I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about today, until I was offered a solution. This morning, bleary-eyed, I walked through San Francisco airport to catch my flight home to Boston. There were only two places open for food, and so I got into a line at a small cafe-looking stand. A smiling man behind the counter is why you get this post.
He greeted me with a warm “Good morning!” This isn’t hard to do, but it’s rare these days. He smiled brightly, even though it’s not yet 5AM local time. When my eyes darted around the case, he said, “Why don’t you have a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant?”
I had no idea what I wanted to eat, and I know that I wanted to eat healthy, but all I saw for options were muffins and bagels, so I’d already resigned myself to not having a great option. However, the idea of a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant was not on my list. I’d already surrendered to the idea of forking over $3.49 for a muffin that at least had some carrot shreds in it (plausible pretend health).
I pointed back at him and nodded my head with a “you guessed it!” kind of expression on my face. He went to the back room kitchen, came back in seconds, and handed me a box with my order in it. It was so fast that I thought he gave me someone else’s order (the guy beside me who’d ordered before me did, too).
Being this is the first part of the morning, he no doubt had a few sandwiches prepped and ready to go, so he’d be ahead once the gates opened. My sandwich was one of them. In effect, he sold me a solution that he had already prepared for someone and he decided to try it out on me. Oh, and it worked.
In your marketing and sales, there are always going to be choices. The beautiful way to go is to eliminate those choices quickly by setting your prospective buyer on the right path. By offering your buyer a solution instead of a series of choices, you get them closer to identifying with the potential purchase a lot faster, and you get them into their decision-to-buy-or-not discussion inside their heads faster.
Yes, there’s a risk. They could be disqualified faster if you offer the wrong solution. More often than not, this method requires that you think through the “fit” between your solution and your buyer’s needs. But isn’t that the real game anyhow?
The sandwich was delicious.