Let’s imagine I’m a statistician and I want to sell my statistical services to businesses. (I’m not.)
Do you feel any urge to buy?
I didn’t think so.
You probably remember learning statistics at school and thought that it was a) confusing, b) boring and c) little practical use to man or beast.
But you’d be wrong.
Statistics is confusing to the majority of the population who struggle with anything other than the concept of an average and glaze over when they hear the words “standard deviation”.
It’s also boring and tedious to work with a lot of numbers when you don’t really understand what you’re doing.
But it can be very useful.
We haven’t connected the solution (buying the services of a statistician) with a problem.
But what about the problem of getting the right stock in the right place at the right time.
Anyone who has managed stock knows that it’s tough to get right but there are often big clues in the numbers and by better use of the application of the stock control formula you can save the costs of stockouts (when you miss the sale) and costs of excessive stocks (financing, space, obsolescence and wastage from perishables going out of date).
People will buy statistical services that help them manage stock better because it can take away a perpetual headache.
Or what about the customer service problems of queues, either in a shop or on the phone? (Don’t you hate to be told “Your business is important to us. We are experiencing unexpectedly high demand at the moment” every time you call a big company and fight your way through the automatic phone system by pressing 3-4-1-2-3?)
Queueing theory is a well established form of statistics and helping a business to improve customer service or to avoid customers walking away at the sight of a big queue is worth investigating.
My key message is that people are less concerned with what you are (whether that’s a statistician or anything else) and much more interested in what you can do for them.
And especially if you can help them to solve a problem.
We’re often told to present our [products and services as a solution but I believe you need to meet your customer where they are. And that’s stuck with a problem which they’d like to solve.
You must see your services from your customers’ perspective – it’s all about what’s in it for them.
But prospective customers are too busy living their own lives to translate who you are to what you can do for them.
You must do it for them.