July 4, 2012 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: closing, communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing
Many salespeople make this key mistake:
They tell prospects about the benefits of their product or service before they take the time to learn what prospects really want and need.
It’s easier to build long-term relationships by investing time at the start to understand each prospect’s situation, perceptions and problems.
When solution selling is used effectively, it’ll not only help you to close the current sale, it’ll help you to build the foundation for the next one.
Solution selling distinguishes between three levels of self-interest or need:
- Latent pain implies that buyers are not consciously aware that they need your product or service. There are many possible reasons why the need may be latent. Maybe they tried to solve the problem before, failed, and became convinced that there is no problem. Maybe the buyer just doesn’t understand what your product can do. But whatever the reason, it will be difficult to make a sale if the pain remains latent.
- Pain implies that prospects are consciously aware there’s a problem, but don’t see a solution, or feel an urgent need to find one. It’s a good idea for the salesperson to work to get the prospect to focus on the problem before trying to go to the next step.
- Vision of a solution means prospects have an active idea of who will solve the problem, what they will do, when and how.
Adapted from the book Customer Centric Selling by Michael T. Bosworth, a sales trainer and consultant. He is also the author of Solution Selling.