What Business Are You InDo you know what business you’re in? I don’t mean what industry or field or segment. I mean, what business you’re really in?

And don’t say “the solutions business.” That’s a cliché. It’s also inaccurate. Many of the things people buy aren’t solutions to anything. Yet people still buy them.

No, what you’re really in, is the fulfillment business. When somebody buys what you sell, they’re hoping to fulfill some physical need and/or emotional desire.

A family vacation doesn’t necessarily solve any problem, but it does (ideally) fulfill a variety of individual wishes. (Each of which can be very different.) Similarly, when a business buyer makes a purchase, they’re hoping to meet some need of their company, but they’re also trying fulfill their personal desire to advance, earn a bigger bonus or at least, not get fired.

So in what ways is your product or service fulfilling to your customers? What organizational needs and individual wants do you fulfill?

Think beyond the physical needs. (The “problems” we’re taught to solve.) What are your prospects’ hopes, dreams, desires, fantasies, fears, longings? That’s what they’re really buying. So that’s what you should be selling.