Solution Selling Is Not About Chasing Money – 5 Tips
Yes, as a salesperson you are measured to a great extent by the amount of revenue you bring in. But successful solution selling is not just about chasing money. To succeed long-term in sales, you need to consistently help your customers solve their most pressing problems. Each opportunity becomes a win for you both…the customer feels good about the value you provided and you feel good about meeting your sales targets by helping your clients to succeed.
This is what solution selling is all about. To do it well, you can’t be transactional, pushy or annoyingly persistent. You need to approach the sale with the attitude that you truly want to understand the customer’s need and truly want to help them succeed both personally and professionally. It requires being smart about which target customers to engage because they present real opportunities and about which customers to put on a second tier. It requires a willingness to learn all you can about your customers so you become a trusted advisor with a depth of knowledge of their situation and industry that allows you to bring fresh perspectives and valuable insights to bear.
Here are five tips on how to operate successfully in the solution selling realm:
1. Listen more, talk less
The key to learning about what your customers need is to ask insightful questions, listen carefully to their answers and probe for deeper understanding. Traditional sales required salespeople to be masters of their “spiel.” Solution selling, instead, asks that you be masters of questioning and insight. You want to have a conversation with your customer, not deliver a presentation to them. Only after you have listened thoughtfully to them will they be ready to listen thoughtfully to the true value you can add.
2. Be authentic
If you are genuine in your desire to help your customer, this customer-centric attitude will win you supporters. There is no need to pretend you know more than you do. A little humility is far more appealing than a “know-it-all” approach. Focus on helping your clients move the metrics that matter most to them.
3. Stay in touch
Take advantage of any positive interactions you have. Check in on a regular basis…not to bug customers but to add value so you are “top of mind” when they need your help. Be friendly when you call and try to leave something of value with each point of contact…an article of interest to your customer, an offer to introduce them to an expert on a subject they care about, or a fresh perspective on their situation.
4. Recognize the value of “no”
Know that you will often hear the word “no.” Sure, it’s discouraging to be rejected but flip your reaction to one of gratitude. An early “no” gives you the opportunity to spend your time with a more likely customer. A red light at the start of a sale allows you to pursue green lights elsewhere.
5. Keep learning
Don’t let yourself get stagnant. Stay on top of your game by keeping up with your customers’ financial news and developments in the marketplace. Also make sure that you remain a domain expert in your area. This is the way to maintain your edge and your value to both your company and your customers.