The sales idea known as solution selling started in 1975 when Frank Watts used his experiences in the real world to design his sales pitch toward what his buyer actually needed and not the product he was selling. It caught on and is still used today in sales techniques and classes. How can you use solution selling to benefit your business?
Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time
If you’ve done your homework prior to a sales meeting, you should have an understanding of your buyer’s needs and wants. Instead of planning a broad pitch that may include products for which your client has no need, tailor your pitch to include things that actually apply to their business. Would you walk into a horse ranch and try to sell cattle feed? They wouldn’t make a purchase, you would waste the time of the ranch manager, and everyone would walk away unhappy. No one enjoys a meeting that just wastes time, so don’t be that salesperson.
Become a Resource
It’s your job to fix things when a client has a problem. Your knowledge of the products and services you offer will help both of you get to the solution. The more information you have, the better you can help solve the problem. Knowing every possible use for your product or service will allow you to pull out the correct answer when a question arises. Consult your sales team for any outside-of-the-box solutions you may not have previously considered. Keep information available on products not included in your original pitch during your meeting in case a new problem arises. Impress your client with your preparedness and he or she will trust your solution is the best fit for the problem.
Create a Custom Bundle
If you have a product with a broad range of uses, create several different selling solution models that cover each type of customer. For example, we’ll take the classic vacuum cleaner salesperson. You have a couple different models of vacuums to sell, but a large client base that needs to clean:
- A business interested in purchasing cleaning supplies. To market vacuums to a large business, you would include the larger models that clean more floor space and have industrial strength suction for dirt tracked in by customers. Your presentation could address how the larger model can clean more square footage in a shorter amount of time, equaling money saved in the long run by paying the employees less time to clean up at the end of the day. Depending on the size of the business, you can suggest different package deals for the number of tools the company will need to clean their space. There may also be tools for everyday cleanings and tools for less-frequent deep-cleans.
- For a family looking to clean their home. The pitch to the family would include information on ease of storage with a smaller unit and extra tools for detailing furniture, corners, and more. You should have information available on a second hand-held model for smaller spills, offering a package deal for families interested in purchasing both models.
- For someone living alone in a small house. You would market the smallest model possible and emphasize how it can clean small spaces with a lot of power. Emphasize ease of use, lightweight features, and suction power. Show why purchasing a high-end model for such a small space will save money in the long run because the client will not have to replace parts frequently or hire a cleaning service.
You are still selling the same products from the same company, but you are creating a bundle for your customer base that speaks to their individual problems. If your buyer believes you truly have their best interest at heart, they will be more likely to do business with you now and again in the future.
How to Develop a Solution Selling Pitch
How do you decide which products to offer your client? A little research before your meeting goes a long way. Here is a list of things to consider when creating the solution selling pitch for your next client:
- Identify your buyer’s common problems. What exactly is the problem they are looking to solve?
- Think about what won over your past buyers and made them decide to purchase the product. Take notes from your previous buying process and use them in your pitch.
- Develop open-ended questions to ask your prospective customers at the beginning of the presentation. This will focus your recommendations on their actual needs and open up the conversation.
- Be sure to show off the product’s value and how your customer can’t live without it. If you prove how much easier the product will make life for your client, he or she will be more likely to pay whatever the price.
- Show how much money the product will save in the long run. It may be a large price tag right this minute, but if the product has a guarantee to last, or can help to accrue savings over time, buyers are more likely to consider purchasing it.
All these points together will paint a picture to your potential customer of why he or she should purchase your product. Be sure to ask open-ended questions as often as possible, and really listen to the answers.
Impact on Your Sales Career
Showing someone why they need your particular product is a great way to convince them to purchase, which will increase your sales. A well-constructed solution selling pitch factors in the client’s needs, which strengthens the relationship between salesperson and client. When your client feels you are taking care of their needs, they will be more likely to return to you in the future for the solution to their problem. Don’t just sell them the product, but check in with them after they purchase it to see how it is working for their problem. Offer any additional guidance needed to cement the relationship, and enjoy the trust that begins to develop. Positive salesperson-client relationships lead to positive business results, which helps keep your career on track.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement. When someone needs a solution to a problem, they ask a friend. When that friend remembers this great salesperson who helped them solve their own problem they will be likely to recommend that salesperson to their friends and family. Your business will grow and flourish as word gets out that you have the perfect solution to the problem. Cultivating relationships will take you everywhere in the sales world.
Interested in taking your business to the next level? Consider investing in your future with sales training. SNI offers a comprehensive training about Influence & Authority, and how you can use it to your advantage while in the sales world today.