SOLVE NOT SELL
Too many salespeople just show up and throw up their spiel. Awful. Total turn-off.
Many sales professionals leap before all facts are gathered and propose solutions that lack relevance in the customer’s mind. They make the cardinal mistake. Not listen. Two ears, one mouth. Use in the same ratio!
A core competency of the complex sale is the ability to perform as an expert problem solver.
In short, there are two reasons customers will not act on a proposal:
They don’t believe they have the problem, or that it is large enough to take action.
They don’t believe the solution will work, and they won’t receive the value promised.
Reason number one is by far the most frequently given, which tells us that using diagnostic conversations to reveal the scope of the problem and the financial benefit of your solution is the key to increasing complex sales.
Equally important, diagnosing allows you to shift the emphasis of your conversations with customers from your solutions to their situations.
This shift differentiates you from competitors, creates significant learning for the customer, and builds exceptional credibility. Customers often decide to invest in your solution during the diagnosis.
Diagnostic expertise enables us to help customers more clearly recognize, analyze, and understand the causes and consequences of their situation. These conversations are fact-finding missions. The focus is on the physical symptoms — the customer’s reality — rather than what the customer believes the solution to be. The goal is to raise the customer’s awareness of the problems they are experiencing.