Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

Take the time to understand your customers’ needs to more effectively market your service or product.

Here’s something to consider: sell the problems you solve, not the products. Tyler Robertson, founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, recommended that during his presentation, “Building A Foundation for Future Success,” at the Corcentric Fleet Solutions Conference.

I like his way of thinking. Many of us in sales tend to get caught up in explaining the features and benefits of our products and services before we fully understand the customer’s problem.

Perhaps we all would be better served if we spent more time with the customer to understand their real problems before offering our product or service as the answer. Think of it the same way you would conduct a root cause analysis when a vehicle has a problem. We need to keep talking to the customer until we fully understand their issues and problems. Not just what is on the surface but what’s underneath that is preventing them from being successful.

See also: It’s time to deeply evaluate your operations

When we really understand the customer’s pain points, we are better positioned to offer them a solution that will serve them in the long term rather than just a product or service that may provide a quick fix.

Providing a solution helps build trust between you and the customer, and we all know that people buy from people they trust.

This does not mean you don’t focus on creating more value for your customers than your competitors or letting the customer know about the value added. It means taking more time to listen and to ask thoughtful follow-up questions. It could mean taking some time to do additional research to develop a solution that is specific to the customer. You can’t meet unique needs with cookie-cutter answers.

See also: Choose your financial source wisely

Creating solutions sounds like it has more of a lasting impact than selling a product or service. I don’t know about you, but lasting relationships with my customers are what I strive for. As a result, I will focus on finding and offering lasting solutions.

If you have the opportunity, I suggest you look up Tyler and Diesel Laptops and learn about his story. It is a true representation of the American Dream.