“If you want to make a friend, solve a problem for them. No problem to solve? Then create one.” ~ From Michael Weston, fictional spy on “Burn Notice” television series
I know it sounds nuts, but I really do get some great marketing ideas from watching television. After all, the writers and marketers for television shows literally live or die by how many viewers they attract each week. That’s a heck of an initiative to get it right!
But the quote above is one of my favorites – let me repeat it again…
“If you want to make a friend, solve a problem for them. No problem to solve? Then create one.”
Now what does all this mean for you as a small business owner who wants to get more new customers?
The first part of the quote says “If you want to make a friend…” – This means in order to get the most benefit from a customer, both you and your potential customer must engage in a type of business friendship.
A business friendship or relationship where you take on the responsibility of understanding your client’s hopes, fears, frustrations and ideas and communicate how your products or services can help them.
This is what marketing people mean by building “rapport”, “trust” and “t relationships”.
The second part of the quotes goes, “If you want to make a friend, solve a problem for them …”. Solving problems for customers and clients is often the major element of any good product or service, so how can business people screw it up?
Easy, we put on our “expert thinking” cap and become taskmasters instead of coaches and cheerleaders!
This is a not a case of disrespect or arrogance but as a business professional, you have worked hard to become an expert in your field or industry. So it’s natural that you probably do know more than the average bear…hmm, customer.
But every customer has two things on their side, you can’t ever beat out:
1. While they don’t know everything about your product or service, they DO know everything about their situation such as their personal pain points, frustrations, and fears.
2. They have ultimate control over the money in your business relationship.
This means you have the best chance of success when you offer things that solve the problems they, the customer considers to be the most pressing or stressful – NOT the ones you think they need to work on!
Very frustrating I know but you do have to balance what you are offering between being solving problems, no-matter-what; over offering things that people are willing to pay you for.
And the third and final part of the quote, “If you want to make a friend, solve a problem for them. No problem to solve? Then create one.”
Lots and lots of business people down through the ages have used the last part of this quote, to create a bunch of money for themselves…as well as lawsuits, fraud charges, jail time, lost income and destroyed lives!
If you truly understand your potential customers and clients, then you won’t have to “invent” a problem or situation to entrap people with “fake” problems. Just do your homework and uncover what your customer or clients feel are their 3 biggest fears, challenges and frustrations and you should be golden.
When looking for new clients or get new customers just think of the quote, “If you want to make a friend, solve a problem for them…”