For Solution Selling, the “How” Trumps the “What”
To succeed at solution selling, differentiating yourself through your approach may be more effective than differentiating your product from the competition.
In many fields, the products or services are similar. Yes, they may have different packaging and a variety of optional features…but in many cases they are essentially the same. If your hands are tied because you have little flexibility in changing what you sell, you need a solution selling strategy that does not rely on the product but on the seller. What can single you out as the winner in the sales contest is the way you connect with the customer and your relentless focus on helping them to succeed.
Here is a solution selling training plan that can help you differentiate not what you sell but how you sell, and highlight what makes you unique…
- Become an expert
You need an in-depth knowledge of what you have to offer, how you can help the customer and what the customer really needs. You need to become an expert on your client’s business and the challenges they face now and in the future. It is not enough to understand that they are in the insurance business, for instance. You need to follow solution selling training best practices and know how they sell, who their customers are, and who their major competitors are… in short, where their business stands to succeed or fail. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes so you have a thorough understanding of their problems and opportunities. Your goal? To earn the right to become a trusted advisor, not just a peddler of products or services.
- Design solutions as a trusted partner
Once you have a clear understanding of your customer’s most pressing needs, you are ready to sit at the drawing board with them. Define the problem together and look at various options for solving it. Share your assessment of the risks and rewards. This should be a collaborative effort. You are not here to “sell” as much as demonstrate that you have the customer’s best interests at heart. Engage in the process as a trusted partner.
- Present the exact solution
Instead of submitting a proposal filled with marketing generalities, present a customized approach that details the exact solution to meet their specific priorities. Your solution should focus what matters most to them, their boss and their organization as a whole. It should take into account their unique set of circumstances, their strategy, their culture, their competition and their budget. If your solution looks like your competitors’, you have most likely missed the mark.
Stand out in the solution selling crowd. Study your customer’s business, know their needs, work in concert to address top priority problems and focus on the issue at hand with each and every customer interaction.