Ron Willingham, author of many business books often stated, “You will be compensated to the level that you solve problems for other people.” How true! The skill of identifying problems and then reducing or eliminating them for prospects is absolutely necessary for a sales professional’s success in today’s economy.
Here are a few things you can do with your team to help them become problem solvers.
1. Beg or Brag: Sellers get enthused by sharing best practices in the format of a “brag” or show their expertise to help solve problems when their colleagues present a “beg.” This exercise is a non-threatening, comfortable opportunity for sellers to share best practices and innovative ideas for problem solving and improve the entire team’s performance.
2. Better Questions: The right questions ask for information beyond a specific product/service focus. They identify problems, challenges, opportunities, desires, or risks and rewards that need to be solved. Teaching your team how to ask better questions – so they can then take action and problem solve – will help them build long-term relationships and develop a lasting competitive advantage.
3. Round Robin Selling: This exercise gives sellers an opportunity to get help from their colleagues when they want answers to the “I have a customer who…” situation. The seller sits “in the seat” as the customer and answers all questions posed to them in that mind set. Their colleagues pose questions to determine needs, wants and desires to effectively offer a solution. In addition to problem solving, this exercise reinforces listen and good questioning.
4. Strategic Issues: Discuss the common strategic issues your clients have. Then Help your team shift from selling your product to selling what your product can do in relation to the strategic issue. Today people prefer to buy from people who sell with a business –to-business approach, more than a business to vendor approach.
Being able to anticipate situations, ask the right questions and respond appropriately will not only help your team when it comes to problem solving, it will keep ahead of the curve and succeeding in today’s economy.
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