Are You Solving Your Customer’s Problem – Or Just Selling What You’ve Got?

Is Your Business Selling Junk I don’t care what kind of business you are running – I don’t care if you have 1 employee (you) or 50,000 – there is one question that matters more than any other. Are you solving your customer’s problem – or just selling them what you’ve got?

Solving a customer’s problem is hard. And it never gets any easier. Your customer’s problem changes over time – and you’ve got to keep up. Or, even better, be just ahead of them, recognizing the problem just before they do.

Selling what you’ve got is easy (or so it would seem). You make cabinets. People need cabinets. Sell them some cabinets.

The problem with selling them what you’ve got is, well let’s face it, lots of people make cabinets. So why are they going to buy your cabinets?

Pretty soon you find yourself talking less and less about cabinets and more and more about what they want to do with their cabinets. About how you specifically design cabinets to optimize storage space. About how shelving and wine racks are great space optimizers and can be even better ascetically than cabinets. Pretty soon you’ll realize that you are selling attractive and functional kitchen organization solutions.

Turns out you can’t just sell what you’ve got. The truth is you are either solving your customer’s problem – learning to solve your customer’s problem – or going out of business.

The entrepreneur’s mission is:

  1. Know what problems you are trying to solve and for whom.
  2. Figure out how to solve them.
  3. Sell the solution.
  4. Repeat


  1. Decide what you know how to do/want to sell.
  2. Sell it.

Sizing Up Your Business

Last night I spoke at the Gilbert FastTrac GrowthVenture meeting. It was a pleasure to see so many founders and entrepreneurs in a room sharing knowledge, insights and experiences.

I’m willing to bet any one of them could have stood up and shared their thoughts with all of us and we would have learned as much (or probably more) than we did by listening to me for 40 minutes.

The thing is, it takes a community, an ecosystem to create a thriving entrepreneurial economy – and while that is a topic for a different post – I was thrilled to see entrepreneurs coming together.

I’m including the slides below, and I hope you find them helpful – but the real value was in the richness of the dialoge.

View more presentations from Brian Roy.