70% of purchase decisions are made to solve problems

define your value proposition

I receive emails weekly, if not more often, from shysters offering lead generation services. I also talk to clients who have very high enquiry rates, thanks to their high advertising budgets, but achieve a low proportion of qualified enquiries. This is the second of 10 THOUGHTS addressing strategies for maximising qualified enquiries and genuine prospects.

I am defining a qualified enquiry or genuine prospect as one where there is a better than 50% likelihood of conversion. I recognise that there is usually a sales funnel, and acknowledge the importance of minimising time wasted on unqualified enquiries in that funnel.

Research by Impact Communications found that 70% of purchase decisions are made with the express intention of solving a specific problem. This suggests that the best leads, qualified enquiries and genuine prospects are people who recognise that they have a specific problem and see your business as having the potential to address that problem to their satisfaction.

This highlights the importance of clearly articulating:

  • The problems that you can solve
  • An attractive value-proposition

Most potential customers begin their search with a specific need or ‘problem’ in mind. To maximise qualified enquiries, it is helpful to ensure that you understand the problem, how it manifests itself, and what your qualified enquiry is looking for in terms of a solution.

Research suggests that demonstrating a capacity to solve 3 – 4 consumer ‘problems’ creates the highest likelihood of a qualified enquiry.

More often than not, however, yours will not be the only business or brand that can address the need or solve the problem. Consequently, it will be critical to communicate a clear value-proposition or point of difference – that makes your business appear to be the best option – the one most likely to provide the optimal solution.

Ideally, the value-proposition communicated should:

  • Be as specific and tangible as possible
  • Incorporate a product that is unique and remarkable
  • Address the enquirers problem better than the alternatives
  • Be demonstrated in a tangible way to achieve credibility

The specific value proposition will also need to relate to the business’s strategic competitive advantage and brand.

In essence, this is all about demonstrating to potential enquirers, why they should deal with you – because you understand their needs and can address them better than your competitors. It requires a sound understanding of their problem and how they believe it might best be solved. It requires that you put the enquirer and potential prospect at the centre of the marketing.


Define the problem you are solving in terms the target market will understand and engage with, and demonstrate a value proposition that proves you can solve the problem better than your competitors.

Get closer to your target audience and understand all the problems they have. Then seek to solve as many as possible while demonstrating your superior capacity to address them.


Marketing Results, Salesforce Blog, Iron Paper, Lead Fuze, Forbes, Sales Fusion, Impact Communications, Demand Gen Report, Gong Labs, Adobe, Aberdeen Group and HBR


MORE THOUGHTS – www.djohncarlsonesq.com 

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