Solution Selling – Everything You Need To Know
Solution selling is a commonly used phrase in the world of sales; but what is it, and how does it work?
Solution selling when done correctly can be an excellent approach and compliment your sales process, however it only works well when practiced correctly.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is solution selling
- How to use solution selling correctly
- The solution selling process
Solution Selling – Everything You Need To Know
What Is Solution Selling?
Prior to looking at the steps involved in solution selling, let’s first look at the definition.
Solution selling is when a Sales Professional meets with a potential client, and instead of prematurely pitching their product or service – they instead learn what kind of outcome they’re looking for, and then prescribe what they need.
Generally, the Sales Professional will prescribe their own product or solution if they can in fact help and serve the potential client.
How To Use Solution Selling
As mentioned, solution selling is a very different approach and methodology to what a large number of Sales Professionals do when speaking with their potential clients.
Many will meet with their clients; and then pitch their product or service with the hope that somethings sticks, and that the client will buy.
Solution selling is a more consultative approach; instead of assuming that there’s a need for your product or service, you instead ask questions to learn about your potential client, and diagnose a solution to their problems.
To successfully use a solution selling methodology; you need to approach the potential client as a medical specialist would approach their potential patient.
Instead of pitching medication, or other items they may have on the shelf – they learn about their potential patients’ situation – what’s sore, how it’s affecting them, how it’s affecting their daily life and so on.
They then prescribe what they need to get better. This may involve something they can offer – or perhaps not.
But they always should lead with the potential patient in mind.
The same is true for solution selling.
Approach it with the potential client in mind – and only prescribe a solution if you can in fact help them with their desired results and outcomes.
Not only is this ethical – but it’ll position you as a trusted authority in your industry.
The Solution Selling Process
In order to successfully deploy the solution selling process, we recommend you follow the following steps.
- Finding your ideal clients
- Qualify them
- Ask questions to learn their current situation, and ideal outcome
- Learn about their pain points
- Present your solution
- Ask for the sale
Finding Your Ideal Clients
The first step in your solution selling process, is getting your message in front of the right people.
We don’t recommend these strategies as they’re too broad, and are not an efficient way to spend your ad budget and time.
Instead – find out in advance the type of people you want to serve and put together a strategy to reach them with precision.
To learn how, read the related article below.
Related article: Sales Targeting Strategy – Your Complete Guide
Once you’ve come into contact with your potential clients, you’ll need to set up a discovery call or face to face meeting.
Prior to trying to sell them; you need to qualify your potential clients to ensure they’re the right person to speak to (decision maker), and that they’re interested in finding a solution rather than just information shopping.
We recommend using an acronym called BANT.
- Time frame
Related article: BANT In Sales – How Does It Work?
Asking the right questions is one of the most important part of the sales process, and a skill set that can make you very successful in the game of selling.
Questions that uncover their situation, current issues, buying process, people involved in making decisions, and why they’re looking for a solution are all important ingredients in the solution selling process.
In order to be successful at solution selling, you’ll need to dive deep in regard to the issues they’re currently facing, and why they feel it’s important to find a solution to their problems.
Furthermore – by asking the right sales probing questions, you can learn what it will mean when they own a solution to their problems. This will help them sell themselves, rather than doing all the heavy lifting of trying to do all the selling.
Solution Selling Question Examples
Below is a list of solution selling questions you can add to your sales process, to uncover how they buy, qualification, handling objections, and asking for the sale.
Solution Selling Questions For How They Buy
1 – Can you please share who needs to be involved prior to making a purchasing decision?
2 – When was the last time you bought something like this?
3 – What made you buy (insert product) the last time?
4 – What worked well when you last bought (insert product), and what didn’t you like?
Solution Selling Questions For Qualifying
1 – Prior to moving forward, is there anyone else who may need to be involved?
2 – Out of curiosity; what budget did you have put aside for this?
3 – What timeline did you look at having these issues resolved?
4 – What do you think our next steps should be?
Solution Selling Questions For Handling Objections
1 – What would you like us to discuss before we move forward?
2 – Before me move forward; is there anything you’d like to discuss more?
3 – How does all that sound to you so far?
4 – Is there anything that I’ve shared so far that you’d like a little more clarity on?
Solution Selling Questions For Asking For The Sale
1 – When can we begin?
2 – Would you like me to help you achieve this? (one of my favourite closing questions)
3 – What’s your timeline for making a decision?
4 – For us to come to an agreement, what are your must and should haves?
To learn more about solution selling questions, read the related article below.
Further reading: Sales probing Questions – 20 x To Use Daily
Learning About Their Pain Points
There’s a famous saying in sales, and the same is true for successful solution selling; if there is no pain, there will be no sale.
Finding pain is an important part of the solution selling process, because without learning what issues and concerns they have – and how it is impacting their business, you won’t be able to diagnose anything and offer a solution.
By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to get them to understand the situation a lot more clearly, and really bring to the forefront as to why they need to find a solution to their problem.
Related article: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
Solution Selling Questions For Finding Pain
1 – What’s currently holding you back from reaching your goals?
2 – What would you say are the top three issues you’re dealing that I need to know?
3 – Please help me understand why you called me to come in today? (one of my personal favourite sales probing questions)
4 – What problem would like me to solve for you?
Present Your Solution
Once you have found out their situation, pain points, and what the ideal outcome would be – the next step in your solution selling process is prescribing your product or service.
When giving your presentation, don’t present in a way that just covers your features and benefits.
Instead – carefully show how your product or service solves each of their pain points, and furthermore – what it will mean once they have a solution to that problem.
People don’t buy things – they buy what it will mean when they own that thing.
Related article: 10 x Effective Sales Presentation Tips You Need To Use
Asking For The Sale
Finally; the last step with your solution selling process is to ask for the sale.
If you have asked the right questions, found pain, and demonstrated exactly how your product or service helps them achieve those needs – you have every right to ask for the sale.
Follow the steps correctly, and you’ll close more sales consistently.
Final Thoughts On Solution Selling
Although many articles argue that solution selling may be dying; we think that’s far from the reality and truth.
People want to speak with trusted authorities, and specialists who can solve their pain points and concerns.
By using a solution selling process, you’ll be on your way to closing more sales, and serving more people.
If you would like to learn how to put this all together and win more sales consistently, you can learn how by reading more about The 5% Sales Blueprint, by clicking the link here.