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Want to Maintain Market Relevancy? Here’s What to Do

There’s no foolproof way to insulate your company from potential hardships, you can maintain relevance by focusing on the problems your products or services solve.

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COVID-19 taught leaders a lot of tough lessons and revealed that even well-established businesses could fail in the midst of uncertainty. Although there’s no foolproof way to insulate your company from potential hardships, you can maintain relevance by focusing on the problems your products or services solve.

Being problem-driven serves several purposes. First, it keeps your focus squarely on your customers. You aren’t as likely to be distracted by the “what you do” or the “how you do what you do.” Rather, you’ll always refer back to the key reason you’re in business.

A second benefit is that you’ll be more efficient with your overall processes and team time management. You’ve likely experienced some turnover due to the Great Resignation. Becoming a problem solver gives your team members direction and purpose. This helps them be more engaged and productive; they’ll be more likely to stick around because they know they’re making a difference in customers’ lives.

Finally, becoming problem-centric will help you make your products and services even better. Once you truly understand your customers’ problems, you can identify relevant solutions and tackle other tangential struggles.

Inspiring Your Team to Become Problem-Focused

Are you ready to focus your business around the problem you solve? The following strategies will help you reset your North Star so that you never forget why you’re in business:

1. Research other companies that have generated success by solving specific problems.

The best way to understand the benefits of becoming problem-driven is to read about other companies. Take Salesforce, for instance. The cloud-based software company helps its users store, manage, and analyze data. In other words, the problem Salesforce solves is helping customers stay organized and make well-informed decisions.

Subway solves a much different problem: consumers’ desire for fast food that’s also healthy and not overly processed. Subway’s entire platform is built around showing customers how they overcome this problem, right down to its “sandwich artisans” making food in front of customers’ eyes.

As a side note, you might want to consider the problems your strongest competitors solve. Do you solve the same problem in a different way? Maybe your solution is more dependable, but your competitors are doing better jobs positioning their solutions from problem-solving angles. Learn from those around you to determine the best path forward.

2. Speak with your most satisfied customers or clients.

Have you lost sight of the problems your company solves? Your biggest fans haven’t. They know why they appreciate your business. You just need to open up communication so they can give you explanations.

There are numerous ways you can gather this information. For instance, you might want to send out surveys or set up in-person or online focus groups. Depending on the type of market you’re in, you could pick up the phone and have one-on-one conversations with your best champions.

Be sure to write down all the problems that your customers say you solved for them. Then, look for common threads so you can drill down to just a few core problems. Your sales and marketing team members can provide a sort of litmus test to be certain you’ve identified the issues they hear from customers on a daily basis.

“The golden rule for every business is put yourself in your customer’s place.” – Orison Marden

3. Transform your mission and vision statements.

Do your mission and vision statements outline the problem your company addresses? This needs to be a major priority. When your mission and vision reference the problem you solve, the whole world knows immediately what to expect from your brand.

Again, this is a good place to start conducting research. Look up some successful companies’ mission and vision statements. See which ones tacitly or openly speak about problems. How does yours compare?

Just make sure your mission statement doesn’t sound pessimistic or overly transactional. Honest Tea’s mission does this well: “Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.” The statement implies that not all beverages are delicious, good for you, or sustainable. But the words themselves are stimulating and appealing.

4. Make your sales and marketing messaging problem-centric.

All your sales and marketing materials should explain how your company solves a problem. By putting this messaging front and center, you’ll show potential customers exactly how you can make their lives better.

Consider the videos you produce. In today’s world, video content is essential because so many people consume it regularly. HubSpot research shows that about two-thirds of people rely on video to learn about products or brands. If you’re making a video, start off by talking about the problem you solve. Make sure the problem’s negative impacts are clear. From there, you can speak more about how your company tackles the problem and the advantages of your products or services.

Don’t forget to update your cold-calling campaigns, too. Every call should involve problem-based discussions that lead prospects to the conclusion that your company is the right partner. As you’re updating your sales scripts, remember that problems are almost always directly associated with a drain on time, profit, or both.

Your customers’ problems are your opportunities. As long as you solve a relevant problem, business will never dry up. And that’s an outstanding position to be in because it helps protect you against events such as recessions and the Great Resignation.

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