The Solution Selling has been around since the mid 1970’s and has evolved into a generic term for today’s typical sales process. This process hasn’t changed much in 40 years!
The Harvard Business Review recently completed a study of over 1400 businesses and concluded that nearly 60% of a customers buying decision is made before they ever speak with a sales person. When a prospect is that far down their decision making curve, the sales persons ability to influence a buying decision is more difficult and more important than ever!
IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR APPROACH TO SOLUTION SELLING
Access to information has changed the way buyers evaluate their needs, suppliers and ultimately how they make buying decisions. Unfortunately most sales people haven’t changed the way they qualify, connect and convince in years.
The Place to Start
There are many ways to sell more effectively in today’s hyper-competitive world, I’m going to focus on a basic – qualifying. You’re probably pretty good at asking questions about your prospects’ stated needs. Well, so is your competition. This leads your prospect to the conclusion that you are ALL the same!
QUESTIONS THAT SEPARATE YOU FROM THE PACK
GOOD sales people ask questions to understand the problem, then offer appropriate solutions.
GREAT sales people help prospects look at, and think about their problem differently.
1. Ask questions that lead your prospect to talk about their problem in terms of the goal they are trying to achieve, not the problem itself.
2. Find out what their expectation of “done” is with regard to their need. Understanding their desired end state may change your approach to the solution you suggest.
Taking this approach to asking questions will create a connection experience with your prospect. They will come away from the conversation thinking that you understand them and their situation better than anyone else. That is where trust and new relationships begin.