OK, I have a confession.
I made a bonehead move.
A few weeks back I went to eat at the LongHorn Steakhouse. My order was a delicious 22oz. LongHorn porterhouse complete with mashed potatoes, vegetables and a salad.
(My mouth is watering as I type this.)
The meal was fantastic. I mean, absolutely divine. The service was impersonal but prompt. I was alone and kind of in a motivational funk so it was time well spent alone to think.
After I received the bill, signed, and took the last sip of a tall glass of Jack and Coke, I was off to my car. Ten minutes down the road it hit me.
“Um…did I forget my credit card?”
I hate doing stuff like that because it just makes me feel like such a fool returning to the store. But hey, I’m betting you’ve done it too so I don’t feel all that bad
This experience made me think there should be some type of safeguard against leaving behind your ID’s, wallets, and/or credit cards.
Shouldn’t there be some app that texts me or buzzes in my pocket saying, “hey idiot – don’t forget your card!”
But nah. It isn’t THAT big of a deal.
Then I started thinking about problem solving, in general, and how valuable it is.
See, in thinking about that silly “app” I was already programming myself to be a customer to someone who creates the next “reminder” system for things we leave behind.
That’s where true value lies; in creative problem solving.
Perform market research
This is where knowing your market inside-and-out pays off. Research your market and tune in to what they’re begging for from you. Read up on the biggest pains and problems your market faces on a daily or weekly basis.
Solve that problem.
Be the first. If you can’t be the first to solve it, be more creative than your competitors with how you solve it. Make your service personable and helpful. Outshine your competitors by making your buyers feel like you understand their pain, not that you just have another off-the-shelf solution.
Solving problems and eliminating pain isn’t where the transaction ends. In fact, that’s where the relationship with your market begins.
You’ve already been identified as a problem solver. You saved the day. Now that you’re a superhero, use the inside track you have with your customer base to discover new demands.
Be the first to understand pains they haven’t (yet) openly expressed. Doing so promotes repeat purchases and is less expensive than new client acquisition. Plus, your attention to their needs shows your raving fans that you aren’t like “the other guy.” You don’t believe in one-and-done transactions.
Go to meet the needs of your market
Identify the pains your target market is facing. Use Google Alerts to pull in those keywords and phrases to show you any mention of those pains.
Study your market by using Twitter search to see what people are complaining about and then start a conversation with them.
How will you solve a problem today?