Selling Solutions To Problems Instead Of Products

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Selling Solutions To Problems Instead Of Products

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It’s a well-known fact that people buy solutions to problems instead of products or services.

However, problems look different in every industry, in every business, and are individual to every buyer.

Most salespeople make assumptions and ‘wing it’ in their discovery conversations and do more harm than good.

To be able to systemize selling solutions that are tailor-made for our customers instead of just products or services, we need to systemize how we conduct discovery.

Sometimes, helping people better define their problem is the biggest piece of value we can add to our customers! To learn how it’s done, we sat down with Steve Schmidt, CEO of Magnetic, a sales professional who understands the power of learning how prospects perceive problems to craft a tailor-made solution.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: To trigger the system, Steve recommends beginning early in your initial conversations with a new prospect.

You can use open ended questions such as, ‘Tell me more about that?’

In the early stages of any discovery call, explore the problem that you solve and ask, ‘What would it look like to begin solving this for you, in your company, and in your life?’

R – Repeatable: to make this system repeatable, Steve recommends following consistent steps that allow you to explore the problem, its consequences, and position what you sell as a potential solution.

First, use feeling verbs to help your customer explore the problem. These can include, ‘What does that feel like?’

Get your prospects to paint the picture of the discomfort they are in or the opportunity they may be missing out on and capture what you hear.

Second, paint a picture of the end-state you’ve helped other customers experience. These are questions like, ‘It sounds like you are going through what another person we have helped went through. Here is what happened …’

Third, recap what you have heard from your prospect in feeling statements to ensure you are accurately capturing the pain they are in or the positive outcome they may be missing out on if they don’t act.

A statement like, ‘Tt sounds like it feels like this… is that accurate?’ can be a great way to start.

Fourth, explore the consequences of that feeling for your prospect or customer. Get them to tell you what solving this problem would look like for them, their businesses, and in their personal lives.

Finally, recap of what you have heard so far. Use questions like ‘It sounds like you’re (repeat their statements).’

Follow up with positioning what do you sell as a solution to that discomfort. A phrase like, ‘So would it make sense for us to gather some ideas and meet again on (date)?

This is the step of the process where you move your prospect or customer to the next action in your sales process.

I – Improvable: To improve the system, Steve recommends leveraging artificial intelligence platforms to learn more about the top challenges the folks you are selling to are facing. Knowing their key performance indicators will allow you to better open conversations in the future.

M – Measurable: to measure the effectiveness of this system review your calls and meeting recordings to measure how you feel, look, see, sound, and how many feeling verbs you are using in your discovery.

A key area that Steve recommends also measuring is the amount of attrition you experience with your customers. This is a great metric to ensure that you can capably deliver what you are selling.

When we sell to a problem rather than to a product, we ensure that we are engaging every part of our buyers lives in providing solutions.

That’s how we sell more, while serving more!

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