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What's your problem?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018

Ever come across one of those infomercials where you wonder how the actors are even alive? You know, the ones where they spill the juice over the entire kitchen including the cabinets and ceiling, or can’t seem to get food into their mouths without spilling it everywhere?

Well, yeah, they’re overreacting to a situation most of us have encountered. Crying while chopping onions or having a cat-sized ball of dog fur in the corner. What’s with all the bloodstains on kids clothes, CATHY? That’s an awfully violent brood you got there.

Sure infomercials are cheesy, but there’s something they’ve gotten right. The overreactions aren’t about showing you the benefits of the products. Instead, they’re showing you something far more important … the problem.

What problem are you solving

We have clients looking for a way to show off their products or - even tougher, their services - and wondering “If this idea is so great, why isn’t it selling like hotcakes?”

Well, it’s because hotcakes fill a need, son. You’re hungry and hotcakes make you not hungry.

So what’s the need you fill? More importantly, what’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Sometimes it’s easy, like making a batch of hotcakes. Sometimes it’s a bit more complicated, like handling taxes. Sometimes, it’s a much tougher sell, like providing your expertise: We all know we should pay for it, but we feel like we can do it ourselves.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait till you hire an amateur.” - Red Adair

So, you have a problem, selling your product or services. Here’s the solution:

Write a Needs Narrative.

Identify who you’re selling to, or your market, what their challenge is, and what their goals are.

Fill in this paragraph:

_(Target Audience)_ struggles with _(Challenge)_. This audience wants to _(Goal)_, and we help by _(Solution)_.

With our _(Service)_ our customers can _(Quantifiable Positive Outcome)_.

For Rogue Penguin we would fill out the sentence like this:

Small businesses struggle with reaching audiences. These businesses want to make sales, and we help by marketing their company’s unique selling points, and promoting them in various ways.

With our business model of no office, no overhead, no set hours, our customers see real marketing results, with heightened creativity, and smaller investments of time and money.

What's next?

You can certainly add to these statements, especially if you offer a very niche service or product, and a lot of these value propositions include comparing other product or service offerings and their failings in one or several parts of the final goal, but it is best to keep it short and positive. The best part of this exercise is how easy it is to build the brief elevator pitch from the basic principles of the statements.

So what’s your problem? Need help talking through your Needs Narrative? Reach out!

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