We're all problem solvers. 

It doesn't matter if you work a 9 to 5 job or you run your own business, you solve problems. 

Think about it. 

When you go to work what do you do all day? 

You are a solution to a problem. 

You are filling a need. 

I help people solve social media marketing problems. 

In the past when I met with prospects, I would ask "What is the biggest problem you have right now?" 

I asked that question because that is what I was taught by some guru, probably one of those "high ticket closers". 

Boy was that bad advice. 

If you ask, they will tell you their biggest problem. 

And a lot more. 

Should you try to solve their biggest problem on your first engagement? 

You're stepping into the middle of a hornet's nest if you try to solve their biggest problem on your first at-bat. 

It's one thing if you've been working with that firm and you have a positive track record with them. 

You know the players involved. 

You know the company culture. 

You know their organizational strengths and weaknesses. 

Even then, solving their biggest problem could be a Herculean task that no one can solve. 

Imagine walking into a company and being tasked with solving their dysfunctional workplace issues. 

Lawsuits, sexual harassment, discrimination, poor morale. 

Would you want to try to solve those problems on your first engagement? 

Don't go for the grand slam on your first at-bat. 

Start small. 

Hit a few singles and gain their trust. 

How do you know which small but pressing issue to solve? 

Ask the person who would hire you. 

Don't ask "What is your biggest problem?" 

Ask "How can I help you right now?" 

Solve that pressing issue and they'll have a laundry list of other issues to address. 

Courtney is an HR consultant. 

In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, one of her clients called in a panic. 

"Courtney, 25% of my staff quit today. You need to help me fill those positions ASAP." 

Courtney asked why 25% of the staff quit. 

"Because I mandated everyone must work in the office. No remote work allowed." 

These are not essential workers and working remotely was working fine. 

Courtney uncovered the real problem by asking simple questions. 

There's no way they could hire that many replacement workers who would be willing to come to the office every day as the pandemic was skyrocketing. 

The moral of the story is: don't be a hero. 

Solve a small but pressing problem that will make your contact's life easier and make them look good. 

They will gladly hand you more problems to solve. 

About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you?

I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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