Many, many years ago, customer service was explained to me as a fence. The goal was to get the person on the same side of the fence as you are and the problem on the other. Sounds weird, but throughout the years I have found not only is this completely true, it works great in sales as well.
A prospect has a problem. And it is one your company can solve. Awesome. But sometimes it is hard to break through to get the prospect to recognize you can solve it! That’s because you haven’t worked the fence. Here’s how.
If a person has a problem, it is theirs. They don’t know you yet. Even if they went out to find a solution, they don’t know if you really can solve it. So they hold onto their problem. Your job is to separate the person from the problem. Once the problem is an external thing, you can solve it.
Start by acknowledging the problem. Recognizing it is half the battle. Next, you have to understand the feelings that go with that problem. Frustration, stress, etc. all result from problems and you can recognize that. Once a person knows their problem isn’t “weird” they can start to separate from it. As soon as they can let it go, you can solve it. It is that simple.
Not convinced? Have you ever finished a deal where you solved the problems, everyone should have been happy but the customer didn’t seem to be? Or took credit for the work? You hadn’t separated them from their problem so emotionally they still had it!
If you are a customer, remember this and try to help. You want your problems solved, don’t you?