1. A good seller makes the customer feel as if the product is made just for him
2. Challengers are now like a teacher, that is, they keep solutions to problems in front of you.
3. Apart from the customer, if anyone else is involved in decision making, then it is also important to pay attention to that.
1. A good seller makes the customer feel as if the product is made just for him
Wenever we think of sales, the image of a smart and talkative salesperson selling their product comes to our mind. But why do we always think about the salesperson why no one cares about the customer? Whereas both of them are involved in sales. Rather, a good way of sales is the one in which the customer is put forward. “Solution selling” is one such approach. In this, instead of fit for all, specific products or services are designed keeping in mind the needs of every customer. Understand it with an example. It is a car manufacturing company. If his salesperson wants to sell his product in a bakery, then he will not go on selling any random car model. He will show the bakery a model of a vehicle in which the bread can stay warm and fresh for a long time. That is, he has to keep in mind that even though a car may be needed by many people today, the most important thing for a bakery will be to maintain the quality of bread during transportation and it will solve this problem for the bakery. This is called solution selling. But why is it so important to have such an attitude? In fact, this is what sets you apart from many other competitors in the market. In this way, you can also sell your things at a better price than others. That is, neither the company needs to worry that more people are selling similar vehicles in the market, nor do they need to reduce the price of the vehicle. After all, the customer is also getting exactly what he needs. Now the right price has to be paid for it. This type of selling has its advantages but it also comes with a lot of challenges. When the customer gives you an exorbitant price, he also places a lot of demand in return. In such a situation, salespeople also have to find ways to convince the customer. After all, the job of a solution seller is also that he should make things according to the needs of the customer and not give him any ready made thing. The typical sales pitch doesn’t work here. The need of the customer has to be fully understood and every small detail has to be taken care of and offer your product as a solution.
Only a challenger can do solution selling well.
Solution selling is emerging as the best way in the field of sales today because in this, the customer and the salesperson can understand each other well. But it is also important to keep in mind that in this way you cannot sell everything. The authors, after studying 90 companies from around the world, identified five types of salespeople. The first are the hard workers. These guys work twice as hard as the rest of their team. The second type is the relationship builder. He is always ready to help his clients and colleagues. The reason for their success is also that they maintain the best. The third is called the author Lone Wolfe. You can also call him a bad guy. Such salespeople never follow any rules. Don’t make reports and never show team spirit. They stay in the company only because they give very good results otherwise no one should hire them. Fourth is the problem solver. Such employees focus on customer satisfaction more than their sales. But these tend to show less warmth than relationship builders. The fifth and last type is the Challenger. They understand the customer very well. They have accurate information about their needs. He enjoys long product discussions with customers and knows how to speak with new ideas. Out of these five, Challenger is definitely the best choice for solution selling. However, even in these five types, you can find average performers. Still, if the list of top sellers is made, then about 40 percent of the people will be challengers and if you make the list of solution selling only, then this percent reaches above 50 percent. In other words, the challenger can be the best salesperson when it comes to providing solutions to the customer. Let us now understand what is it that makes Challengers different.
What is it that challengers dominate in solution selling? The main reason for this is the teaching aptitude. But why does quality matter so much? For this, the thinking of the customer has to be reached. There are many brands of the same product available in the market. A common customer is not able to differentiate between all these. But many companies do not realize this. Hence sales experience often plays a big role in the decision making of the customer. Let us understand this with an example. You may be selling a car that consumes 1% less fuel than other cars. According to you, this feature is very good. But the customer may not make much difference to this. Maybe that customer gives more importance to the sales experience. The authors realized this after studying more than five thousand customers. This study showed that if the sales experience is good, up to 53% of the customers stay connected with the company forever. This number is huge. When the sales experience is so important, how can you improve it? Many salespeople think that knowing their customer’s work well is enough or most important. This is important but if you want to deliver the solution to the customer then you have to go one step further. You have to teach or explain to your client something related to his work. Something that he himself could not even realize. This will be the best sales experience for any customer. Your customer will definitely believe that you understand his problem very well but it will not be of much importance to him. Because what good will the customer benefit from showing your empathy? But if you understand their work completely, then you can definitely show them some new path. Or rather, you can teach something new. This is what makes a challenger successful. If we go back to the example of that bakery, then it will impress on him that you care about his product quality and also about getting up early in the morning to work. But above all, the thing that will happen is that you should be able to explain to him why some bread will break while being carried from one place to another and how can your car stop it.
Challenger always leads the conversation and intelligently offers solutions to the customer. As you just read, the secret of Challenger’s success is that it teaches the customer something new about its business. If you are thinking that this is very difficult then it is not at all. For this, you just have to make a good conversation plan with full preparation. The best way to master this is through commercial teaching, in which you are taught everything related to the strengths of your company. Suppose a salesperson of a company making office furniture approaches a company that has recently built its new office building. A good sales conversation between these two will be based on 6 things.
First of all, you will build your credibility in front of the customer. You will assure them that you fully understand their business model. You may note that many new office designs are built by ignoring the concept of collaboration. Now you will present his problem or need in front of him from a new or different perspective. You would say that working in small groups of three to four people works well in collaboration. Yet your new conference rooms were designed for eight people.
After this you will explain to him why in reality this problem is bigger than he thought. You will give him some data, give case studies to prove that large conference rooms reduce the power of people to think and come up with new ideas. Then you will tell how this has a bad effect on the business of the customer. That is, when the employees are not able to collaborate with each other, then the company also cannot progress.
Here’s what a challenger differentiates itself from typical salespeople. You are not selling anything but giving a solution to the customer. Solving his problem and making his situation better. You can suggest that he convert one large conference room into two smaller rooms. Now even though you already have this transformation method, you put it in front of the customer last. Because by this time the customer has made up his mind to change the office but he does not know the way. But you are only selling the product which will be useful for it i.e. “Movable Walls.”
In other words, product pitching alone is not a good way of selling. Rather, you have not done any pitching here. A good sales approach is one that involves teaching your customers something and changing their perspective.
The customer’s involvement in solution selling is much higher than in other methods of selling. Challengers get this job done well. They know how to keep their word to the customer. When you have only one customer in front of you, the job is still a little easier. But where you have to keep your point in front of many people at the same time, then it can be difficult. Because people’s opinion will differ. Some will agree with you and some will be against it. The authors found in the study that decision makers (such as senior-level employees who have the authority to close deals) tend to finalize deals, taking into account that other members of their team also favor the deal. are or not. Whereas the attention of the people of the team remains on the fact that they get maximum knowledge from this deal. That is, instead of wasting time telling the boss about the benefits of your product, focus on the people of the team. Tell them how beneficial it is to the team to say yes to the boss. That is, the support of other people is very important for you. To achieve this, you prepare such a conversation that these people can easily understand. And simply put, you offer such a solution through your product that best suits the needs of the front, his industry and his company. Because the same pitch cannot affect everyone in the same way. If you want people to agree with you happily, then take steps thinking that what impresses them the most? What is most important to them? What is his financial goal and what does he want to achieve in the future?
For example, cost saving can be the most important thing for a CEO. Whereas for the HR head, it matters that the employees of the company should be happy and work whole-heartedly. Even if the CEO has to finalize the deal, you may need to convince HR as well. Hence the CEO pitch cannot be heard by HR. For him, the same pitch will work which targets employee satisfaction.