How can you fix the problem when you don’t know the full story?

I had an issue with an appliance (tablet) and rang the service department to find a solution as I couldn’t talk to the retail outlet direct. The person on the other end of the phone was very polite and asked “how can I help you?” I told him my problem and he immediately went into their “troubleshooting” process. Have you tried this? Yes. Have you done this? Yes. After an hour on the phone he said we can’t help you it must be a software issue and you must call the software provider. So, I called the software provider and they went through a similar troubleshooting process. Their conclusion was that it must be the product manufacturer.

So, I went back to the manufacturer and a different person went through the same process. I had only bought the product the day before, so I said don’t worry I will go back to the place of purchase.

The retail shop

I went to the retail shop and said I bought this appliance yesterday and I can’t seem to do this… The person looked at the tablet and said there is nothing wrong with the appliance it is just that it is not built to do what you want it to do. He then explained why. It was so simple and made perfect sense. He then said to do what you want you need to buy an adaptor. I bought the adaptor and it now works perfectly doing exactly what I wanted it to do.

The problem was that the people from the call centres assumed I had an android phone and not a tablet. Their process was all worked out for the android phone. The issue was not the product but the communication. I thought I was telling them all the information that was needed. I don’t think they were asking the right questions. They didn’t know the full story and tried to solve my problem with the wrong information.

This is very similar to a business that doesn’t give the full story about themselves. If you go to the market with the idea of selling the ‘result’ then how is it possible to get the sale. If you have a preconceived idea of how to solve someone’s problem, then you may just end up wasting their time.

So how do you go to the market with the full story?

The best way to do this is to tell them why you do what you do. If a potential buyer doesn’t know the full story of why you are in business, then they are only getting half of the story.

Let me explain. Do you ever get those emails talking about how the sender can get you number one on Google? This is an unsolicited annoying email that doesn’t really give any information about who the company is or why they are trying to sell you something. For all you know they could be a scammer (and there’s a good chance that they are). You can’t decide on using their service because you don’t know what is in it for them.

Now if this company said that they wanted to introduce themselves to you and they gave a brief explanation of why they do what they do then it may be different. You will start to understand that they are doing what they do because they want to help or advise or something that triggers something in you – a sense of trust or belief.

The point is why are people just trying to sell things without building a relationship with you first. There is an old sales training method that goes like this:

Befriend – Disturb – Solve – Close.

Ok, this all sounds like 1960’s insurance hardcore commission selling, but the principals are still the same in all sales. More on this process here. With this process, you can’t sell a product without all the pieces in place. Miss one and the sale goes horribly wrong. The befriend element is important here as this is the building of a relationship with the potential buyer. By letting the potential know why you do what you do this will either cause a resonance or not. They will either like it or not. And let’s face it if they don’t like why you do something then they are not a good customer to engage with. If they love what you do, then there is a synergy between your beliefs and theirs. Now the trust is formed. They now know your full story and will know if you fit in with their goals and what they want to achieve.

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