All high performance salespeople solve problems for clients by creating a bridge. That bridge lets you take your product (the solution) to a customer’s problem(s).
Sales occur when a salesperson properly builds this bridge and provides solutions to a prospect’s problems. However, in most industries only the top 10% to 20% of any sales force applies this specific method of selling.
Profile of the “Average” Salesperson … probably has developed these bad habits which don’t solve problems:
- Just sells a commodity or a price
- Does not have a pre-call plan when he walks through the door to meet the prospect
- Does not ask enough questions (probing) to uncover a prospect’s real needs or problems (talks too much)
- Fails to show a real concern for helping the prospect and just tries to “sell something”
- “Information dumps” versus “building the bridge” to solve a prospect’s problems
- Does not have any type of commitment when he leaves the appointment
- Generally acts like a “professional visitor” versus a true problem-solving expert
- Has a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver
- Does not follow up very well (once or twice)
- Acts like a salesperson versus a sales consultant
- Generally believes that the lowest price wins the sale
What Top Salespeople do in order to solve problems:
Results of a study of 500 sales calls made in 24 different industries: the salesperson does these things…
- Gets the prospect involved in the conversation early, late, and often
- Uncovers the prospect’s needs before mentioning a product or service
- Acknowledges and supports the prospect’s comments twice as often as mediocre performers
- Asks 25% more open-ended questions
- Overcomes the prospect’s negative attitudes and objections. Successful sales calls contain almost 50% more objections than unsuccessful sales calls
As professional salespeople we need to be “problem solvers.” The top sales producers don’t even “act” like salespeople because they are truly problem solvers. They are able to form good solid relationships with their customers whereby they become “partners” and “trusted advisors” by solving problems together.
Another name for this process is Solution Selling:
According to various studies, the majority of businesses want a consulting salesperson and not just a salesperson trying to earn higher commissions. A true consultative, solution-driven salesperson can be a valuable asset to a business by providing helpful solutions instead of just trying to “sell” something to the prospect. Like a specialized doctor or attorney, the salesperson is in a position to provide consultative information and make money in the process. The key here is to create a sense of trust as quickly as you can with the prospect, so the prospect will perceive you as a valuable consultant, rather than “just a salesperson.”