— By Judy Rose

When you meet someone who may become a new client, the question you might ask is, “What’s your problem?” I don’t mean you ask in the sarcastic tone you’d use when someone is behaving inappropriately, but ask the question quite literally. You might not even want to ask it out loud, but you should be listening for the answer. Because once you know what a person’s problem is, you can identify whether you have the solution. And people pay for solutions.

Clients spend money to take care of things they cannot or will not do for themselves. Whether it’s an issue of know-how, or time, or priorities, if there’s a need that’s not being met, then there’s a problem to be solved. If enough people have that problem and you have a product or service that solves it, then you have the basis for a business.

In my case, it may be as simple as finding a business owner who wants her company to have a blog but who doesn’t have time to write it. Problem solved. I do have time to write it. In a sense, every service and product you buy holds the solution to something. No place to sit? Buy a chair. Pain in your back? Visit a doctor. Need a faithful companion? Get a dog. Problem. Solution. Over and over again, day after day, businesses search for the people whose problems they can solve.

So next time you hear somebody say, “What’s your problem?” you might want to think, “What’s my solution?”

Judy Rose Judy Rose (NAWBO Blog Editor) writes original copy for marketing and PR, websites, blogs, newsletters, and other business materials. She also assists clients by polishing and adding vitality to existing text, and offers a unique strategic editing service called Writing Repair. Learn more about Judy’s blogging services.