I have been sitting at my computer for a while now trying to figure out how to put this next sales tip into words so they can make sense.
The best part of sales is problem-solving. I call it being invited in at the “Design Stage” of the job. But there is a trick to it, and that is what I am struggling to explain. Let me try it anecdotally.
The first time I was ever hired as a consultant was a little over 20 years ago. A company in Roanoke, Virginia was considering the purchase of several black and white digital printers and wanted my opinion on whether they should go through with it.
I remember being terrified just sitting in that room pretending to be an expert. Sooner or later, everyone was going to look at me for the right answer. I was probably 32 years old and so young-looking that one of the company principals looked at me and said, “I thought we’d be getting your father, not you.”
Calming my nerves, I remember trying to stay focused on asking questions, and I did. Dozens of them. For hours. Something didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t have the answer so I kept asking questions in the hopes that the answer would be made known. Eventually, it was, and I confidently told the company president why it would be a colossal waste of money for him to go through with the purchase.
My words came as a complete shock to everyone but when I explained my reasoning, they all agreed. It was their answer to one particular question that made all the difference and exposed the correct solution.
Learning to ask the right questions, learning to reposition the issue, and learning to see it all from a different angle will differentiate you, help you to beat the “price” objection, and make you a hot commodity.
All of this is summarized in the sales motto of the first company I worked for, UARCO Business Forms and you’ve probably heard me say it before: Solve the problem, earn the order.