Marketing and the Problem-Solving Mindset

A lotta online goorus will tell you that your product ought to be solving a problem in order to sell.

Now ask yourself this.

What problem did the iPod solve, when there were pretty good mp3 players at the time of its launch?

And the iPhone?

It barely worked as a phone. Just think about that.

I’m only using the iProducts as an example most people would be familiar with. I myself have never used them and likely never will because of their inferior value.

Here’s the point.

It doesn’t hurt when your product solves the client’s problem, but that’s just a bonus and guarantees nothing.

I’ve said this in previous emails and it cannot be repeated frequently enough.

When you adopt a problem-solving mindset, you’re literally visioning problems into your life while depleting your ability to deal with them.

Here’s the problem with problem-solving mindset: your mind is set on solving the problem.

Most so-called problems are irrelevant circumstances that can safely be ignored on your path to global domination.

People never get on that path because they see way too many problems to even contemplate it.

And even if you have a legitimate concern about something (like getting fat), setting your mind on the problem can only make it worse.

You can waste years on fad diets and pointless exercise until you realize that physical fitness is fundamentally a matter of your Vision and determination to be that person.

In business, problem solving is problematic in a very similar way.

It can deliver short-term results, but it blinds you to the big picture.

It works at its worst in sales, including selling yourself in a relationship.

You think you’re solving the problem, so your product must work and must sell. You are delivering the goodies in the relationship, so you assume that it will work out.

There’s nothing rational about this.

Get it?

That your product solves the problem when you use it doesn’t mean that it will work for the client or that customers will buy it.

As with many strategic “problems”, the so-called semantics are critical to taking the right approach here.

Forget the lo-awarenes bleating about problem-solving and break your business case into the simplest elements possible.

1. Does the product improve people’s lives?

2. Are they willing to pay for it?

And even this gets it backwards from what you should do in practice.

Start from the second bit and start testing immediately. An actual sale is the best market metric. 

Don’t forget the first because otherwise you’re just a scammer and your business will have no staying power. It will be a fad.

What does the customer want?

Is the customer willing to pay?

Will the customer consume and come back for more? 

The exact same product validation applies in any human transaction where you are the product. Getting a partner to commit time and energy to you is how you know you bring value in a relationship. And so on, and so on.

Take this approach and you won’t have many problems to solve.

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