Are You Selling Solutions or Products?

Filed Under (First Impressions, OP Sales Training) by Don on 27-06-2012

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Websites sell products but people sell (provide) solutions.  How do you talk to your customers?  When you make your calls do you spend most of your time talking, or listening?  In order to provide value you must give your prospect/customer a reason or justification to do business with you.  This is accomplished by providing a solution to a problem the customer/prospect has.  A problem that you have uncovered by effectively listening and asking open-ended questions.  No tricks or gimmicks.  I know a sales rep that asks me every time I see him, “What is the best gimmick I can use to open accounts?” I keep telling him that gimmicks are a waste of time but providing a solution to a problem will win the business every time as long as you can deliver on your promises to solve said problem(s).  If you’re already selling to the customer are you taking the time to develop relationships with the empowered buyers in the office?

An account won on price is an account lost on price.  However, if you sell a solution you have proven yourself to be someone who desires to be a true business partner and help your customer grow their business.  Regular business reviews will help uncover new opportunities, a subject I have discussed many times here.   Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you know what your value proposition is?
  • Are you developing relationships throughout the customers office?
  • What do you do differently than your competition?
  • How often do you communicate new products and ideas to your customers?
  • Websites sell products, people sell or provide solutions. Which one are you?
  • Who do you have your business reviews with? If it’s just the buyer you’re missing a golden opportunity to show the value you present.
  • Are you making full use of your CRM program?
  • Have you completed an Account Analysis worksheet to identify the business opportunity in each of your accounts and prospects?

My last question involved an Account Analysis worksheet.  If your manager or company doesn’t have this email me and I’ll send you a copy.  It is widely available from the major wholesalers but I will gladly email you a copy if requested.  So stop selling products and start selling and providing real solutions.

The last word:  “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” –Dale Carnegie

Those in the Know, Know This

Filed Under (OP Sales Training, The Competition) by Don on 18-03-2009

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Key To Success

In this economy, or any other, there are basic things a good rep must know.

Know your product.

Know your customer.

Know your target market.

Know yourself.

In the current economy the relationship is King and price  is Queen.  What will get you the business is what makes you different than all the rest.  Any idiot (no offense intended to all the idiots) can give the product away at overly discounted prices.  That doesn’t take intelligence.  In tough times being differentiated is a key success factor.  Customers and prospects don’t want fluff  they want genuine value and a relationship with someone they can trust who will look out for their interests and help identify areas where they can save the customer money and be different than the competitors. 

Using my ‘King & Queen” analogy you need to realize that you are living in a castle owned by the customer.  Without the customer you have no place to live so it makes sense to take care of that which puts a proverbial roof over your head!  Customers will ask for deeper discounts and you will have to make a decision on what to do.  However, customers also understand that you have to make a profit so be careful how deeply you discount your wares.  Offer greater overall value and differentiate yourself from your competitors and you will not be forced to unnecessarily discount your prices so heavily that your profits dwindle and your business suffers.  Recessions are tough for everyone and businesses are looking for bargains.  Buy smart, sell smart and position yourself as a provider of value and trust and your customers will remember you long after the recession is over.

The last word: “The hopeful man see success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storms.” -Orison Swett Marden