Chances are your company doesn’t sell the product or service you think it does.
“The customer rarely buys what the business thinks it sells him. One reason for this is, of course, that nobody pays for a ‘product.’ What is paid for is satisfaction. But nobody can make or supply satisfaction as such— at best, only the means to attaining them can be sold and delivered.” – Peter Drucker
What is the Company Selling?
All successful companies start with the founder seeing an unmet need in the world. Lots of times, this need is technically being “met” by something out in the market already; it’s just that this “something” is really terrible at solving the problem. The reason the company is ultimately successful is that it solves a large enough problem in an easy enough way that people are willing to pay money for it.
What are You Selling?
Every job at a company exists for the same basic reason the company exists – to meet an unmet need in the world (i.e. within the Company). The difference in how a job and a company come into existence is that with a job, the “Customer” (i.e. Company) preemptively solves their own problem by hiring a Company (i.e. Worker) instead of waiting for someone to notice the unmet need and “found” a job to meet it.
This dynamic is the exact opposite of how the Company came into existence and can explain a great deal of why founders and employees can have differing mindsets of what is expected from one another. A founder sees a problem and meets it with creative and unrelenting attacks. An employee waits for someone to ask them to solve a problem.
Given that every employee exists at a company to fill at least one unmet need, employees would be much better off treating their role as a stand-alone company. With this mindset, everyone can be a founder and can strive to make your own personal empire as impactful as it can be.
Between unhappy customers (whether these are coworkers or external customers), managing complexity, and oh yeah, your actual job; it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day of the business. But maintaining sight of the fact that you exist to find and solve your customers’ problems (not the other way around) will make it easy to maintain a founder mentality and add tremendous value to your organization.
Whether you call yourself a salesman or not, don’t forget that everyone is selling a solution. Hopefully, your solutions will be the type that gives the recipient a great deal of satisfaction.
by: Daniel Hinton