Management Strategies — Secrets to Solution Selling
Fortunately, we were later able to attract, develop and retain a staff of multi-million dollar producers. The underlying difference was that we replaced “transactional” salespeople (who sold strictly on price) with “solutions” salespeople.
Solution selling is a mindset, not an ability. Solution sales and solutions salespeople can be created. The essence of solution selling is helping your clients and prospects execute their strategic vision.
What is a strategic vision? In its simplest form, it’s devising a strategy for taking your company from where it is to where you want it to be. In some form, that vision involves increased sales and/or increased profits. No small task in today’s competitive environment.
Solution selling involves delivering demonstrable, tangible solutions to increase your clients’ sales or reduce their costs (i.e., increase their profits).
Let’s first explore the change of mindset that’s required for solution selling. Most salespeople focus on “explaining” their capabilities and how these capabilities will help the buyer. This is the wrong mindset. What’s required for solution selling is to ask the client leading questions and then to LISTEN. At the onset of a meeting, the only thing you know for sure is that the prospect or customer is interested in increasing sales and reducing costs. You must listen in order to identify potential sources of pain and areas of opportunity to help them meet their goals.
Changing a company’s culture from one that is selling transactionally (quoting a job, being awarded the job and then delivering it) to one that is actively generating new opportunities by demonstrating ways to increase sales or reduce costs, usually presents the greatest challenge.