you gotta give a shit to have a hit or a WOW or any other lasting impression.
Convenience is hard to beat
Too bad our expectations are set so low that a warm and generous response takes us back. But few companies genuinely think about their customers unconditionally. Few think of ways to accommodate need, make their customer’s lives easier or even more enjoyable. Most assume that the benefit(s) of working with THEM is either enough by itself or somehow entwined with the features of their wonderful products anyway. They forget that value has little to do with features and benefits. The quality and price of your product may even be the least of their concerns. They feel nothing and they miss big opportunity.
Each time you accommodate customers, you improve their life ever so slightly. Your intent sends a clear message that THEY are important. And it acknowledges their belief that time IS too valuable to waste on things that maybe your product or service can do for them. You become the most convenient choice and that’s hard to beat.
You have to write the hits
The easiest thing is to react.
The second easiest thing is to respond.
But the hardest thing to do is initiate.
Reacting is what your body does when you take the wrong kind of medicine. It’s what politicians do all the time. It is intuitive and instinctive and usually dangerous. Responding is better and it’s always better than reacting. Companies respond to regulation, competitive threat and customer requests. Sometimes companies wrongly respond by reacting.
But both pale in comparison to initiative. Initiating is really and truly difficult, and that’s what leaders do. They see something others are ignoring and jump on it. They initiate convenience for customers. They’re accommodating and they know how to write a hit.*
Close the customer service dept.
More than a year ago the Bastard reviewed a book penned by a CEO who created intense passion in his company around one seemingly simple purpose: “the best customer service in the world.” But as you will discover in “Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose” there is no such thing as a customer service person or department at his company Zappos. Rather, the whole organization is bent on a mission to simply provide the best customer service possible.
Zappos focus all their efforts on under-promising, yet delivering far more than anyone expected. Make everyone in charge of service and initiate great customer service throughout your company by under promising and over-delivering.
Having the best products is not a dealmaker. But deliver them with feeling and on the customer’s terms—that’s what makes a hit!
HIT Solutions believes the more your business keeps up with important trends, the more you will improve your product, and improve your bottom line.
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