A mentor of mine once told me you either learn to sell solutions or you’ll learn to sell problems. I heard it, but didn’t fully understand until I learned the hard way. I might add that its the customer that buys solutions. And, if you try to sell on any other basis, you lose.
That’s the problem, a problem for the seller and a problem for the prospect. The prospect misses out on the benefits of the product, and the salesperson doesn’t get paid. All because the seller didn’t sell solutions.
Say you’re working for a department store and someone enquires about a bed. You go on and tell them about how the springs are the best money can buy, made of a superior steel formulation, the mattress fill has more wadding than usual (but again, it’s the best money can buy), and for the next ten minutes you explain all the features you can remember about that mattress. The prospects politely thank you for the information, informs you they are just looking and wander off further into the store.
A few minutes later you look to your left, and there they are, discussing another mattress with one of your associates, but this time their faces are lit up. So you position yourself closer, and begin to eve’s drop. But what you hear doesn’t really impress you that much.
All this salesperson is talking about is with this mattress you get a better and more comfortable nights sleep. In fact, the springs, which incidentally are the best money can buy are designed to reduce muscle tension, and massage tense muscles while you sleep -allowing you to go into a deeper, more relaxing sleep.
You then hear those same prospects volunteer that they had suffered a stiff neck for years, only to hear your associate explain that the extra wadding is designed to fit around the curves of the body. That should help with the problem of the stiff neck.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your associate tells them how the bed should give them a more restful, peaceful sleep because of this that and the other. And to your horror, they place a deposit on the same bed you couldn’t get them interested in.
A while later you approach your associate and ask him how he sold them, when you couldn’t even get a look in. And all he tells you he only sold them peace and tranquillity tonight, tomorrow and for the next 10 to 15 years. Now, the penny drops. You tried selling features and functions. Your associate sold solutions, and sold where you didn’t. Besides, his sales seemed effortless compared to yours.
Your prospects won’t admit to it, but that’s what they really want. The benefits your product offers after delivery, an improvement in lifestyle or any other benefits the prospect deems of value.
So what is another name for benefits – solutions of course.
This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 65 books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com