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Gap Sell Keenan 70: What Problems Do You Solve?

A Sales Growth Company
December 2, 2023

We’ve done 70 episodes of Gap Sell Keenan and there remains a recurring theme. Sellers still struggle to answer what problems do you solve? This seemingly simple question stumps our guests time and time again. However simple, it holds an immense significance and is underestimated by sellers. The answer to this questions represents the core philosophy of Gap Selling. Effective selling is not selling a product but strategically solving customer problems.


What problems do you solve?

Before engaging with a buyer, identify the problems your audience is grappling with. For instance, if you are an email marketer, get granular. Are you addressing low open rates, readability, click rates, or conversions? While you may have the ability to solve all of them, not every client will suffer from the full sweep.

Analyze problem roots

Delve into the why behind each of these issues. What obstacles stand in their way? Is there a technical glitch impacting open rates? Could a deliverability issue be keeping the open rates low because readers never see the emails? Document every potential obstacle that’s tied to the solution you provide. Imagine, with all your expertise, being handed their system and asked to diagnose it. What steps would you take first? What strategies would you employ?


Assess problem magnitude

Once you have the scope, quantify the impact. How many of their customers or readers may be affected? What is the magnitude of the problem? Is the business missing out on new customers? Are they churning existing business due the unresolved issue? If their conversion rate is solid, clicks from the opens are good, but open rates remain low, do the math. How much is each percentage point increase in open rates worth to them?

Define your target audience

Now define your audience. Not all companies will have a product or service they sell via email. I read a story earlier about a door-to-door security system seller who perfectly exemplifies this ideology. This seller exclusively approached homes in neighborhoods that had recent break-ins. He recognized that the relevance of his product is significantly higher in these areas. Understand your audience to this level, pinpoint the demographic with the highest likelihood of benefiting from your solution.


Find competitive solution gaps

Understand where existing solutions can fall short. A recent Gap Sell Keenan involved a payroll solution highlighting their proactive approach in presenting tax bonuses to clients. If the existing payroll solution was not being proactive, and we had employees who fell into this demographic, the seller could have instantly tied a monetary value to this approach. Conducting thorough competitive research allows you to identify gaps in their offerings and position your solution as a missing piece.


Be strategic with your sales questions

Gap Sellers are increasingly asking good questions, however, they are lacking in a plan where these questions lead them to a problem they can solve. The sales process is a collaborative journey. We need to find problems AND guide the conversation purposefully to ensure each questions propels a buyer toward a deeper understanding of their problem. This will ultimately highlight the value of your solution.

Weave these principles together. Find the right questions to ask and ask them with a purpose.


Utilize free trials opportunities

And just one final note: If the prospect you’re meeting with offers a free trial of the service where you believe you can help, you absolutely need to download or sign up. Don’t irritate your buyer by asking questions about the conversions, retention, software, etc when the product is right in front of you. You will alienate them if you haven’t taken 5 minutes to go through the process you insist you can help with.

Gap Sell Keenan 70

In this weeks episode of Gap Sell Keenan, we see a motivated entrepreneur try and sell Keenan. Where he falls short is in knowing how he can help and how to convey that information through a discovery call.

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