Gone are the days where Henry Ford said, “A customer can have a car painted any color he wants…as long as it’s black.”

No matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s the oil and gas field or finance sector, there is one thing across all verticals that remains the same: our customers want personalized solutions that fit their needs.

As businesses, we cannot simply sell cookie cutter products anymore. Gone are the days where we show prospective clients our pre-made ‘solutions.’ Regardless of your industry, there’s no such thing as ‘one-size fits all.’

Take smartphones for example. You might be thinking “well, everyone gets one of the three iPhone choices.” Or do they?

Imagine getting your new iPhone. What’s the first thing you do? You either rearrange your home screen, OR you download all the apps you love.

Now think. What do those two actions have in common?

They’re custom solutions that solve your problems—big and small. A rearranged homescreen means muscle memory can take over and save you time. A digital wallet that pays all your bills, a messaging app that keeps you in touch with your kid who is studying abroad, and a home security app that constantly gives you peace of mind.

This same idea goes for storage tanks.

Each of your current and prospective clients has specific needs. How many times do you really look at a new client and end up providing them with an exact same replica of a solution you’ve already given someone else? Our guess is never.

The trick, as we see it, is to be driven by processes.

We encourage that you start by first listening to your client and prospective client. From there, you should gain a clear understanding of what it is they’re hoping to accomplish versus what they need. Make sure that you truly understand your current and prospective clients’ long-term goals. Have a strategy session that builds a plan that can be used in the long-run.

We need to bear in mind that our customers each have their own specific set of needs, short and long-term goals. While ready-made products might fit some of those, custom solutions have a larger impact in the grand scheme of things. These tailored products not only fit immediate needs but future needs, making your relationship as a strategic partner proactive, not reactive.