May 24, 2011

The next time you’re in the process of a sale – ask yourself, “What am I really selling?”

Most of the time, your obvious answer will be the product or service that you represent. Sure, the product will address their immediate needs but keep in mind that the buyer is always thinking long-term. They want solutions to help them improve their business performance. Solution selling will not only land you the sale but also put you on the path for a long-standing relationship with your buyer.

So what does it look like to be a “solution seller”? First off, know that it is essential to be a great listener and an equally great questioner.

Savvy buyers are looking for 4 key attributes from you:

  1. In-depth knowledge of their business. Bring your research to the table and show them that you really care about their business (market conditions, main issues, etc)
  2. Thorough knowledge of how your solutions will improve their business performance. Show them how your product and services will bring them higher revenues, higher margins, and lower costs.
  3. People skills. Be yourself and show the buyer that you can strike an excellent balance of a personal yet professional personality.
  4. Listening skills. Ask questions and actually listen to what they are saying to you. Ask open-ended questions and follow-up with specific comments that address their answer.