A good marketing strategy, stop selling your services and start selling the problems you solve

“To launch a business means successfully solving problems. Solving problems means listening.” Richard Branson

Im sorry to tell you this but your product means nothing to your customers, its simply a commodity, building your marketing strategy around the problems your business solves is key to creating a winning formula 

Do you remember the last time you went and purchased a bottle of wine or bubbly? There you were, faced with a multitude of possibilities, looking for the perfect one.

Maybe you were hunting for one to complement a meal you were having with a business contact? Or perhaps you wanted to share a bottle whilst watching a film with your romantic interest?

You wanted something that was sophisticated, but not too expensive. After all, you wouldn’t want them to think you were a show off.

Of course, there have been times when you went all out, no expense spared. What better way to celebrate that big occasion than with a bottle of bubbly. Now that was the time to be lavish!

Whatever the situation, you weren’t just buying a bottle of wine. You were purchasing the bottle that would help you create the right mood or impression.

Marketing strategy

The other day, I asked a simple question in a few Facebook and LinkedIn groups:

“What problem does your business solve for your clients?”

You see, a successful marketing strategy and business in general is about providing solutions to your clients’ problems. Making sure the problems you solve are central to your marketing strategy and demonstrating these to customers is a powerful starting point. 

A few business owners provided brilliant answers showing that they understood both their clients’ problems and how their product or service solved it.

However, about 80% of people only responded with what they do, “I sell wine” or “I run a dental practice.”


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No one cares about what you do

The truth is, the vast majority of your customers don’t care about what you do or even, how you do it. They care about overcoming their problem – the solution you can provide and how their life or business will improve as a result.

Let’s go back to the wine a moment. You were not just buying a bottle of wine.

You were buying the solution to your problem – creating the right atmosphere for the right occasion:

  • the wine that would make an impression without making you look too flash
  • the expensive bubbly that showed someone how special they were and that it was a time to be treasured.

For a business to create a successful marketing strategy, they need understand the problems they solve and communicate them effectively to customers. Thus selling solutions to problems, not their products or services.

Where your value REALLY lies…

As a service-based business, understanding the problems you solve means that you know what your customers want and the value that you offer.

The real beauty of recognising your value is that you don’t need to worry about competing on price. Take a business that is struggling with their profit margins. Which of the following accountants would they choose?

  1. We process your books, file your tax returns, and offer business advice.


  1. Paying more tax than you need to? Struggling to control costs? We actively manage your accounts to make sure your tax liability is as small as possible and support your business to help it grow.

It doesn’t matter how much cheaper the first option is because no one is going to waste money on a service that doesn’t address the issue. The only real option is the second one because that accountancy business is going to solve your problem. Being more expensive becomes irrelevant.

Remember, your customers want to know what you can do FOR THEM, and that means listening to their problems.

What problems do your customers have?


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