Solution based sales is the battle cry of the modern salesperson. We want to have that idea or product that will solve the problem our customer is currently experiencing. It’s no mystery that every sale ends with the contract being awarded to the business or sales person with the highest value solution. However, too often sales people jump directly into solving a problem they haven’t truly identified. Either they didn’t spend enough time listening or they took the customer at face value when the problem was articulated internally. Real solutions are developed from a sales persons ability to identify the real problem. Maybe the greatest mind of the 20th century can shed some light on how to make sure you don’t skip this important step.
1. Stop Talking and Start Listening. “If A= Success. Then A= X+Y+Z. X=work Y=play Z=keeping your mouth shut” Albert Einstein
Good sales people must develop a relational intelligence that helps them ask meaningful questions. Answers to these questions will lead to a meaningful dialogue where the customer will verbalize a specific problem(s)
2. Identify the bigger problem. “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein
Most problems companies experience are of their own doing. Often the business is experiencing pain from a deeper issue that has been created over time. Newer companies typically experience pain due to an oversight or unidentified threat to the business.
3. Spend time focusing on the problem to lead you to solution. “ If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” Albert Einstein
Once you’ve identified the deeper problem it’s really quite simple. You either possess the product or idea that solves the problem or you don’t. Sales people live in fear of not winning the sale. Don’t spend time trying to configure your solution to a problem when you know it’s not a good fit. Bad sales lead to bad customers. And that’s not fun for anyone!