📄 What's their problem-stack?

If ethical selling is about being helpful, and helping people decide whether to solve a problem or keep it...

Then helping them figure out exactly the size and cost of the problem is something that helps you, your buyer, and the entire sales process.

And to help create clarity on the problem, it's very useful to work with a 'problem-stack'.

Which means:

Three related problems, that add up to one major frustration.

For instance:

When students sign on to learn my Sales for Nice People framework, this is usually the problem-stack they're facing:

"I don't like that I have to "sell" my work". "I struggle to land as many clients as I ought to". "It's hard to get people to pay me what my work is really worth".

Put together, these problems add up to the frustration called:

"It's that damn selling-thing, which I know is part of business - and I wish I could get a grip on it!"

And that set of problems, with its attached core frustration, is exactly what gets solved with the Sales for Nice People training.

Or, in the illustration above, a business might struggle with high ad spend, bad on-site conversions, and low traffic, which brings the nice & tidy frustration of 'We finally want to get a proper return on all the money we invest in our website and online presence!'

Of course the problems a buyer wants to solve are far more complex than a simple three-legged stool of related problems - but that's precisely why you want to figure out what their problem-stack actually is.

Without a snippy, clear and relatable summary of 'what we're trying to solve here today', it's much harder than it needs to be, for a buyer to get to a decision.

But when you do identify your buyer's problem-stack, it enables you to elegantly ask for the sale, without any awkwardness.

Just recap the problem-stack and frustration, ask if you got it right, and suggest talking about solving it.

In my case, that could look like this:

"So you're saying you don't mind selling, but you find it a struggle. And you know you could land more buyers, and you want to increase your fees by 50%... And, you want to finally get out of the feast-or-famine cycle? Right, then should we see if the SFNP training can solve that for you?"

This way, you present your offer as an invitation, without having to be pushy about it, and 100% in the context of what your buyer wants to improve in their lives. I.e. you make it about them, not about you or your offer or product or sale.

Of course the above examples relate to Martin's business, and your situation will be different.

Just the same, you'd do well to ask yourself for each of your buyers:

What are the top three related problems that they're looking to solve?

What single, over-arching frustration do they add up to?

And, of course: should we talk about solving that?

Obviously, if the problem-stack in your business relates to generating more deals and sales, then I highly recommend you check out Sales for Nice People.

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