17 Apr 3 solution based techniques of selling
Try not to become a person of success, but try to become a person of value. – Albert Einstein
A common misconception about selling is that it’s simply the ability to convince someone of something.
In reality, if you’re good at sales, you’re creative, ingenuous and deeply thoughtful about the needs of your client. You bring value.
You’re able to be highly adaptable and solution-oriented, rather than simply product-oriented. Sales truly is an art form and, much like an artist, it requires us to use a little less of our linear, left-brain dominant thinking in favor of our more open-minded, imaginative right brains.
Let me give you an example.
Recently, I was presenting a project plan to a client, which addressed a specific problem they had hired me to solve. During the conversation, another problem bubbled up that we hadn’t previously discussed. Instead of blindly focusing on what I was there to present, I paid very close attention to the details of the new problem, thought creatively about how I could help them solve it and came up with a solution on the spot.
The art of selling starts way before you actually make the sale. It’s a practiced way of thinking, something you can develop a strong aptitude for over time.
Unfortunately, in business, very few people know how to be creative.
The thinking usually goes something like this: to solve problem X, I create Y. Rather than: clients with problem X, tend to also have problem Z, how can we make Y solve both problems? You can be successful with the former, but the latter helps you bring maximum value and more sales.
I recently read “The Innovative Sale” by Mark Donnolo which gives us a few good strategies to get our right brain juices flowing and become more solution-oriented (and profitable):
- Learn to break rules – don’t just focus on ideas that make sense to you right off the bat. Start listening for ideas that break with convention, that aren’t intuitive at first. That’s where true creativity lies. Great ideas always push the existing boundaries. Think about what’s standing in your client’s way and how you can help them get around it.
- Hold “critique sessions” – rather than traditional brainstorming sessions where people focus on ideas that are expected and comfortable and fit within the established framework, try this approach taken from the art world:
Invite one person to present an idea. Then the next person critiques it and offers an alternative idea or an improvement on the first. Continue this process until you’ve got a list of really innovative solutions. Focus on the ones that go beyond your customer’s current thinking, taking your value proposition to the next level.
- Look to the past – sometimes, the best ideas already exist, but could simply be improved upon. Build a better mousetrap with your current client in mind. Evaluate what your competitors are already doing. Can you do it better or in a more innovative way?
The goal is to break through the ordinary sales mindset and become a more compelling solutions-oriented force for your client. If you focus on helping your clients get better at what they do, you’ll become better and more successful at what you do.