Sellers out to offer solutions, accept that their product has limitations but will not stop at seeking a solution for the prospect.
Your product has limitations; it is not a panacea to all the client’s needs. This is a pill most salespeople struggle to swallow. It does not help matters when selling is seen as cut-throat and cutting deals is exalted. Such traditional thinking only fuels the sellers desire to give prospects the product they want instead of the solution they need.
Such sellers struggle to show how their square peg perfectly fits the prospect’s round hole. Sometimes the client caves in to pressure or is persuaded to think he can make do and buys, but both times, the sheen fades and regret sets in. And the seller wonders why repeat sales are wanting.
The term solution is a by word in many organizations. We don’t sell products we offer solutions you will hear them say. Unfortunately, it is just that: a by word; a term that is bandied about to look hip for the cameras. Behind the cameras its business as usual-they are merely pushing products. Sellers out to offer solutions, accept that their product has limitations but will not stop at seeking a solution for the prospect. What do I mean?
Last week’s article showed that the many times the customer presents his symptom as the root-cause and the hopeless salesperson takes the bait. Genuine solution sellers are problem seekers. Despite knowing that their product can solve the symptom, they appreciate that it may not be the solution to its root-cause and will therefore seek to unearth the root-cause first before plunging in with a solution. A two-day sales training program may be what the prospect says he wants but it certainly will not rid him of the “analogue”culture of his salespeople who shun computers insisting instead on writing with pen and paper. Coaching, reshuffling or rehiring may be the solution that will help the prospect. With this exposed, the solution seeking seller will be happy to admit that he cannot dispense this medicine as he is not qualified to do so but (and this is the point) he is happy to refer the prospect to someone else who is qualified to.
Yes. Solution providers interact with the prospect and market, beyond their product. With every progressive query that is asked of them outside their arsenal but within their industry, they seek a solution. In the example aforementioned, training being in the human resource realm, it is not a stretch to expect the seller to know reputable recruitment firms or coaches that will assist the client secure a solution. The solution oriented seller is always seeking associations that will allow him offer the client a panacea to his pain, because it is beyond the seller’s product.
And that takes courage. It sometimes means exposing the prospect to the competition. But only the traditional seller who still thrives on hitting and running will be intimidated by this. The modern one is bent on forging bonds by genuinely offering solutions and positioning himself as the go-to person. Like my go-to seller at the stall I fancy who has no qualms walking me to the competitor seller’s stall, because they have the brand of shoe I seek and he doesn’t. His offering me a solution elevates my respect for him, keeps me going to him and referring others to him. That’s how the prospect responds to solution seekers.
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