What Are We Truly Selling?
This is a question very few sales executives ask themselves.
Yes, they know what their product is, they know who their customers are, and they know how much they should be selling their product for – BUT, WHAT is the product? There is a simple answer to this question – we are selling what the customer wants.
But wait ……. does the customer always know what they want?
Have you ever bought something in the belief it would give you a certain level of satisfaction only to discover it wasn’t at all what you were expecting, or what you were told you were getting?
‘Hotel close to the beach’ could mean within a few miles.
‘Easy access to local amenities could mean a 30-minute bus ride.
‘Simple fitting instructions’ could mean you need a PhD in mechanical engineering.
Of course, we have all been victims of mistakenly buying a product – but whose fault is that? Probably ours – but possibly the vendor's.
In many sales environments, the sale may well be a ‘one-off’ purchase where it doesn’t matter too much if the customer returns to buy more on another occasion or not. But the true sales professional wants to turn their customers into what would effectively becoming their marketing team.
They tell other people, they become advocates, they may even buy on behalf of another because they are so impressed with the purchase, they want to share their happiness and satisfaction with someone else.
Successful sales professionals all sell the same product – SOLUTIONS.
While this may sound simplistic, and for the experienced sales rep it is not a new concept, but very few take the time to discover what their ‘solution’ is fixing.
Imagine going to your doctor with a sprained ankle, and the doctor sees themselves as something of an eye expert. You may hobble in on crutches and present your X-Rays to prove the damage to which you recently subjected your lower leg, but no matter – the doctor gives you an eye-patch.
The sad truth is, THAT is how many sales reps operate – they try to hand out eye patches to cure sprained ankles, and then they wonder why the patient doesn’t come back to their surgery.
Some Top Tips:
If you want to be a great sales professional, you need to understand your prospects’ problems and challenges.
You need to understand what you can do to fix them. Then you have to align your solutions to those needs. And finally, you have to have the presentation skills to show the prospect the benefits of your solutions in order to close the sale.
Let’s all stop handing out eye patches to try to cure a sprained ankle.