RANDYGRAM – DON’T SELL, SOLVE PROBLEMS
You are a salesperson. Someone in your organization sets goals for revenue or units sold and your job is to find prospects and existing clients who will buy. The more customers buy, the more you sell. Is that how you think of yourself and the process of creating sales?
I would urge you to be cautious of accepting that statement as a good description of what you do. It is a straightforward recap about the transactions between buyers and sellers, but it is also wrong.
Your client is not interested in buying. That involves spending money and all organizations dislike that. And he or she is not looking forward to your well rehearsed and scripted sales pitch. They have a need, a desire or a problem to be solved, and they are looking for solutions. Change your orientation and present yourself as an expert at solving problems, position the products and services you represent as solutions, and you will discover good results.
And by the way, don’t assume that clients and prospects fully understand their problem, or in some cases even see it at all. It is often the case that you have more experience assessing and solving certain kinds of issues than your client. Help them see the big picture, offer an analysis of how the problem they are focused on may grow or lead to other problems. The problem they see may be a nit, compared to one you know is hiding just around the corner.
Often, they may wrongly be tempted to grab a short term or low cost “fix” from a competitor that really just defers the consequences of the problem. Great sales people can help those folks to see all the implications of the problem and the relative risks of one solution versus another.
And when you succeed, not only will your client thank you, they will help spread the word about the big messy problem that you turned into a manageable situation.