Finding it hard to convince someone to do something? Here’s a simple idea that will really help you.
I’ve read variations of this quote from a few different sources, but I think it’s such an important lesson for anyone, no matter whether they are selling a product or not:
People buy solutions not products
It’s such a deceptively simple piece of advice, but it’s one that I constantly forget.
Many times, I have created training courses and THEN tried to find the customers, instead of figuring out what the customer wants and creating the product based on that.
Find out what they want and THEN give it to them.
Yes, it’s obvious, but most of us don’t practice it.
Example #1: No one is buying my photography course
Imagine you’re selling a photography course for beginners.
It’s a 20 week course which goes through absolutely everything a beginner would need to know to take great photos, including camera selection, lighting and other technical aspects.
You create this product because you wish you had had access to this information when you were starting out.
But the course is a dud. No one buys it.
Why? Because it turns out that the average beginner finds a 20 week course too lengthy and intimidating.
What they actually want is a 1-2 week course that builds their confidence and improves their ability to take photos.
In this case, rather than trying to fix the entire problem, you’re better off focusing on a few tips to help them take better photos. Make them feel empowered to then continue the journey.
Example #2: My spouse and I can’t agree on which restaurant to go to
You want to go for dinner at a Thai restaurant in the centre of town, but your spouse is not keen. They want to just go to the local Italian place. But you had your mind set on Thai!
Why the pushback? Because they had a busy week, are really tired, and the prospect of battling Friday night traffic to get there is not appetising.
You can make a lot of things go your way, when you think in terms of “what is the other person really wanting to achieve?”.
In this case, understanding their state of mind, could have helped you either choose a Thai restaurant closer to home and / or emphasize the relaxed features of whichever place you were pushing.
Understanding what they are looking for helps you tailor the product you offer (in this case a restaurant you want to go to) in terms that they will appreciate.
A simple mindset tweak
Every time I have failed to convince someone to do something, it’s because I’ve been too keen to push my product without thinking of the solution they wanted.
Instead, find out what they want and THEN give it to them.
It’s simple but powerful.