Solving the problem of problem solving

Radio ad:  owner of a local auto-body repair chain shares his tagline…

 “We don’t just fix cars, we fix the problem of getting your car fixed.”

Touche!  Finally somebody who gets it! 

There’s a lesson in here for many, but in particular marketers who have difficulty differentiating their product or service should take note.

In service businesses especially, differentiating between providers is difficult, at best, for customers.  Two dentists are presumed to both have the technical credentials.  Two auto repair shops are presumed to both be able to get your car back on the road. 

Enterprise software companies have a similar issue.  The top-level messaging is so similar that little, or no, differentiation takes place.  To add insult to injury, in young and emerging markets, clients often don’t even know the right questions to ask. 

So how are you going to sell a ‘solution’ to someone who can’t even really state their problem?

Dont’ fix cars.  Put some salve on the pain in the butt that getting your car fixed creates. 

Don’t fix teeth.  Fix the pain of billing and dealing with insurance companies.

Don’t sell web analytics.  Help clients solve problems like better understanding shopping behavior or qualifying leads more accurately.

You are not in business to sell something.  You are in business to help somebody buy something.

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