A person’s decision to buy your product is not based on how well it solves their problem. 

Thousands of fantastic products that solve consumers’ problems go overlooked every day. They sit on shelves and look beautiful on websites. But people walk past and grab something else, something that doesn’t solve their problem as well that thing does.

It’s a business owner’s worst nightmare. Years spent in development, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on buying the facility and equipment, creating inventory, stocking shelves. All with the hope that people will show up and want what they’re selling.

But no one buys.

Often, it’s not a product problem. It’s a communication problem.

Most business leaders have been in the industry so long they know all the insider language. When asked what problem their product solves, they give a technical, industry-specific answer full of industry-leading jargon.

To these business leaders, it feels like they’re demonstrating how much they know. But there’s a problem: their customers haven’t been in the industry as long as them. They don’t know what all those words mean. Instead of impressing people with their wealth of knowledge and vocabulary, they’re confusing people. It feels like they’re speaking a different language.

If this sounds like you, there’s something you should know: no one understands you.

You’re asking your potential customers to work to try to figure out what you’re saying. But that’s not how people operate. They don’t want to work to understand you. They don’t want to burn any calories they don’t have to, so instead, they check out. 

People don’t buy the best products, they buy the products they can understand the fastest.

If you want people to start buying, you have to communicate in a way they understand. And it has to be easy. No one will spend 15 minutes on your website sifting through your information trying to piece things together.

In fact, they won’t even spend 10 seconds on your website if it doesn’t immediately make sense.

So what are you to do? How do you bridge this gap and connect with your customers?

Listen to them.

Ask them questions. Write down what they say and start talking about your product with their words instead of yours. Learn the language they use instead of forcing them to learn the language you use.

To get you started, here are some questions to discover how your customers talk about the problems they’re experiencing and the reason they want your product in the first place.

1. What is the biggest challenge you’re experiencing, as it relates to my product?

People are on your website because they have a problem. They’re not wandering around with wads of money looking for someone to give it to. They have a problem, and they need help solving it. If you want to connect with them in a way that makes them want to buy, you have to start with the problem your product or service solves.

This question helps you discover the way your customers talk about their problem. But if their response is vague, it’s not helpful. Imagine selling running shoes. If someone tells you her problem is that her shoes, “aren’t good enough,” how does that help you? It doesn’t. You’re not going to run an ad that says, “Buy our shoes because they’re good enough.”

No, instead, ask follow up questions. Keep asking, “Why?” or “How come?” until you understand the depth and breadth of the problem. Maybe she has a marathon coming up and wants shoes that she knows will make it through training and will still have enough cushion to be comfortable for 26.2 miles. Now you know what your customer is experiencing and can provide a specific solution to her problem.

2. How is that impacting your life?

A problem isn’t a problem unless it obstructs a basic need or want.  If you don’t talk about the way your customers’ lives are affected by the problem they’re experiencing, they won’t buy your product. There’s no reason to do business with you if you don’t help improve their lives.

Our friend looking for running shoes might own a pair that doesn’t have enough cushion, so she’s in pain whenever she runs. Wow, now you have an even better way to connect with her and offer a solution to her problem. “That sounds awful,” you might say, “No one wants to be in pain while they run.”

3. How does that make you feel?

People buy solutions to their problems, right? Wrong! This is a common myth that leads to low sales. In reality, the problem a person is experiencing makes them feel something. A marathon runner might feel afraid or anxious about running a marathon with below average shoes. She’s not only in your running store to buy shoes; she’s there to buy a way to get rid of these negative emotions.

If you don’t understand what your customers are feeling because of their problem, you’re missing out on sales.

To boost your browsers’ engagement, mention these emotions on your website. Remember, you’re not inventing this. Your customers are already experiencing these emotions. They’re looking for a way to get rid of them, and this is an opportunity for you to offer your product as the solution.


Your sales don’t have to suffer from poor communication that doesn’t connect.

Use these questions to find out how your customers talk about their problem and the way your product solves it.

When you use words your customers understand, they will listen. You’ll see engagement go up, get better responses, and increase your revenue. Yes, it’s true, communication is often the only thing standing between you and more sales.

Learn your customers’ language and start communicating in a way they understand.


P.S. I help companies learn to communicate in a way their customers understand all the time. If you have any questions, or if you want to bring me in to help you clarify your message, click here to schedule a call. I’d love to help you grow your business!

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