📄 Are you selling them a problem? (Pt. 1: Interaction-tax)

"One of the best ways to lose a sale, is to inadvertently 'sell a problem' along with your solution.

“But wait!”, you say:

“I don’t sell problems... I sell a solution!”

Of course, that’s what business is about: earning money for solutions.

But it's just too damn easy to offer a solution and be unaware of the attached problems or consequences your buyer will have to deal with.

Like this developer I spoke to a while back, who wanted advice on raising money to build out his app.

With what he showed in the demo, I could see it was definitely a solution for the user, certainly something people would pay for.

But, in the way that he presented the app, it constantly looked like hard work.

Extra time to spend.

More things to think about.

Lots of buttons to click.

All kinds of pages to navigate through.

And it wasn’t because there’s anything wrong with the app he’s building.

It was simply because his way of communicating and presenting wasn’t properly thought out.

He was communicating from the POV of an engineer, and failed to speak the language of the audience.

As a result, what I perceived was an app with an extremely high 'interaction-cost'.

I.e. for someone to decide to buy the solution of using the app, they’d also have to be willing to 'buy the problem' of a taxing, challenging experience in using it. In other words: interaction-tax.

So if this developer goes out to try and land an investor with that type of presentation, he’ll find it very hard to raise the funds. He'll need to adjust his demo, so that he doesn't inadvertently 'sell' the problem of high interaction-cost.

Whatever you communicate, whatever problem you solve for people, or whatever sale you're proposing:

Use empathy to check the other person's reaction and level of engagement, and calibrate your message if you notice that something appears complicated or problematic for them.

That's how you avoid charging people "interaction tax" - more about that in a few days from now...

Next up, chapter 2 in the Are Your Selling Them a Problem Series: Identity conflicts

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