This concept is not new and although many businesses recognize the concept many small and mid-size companies do not practice it.  However, small businesses in particular have an advantage when it comes to selling solutions!  Let’s think about this for a moment…

Small business owners usually do not expect to enter the large market to take over immediately but instead they will enter the market with a strategy to gain share then expand.  In other words, they enter a smaller market in which it has a breadth of expertise.  That combination of a focused market and expertise creates an advantage when selling solutions.

Small businesses have the opportunity to nurture close relationships with their customers, which is important when getting established in the market.  Building these relationships is the key component of selling solutions.

  1. Know your customers
  2. Identify your customers’ needs/pain points
  3. Analyze customers’ problems
  4. Sell solution(s)


Know your customers

Listen to them!  This sounds simple but it is not as easy as you may think.  We know, or should know that all customers are not the same. Understanding what motivates their buying decisions is paramount to a company’s success.  Some customers may feel all products and services in the market are similar, so they are only shopping for the best price.  Others may be into what is new, innovative, “next best thing” and may be willing to pay a premium for it.  Others may be focused on customer service.  The list goes on and on but having that understanding will go a long way when connecting with them and offering solutions that make sense.

Identify your customers’ needs/pain points

Get to know your customers.  Talk to current customers to understand what they need, desire, and expect from the products and services in the market.  Ask questions to have a better understanding of the problem(s). It’s impact: revenue, time, etc.

Analyze customers’ problems

Once you understand the problem, you can do an analysis of the situation and begin developing solutions that align with your product and services offering.  The goal is to gain an understanding of the ‘real’ problem.  You may realize that what the customer(s) is focused on or what they are looking for is not going to resolve the problem. 

Sell solution(s)

Now that you have analyzed the problem; it’s time to come up with solutions to solve the problem.  This is when you get to sell.  But instead of selling your product, SELL A SOLUTION! 

During the discussion with your customer:

  1. Talk about the customer pain point(s)
  2. Offer the solution(s) you know will help them
  3. Recommend your product and/or service that provides the best solution
  4. Explain why this product and/or service is the best solution


A thought to consider…one day a customer was talking about a dreaded task like grocery shopping.  Maybe they don’t have time, they don’t like big crowds, or they just don’t enjoy shopping in general.  Sure there have been solutions to this problem for some time, like hire someone to shop for you or use a grocery store that provides delivery service, and recently someone came up with the idea of curbside pickup.  Why?  Because they listened to the customer, analyzed the situation, looked at existing solutions, and then offered a new solution that solved the problem. You can do the same thing…sell a solution to your customers, not just another product.