I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. It’s been a very busy month.

Do you realize there are no solutions for problems that do not exist?

Sounds obvious enough but we are ever trying to sell solutions that never gain a proper hearing. Could that be because we are solving a non-existent problem? Sometimes. And sometimes the problem just isn’t seen by the ones we’re trying to convince to adopt our solution.

I get tons of emails offering to ‘fix’ my website’s SEO. These companies want hundreds or even thousands of dollars to ‘improve my search position’ which will yield more business for me. I’ve spoken with a few of the SEO solicitors and they are always amazed that I cannot see the value in their service. Why wouldn’t I spend a few hundred dollars to increase my web traffic by 50%? That’s not rational! Don’t I want more web traffic? Isn’t it worth a few bucks to double my traffic?

Not to me. Not now.

There was a time that I might have been eager to pay for more traffic. But I don’t need more traffic now. I have plenty of business and am selective about the projects I will accept.

And, for clients, I have improved their SEO position, their search standings, by doing all the right things. I took a key client from page 14 to the top of page 1 for any search of their primary service. You could say that I know how to do it.

So if I wanted to improve my own search standing, I would do it. But I don’t have the time! Like the cobbler’s kids who go without shoes. I started this post by apologizing for not posting sooner! Time! I’m a busy guy.

Let’s get back to the point.

These guys trying to sell me SEO services (that’s ‘Search Engine Optimization’) are making all the right points but failing to sell me. They can improve my search position. They can increase my web traffic. They can bring me more business.

But I’m not in agreement with the problem. I am not interested in buying something I don’t need regardless of the price or value.

Lately, a lot of people have talked to me about having a hard time selling their great ideas to their bosses. “Nobody will listen. Things just keep going the same way. I can’t get them to accept change. We never try anything new. I have some really good ideas but they never go anywhere.”  Sound familiar?

I often face the same sort of dull reception to my ideas when the solution seems so obvious to me! Why can’t this client see this? They know I’m reliable. They know I deliver. Why aren’t they excited about my idea?

They don’t see the problem.

If they don’t see the problem, they cannot see a need to implement a solution.

If you want to get things done, you have to find agreement on the problem first. If you don’t have that, there is no need to waste time offering a solution.

Learn and practice to clearly define problems. Get consensus on problems first, solutions later. If the ones who decide on the fate of your ideas do not buy into the problem, they will not want to change or disrupt anything to try a solution.

I often see opportunity for a client to improve their bottom line. I’ll offer an idea only to hear, “I don’t think the situation is that bad. He’s just really busy right now.” See? They see it too. They even think they know the cause.  But isn’t the goal to stay busy? And if that’s the case, will this problem go away? No.  But my suggestion is dead on arrival because I failed to gain agreement on the problem. No matter how well I dress up the solution, if the problem isn’t seen as a problem…

Take away?

Learn to define problems. Define problems without placing blame. Get agreement on problems before proposing solutions.

Good luck.

Chris Reich