Understanding the problem your customer has and how your business helps solve it is the key to business success.
Now don't get me wrong, there are lots of things behind the success of a business, however business professionals are increasingly becoming aware that understanding the problem you are solving for your clients is critical for business success.
When you start a business it is important to understand 2 things. What you are able to do and what people need you to do.
Understanding the customer's problem can help you focus your business and choose between the things you can do.
I worked for a company that sold Business Process software. Now while the software wasn't that great, it still had a number of competitive advantages. However the customers' problem was never how to store, share, manage and automate their business processes.
The customer's immediate problem was how to define the processes, which is not where we engaged the customer. In fact there was usually some other underlying problem the customer faced, such as trying to improve efficiency, standardise and document their systems and control their business processes.
This meant that often it would be more than a year from the customer realising that they have a problem to them buying our software. We should have been engaging them from the beginning.
Often when we sold the software to companies, it would sit on their system unused for years, because we failed to solve their core problem. Imagine this, software with a huge list of features that nobody wanted to use.
I have walked into meetings with customers with forms that help them understand and articulate their problem. The sales people might have spent more than a year in pre-sales, but once you show them you really understand their problem the sale is over in 10 minutes, 100% of the time.
If you want to keep ahead of the competition you need to innovate. If you focus on what your business can do you might have a great solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Instead, by focusing on the problem you can build solutions that the customer needs.
When you build a team, you are bringing together different people with different skills. Each person is focused on doing their job well. This doesn't make them a team. When they Share an understanding of the customers problem they are then focused as a team to solving the problem together.
Can you clearly tell me what the problem that your customer has and can you tell me how you can help them to solve it?
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