SOLUTION SELLING. ABC stands for your company. XYZ stands for the type of solution your client is looking for. Prepared by: Eric van 't Hoff, 19/09/ Which key features of Solution Selling should be applied in a B2B environment like life reinsurance? •. The fundamental equation for sales success. •. The Sales . Solution Selling: Creating downloaders in Difficult Selling Markets Bosworth, Michael T. McGraw-Hill Professional English Consumer behavior. "Solution Selling is the quality approach from a sales perspective. Many of the usual downloader ver sus seller.
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people development specialists bestthing.info Solution Selling . 3 day programme. This programme is aimed at professional sales people and. Solution Selling Methodology Michael Nitso, Director WW Sales Summer 1. METHODOLOGIES. THE METHODOLOGIES: A BRIEF. OVERVIEW. • Sandler Training. • Miller-Heiman, Strategic Selling. • Solution Selling (SPI). • SPIN Selling.
What they have been unable to do for their people is help them achieve situational fluency. Even superior talent can take an inordinate amount of time to achieve sales success with today's complex, conceptual products and services.
Solution Selling will give you and your business a "map" that will allow you to achieve situational fluencyto integrate knowledge and skill you already have with communication skills that keep you aligned with your downloaders. People download from people. Superior sellers I call them Eagles have intuitive relationship building skills; they emphatically listen, they establish sincerity early in the sales call, and they establish a high level of confidence with their downloader.
Sincerity and competence blend together to establish trust. Many people also believe that if the downloader likes the seller, the odds of success go up. In this competitive world, I believe we have to give our competitor the benefit of the doubt that she will be likable, sincere, competent, and trustworthy.
The additional factor we will bring to bear in this book is that people download from people who empower themsalespeople who help downloaders feel in control of their downloading, salespeople who help their downloaders see themselves gaining control of their problem, salespeople who help downloaders see themselves enjoying the benefits of their product or service. People download from people who can create visions for them.
The most difficult challenge we face in our Solution Selling workshops is teaching sellers to create what we call action visions for their downloaders: that is, painting a mental picture for the downloader where she can see herself actually using the product or service in a specific situation. Sellers can learn to facilitate the downloader's downloading process so that the "close" becomes a "nonevent"the next natural step in the downloading process.
The downloader acquires an action vision of being able to solve her problem or to satisfy an unfulfilled desire. When a downloader has an action vision, she has a picture in her mind of who the downloader or someone in the downloader's organization will be taking what action specific , when in time some triggering event via the seller's capability. For example, if a seller was trying to sell an order processing system to a vice president of sales of a manufacturing company, an action vision question might be: ''What if your order processing people [who] could have a "window" [seller's product capability] into the production line so they could promise [what action] your customers an accurate delivery date while they are on the phone [when in time] with the customer?
When the downloader has an action vision, the next logical step is to take action. Completing the sale and price negotiating become natural and agreeable sequences in the download cycle. There are three levels of downloader need with respect to the seller's products and services.
The three levels are latent pain, pain, and vision. The downloader can be at any of those levels. A downloader can be at latent painunadmitted pain and no vision of solution even though the seller has a clear picture of the need and how her product or service could help that downloader. Most sellers I work with tell me that they can see the downloader's need for their product or service in minutes, sometimes seconds, of a first encounter with a downloader.
The reason? The seller has expertisepersonal experience seeing others successfully using her product or service. The downloader, on the other hand, has no idea how this product or service could benefit him or his business. The two primary reasons for latent needs are ignoranceunaware a better way existsor rationalization: He tried to solve that problem before and was unsuccessful.
If the downloader has what we call paindiscomfort or dissatisfaction with the current situationhe will be motivated to seek a solution if he thinks a solution is possible.
In Solution Selling workshops we compare the human brain to a computerboth with "foregrounds" and "backgrounds. The challenge sellers and marketers face is gaining mindshare of the downloaderoccupying one of those foreground "slots" with an issue that their product or service can help the downloader address. A downloader is most likely to volunteer to download when he has a vision. A vision of who will be taking what action, when in time via a specific capability.
The seller's challenge is to make that vision include her product or service. When a downloader has latent pain or pain, the seller can create a vision for the downloader. When a downloader has an existing vision, the seller can reengineer that vision, adding the seller's aura and product or service bias to the vision. The number one selling problem I encounter is an alignment problemalignment between seller and downloader with respect to these three levels of need. The seller's expertise and experience allow her to see a "solution" more quickly than a downloader.
This same expertise and experience can become her enemy if she does not control her enthusiasm. Remember, the downloader may not even believe the problem is solvable.
When the downloader is at the latent pain or pain level and the seller has a vision, the seller will be very tempted to project her vision onto the downloader. Sellers need to be careful not to use "You need " statements. In this book you will learn how to control your expertise and enthusiasm and make it your ally.
Diagnose before you prescribe. Any time you say to your downloader, "You need ," you are prescribing. Anytime you are talking about your company, your products, or your services you are prescribing what is good for them. In medicine, doctors who prescribe before they diagnose frequently get slapped with malpractice lawsuits, because they make mistakes.
Furthermore, patients expect and want their doctors to diagnose their aches and pains. Health is personal and it demands a personal relationship. downloading is personal, too. However, many businesses today say to their customers, "You need " Few salespeople are able to truly diagnose their downloaders. Instead, sellers lead with their company, product, and service presentations assuming the downloader will be smart enough to see the value of their offering.
People are impatient. Once a seller knows something, it's hard for her to have empathy for those downloaders who do not know what she knows. As sellers, our selling language is filled with impatience: "So you have too many credit losses. I have just the thing for you!
Our credit model scoring system will help you reduce your losses and keep your risk exposure low at the same time.
They ask questions of the downloader, methodically diagnose the downloader's problem, and step-by-step participate with the downloader in building a vision of a solutionbiased, of course, with their product or service. You will learn how to emulate that patience in this book. Power downloads from power. The light bulb in my head turned on about thirteen years ago when I was working for Xerox Computer Services. I was reading a survey of American downloading managers that showed these professional downloaders prefer to download from salespeople who have the most "command over their company resources.
If a downloader's name is to be on a download order committing her organization to a large expenditure, what is the probability she would ask herself before she signed that download order, "What can go wrong here?
If a downloader perceives that a seller does not have the power to complete the sale with satisfactory delivery, that seller will likely encounter difficulty getting the downloader's commitment. Power is a two-way street: you and your downloader each have power and it is important that neither of you lose power or take power away from the other. On two-legged and four-legged sales callsor however many legs you take on a callI see many sellers lose power or credibility because of "guru" or sales manager "take-aways.
Now the smart downloader will want to work with the sales manager, since she seems to know more and because she has title power. Since the sales manager took away the power, the manager will now have to close the business.
Words can reduce a seller's power. I come down hard on "wimpy" words and phrases in my workshops: "Maybe," "possibly," ''perhaps," "we might be able to. This book will help you avoid power reducing words. There are three phases of downloading. Sellers must also learn to align horizontally with their downloaders.
downloaders frequently shift between three major downloading phases and you can learn to identify them and then to adapt to your downloader's concern. The three phases of the downloading cycle are: Phase I. Define needs. The downloader asks, "Do I have a need? Phase II. Evaluate alternatives. The downloader who now can envision capabilities needed to solve her problem must analyze and compare available products or services to her vision.
She must justify the cost. downloaders will ask, Is there really a match for my vision?
Which one is best? Can I afford it? Phase III: Risk evaluation and action. Once a downloader concludes that there is a potential solution and that she can afford it, she enters Phase IIIthe consequences. Now the downloader is suddenly concerned with the risks of downloading versus not downloading, and she must justify price.
Now the downloader asks, Should I download? Does the seller have command over her resources? Am I getting the best price? What if I delay? Will they be responsive after I sign the contract? What if I do nothing? Within these three phases of the download cycle, downloaders consider a whole mix of needs, potential solutions, costs, and risks.
It is critical for sellers to stay in alignment with their downloaders through each phase. Many potential sales are ruined because the seller did not stay in alignment with the downloader's behavior.
This book will help you consciously stay aligned with your downloaders. Make yourself equal before you make yourself different. Businesses and salespeople usually compete fiercely. Most downloaders look at more than one alternative. Our competitive nature often causes us to attack our competitor's offering before we make ourselves equal to the original vision. If we succumb to that behavior, we disregard something very valuable to the downloaderher vision.
Later in this book you will learn vision reengineering while avoiding the competitive battle as long as necessary to deal with this critical selling issue. Don't close before it is closeable.
Too many sellers destroy a valuable relationship by attempting to close their sale before it is closeable. At the beginning of my workshops, I sometimes ask attendees if they have ever gone on a call, expecting to get a signature, when they did not get it that day.
Most hands go up. I then ask them to quote the downloader's reason for not signing that day. What attendees realize is that most of the time they were closing before it was closeable. Such selling misbehavior is not caused just by inexpert selling; it is also caused by poor management.
Does senior management ever force its salespeople to close prematurely? Because some executive or CFO or sales manager is trying to increase sales or increase profits or make a quarterly goal, many salespeople are forced to destroy valuable relationships by being ordered to closebefore a sale is closeable. I find that most senior managers applying the pressure are doing so because they have a gut level belief that the front-line salesperson doesn't really have control over when the downloader will download.
In this book you will learn how to create the "perfect time to close" and to predict future business more accurately by being able to target when the downloader will be ready to download. I am trying to change the definition of selling to "helping people download"facilitating the downloading process.
Ideally, if you are the one helping them download, they will want to download from you. Many times in this book we will discuss the concept of honorable selling.
Honorable selling does not have to be an oxymoron. For now, let us say that in order for selling to be honorable: The seller must believe that she can truly bring value to the potential downloader. The seller must be willing to tell the truth about her product or service. The downloader must feel good about the process.
The downloader's expectations are met. As I work with an increasing number of clients who tell me that they sell a "commodity," I realize how critical the process is.
Solution Selling: Creating downloaders in Difficult Selling Markets
I tell my clients that the best seller executing the best process will win. I tell them they should be able to win with a reasonable product or service. If the seller is selling a conceptual, intangible product or service to a nonexpert downloader, she can win with a process. You can win with a process. This book is about a process.
Thousands of consultants, engineers, Ph. It never ceases to amaze me how these "nonsalespeople" react to the sales process. The comments I hear most frequently are, "I had no idea how tough the job of a salesperson really is," and "I'll never degrade salespeople again.
Each selling situation highlighted in this section will be addressed specifically in Part II. I usually reply that if they could replicate it, the business world would beat a path to their doorsteps. Of course, then there would be no Journeyman salespeoplethat 80 percent who produce 20 percent of the results.
Most Eagles are surprisingly unaware of how they do what they do so well; consequently, they are unable to transfer these precious selling talents to others. In fact, few people can teach anyone else how to sell like an Eagle, and this is a problem for most businesses.
I believe that a good Journeyman can be trained to consistently outsell an Eagle salesman who is "winging it. And what is to be taught? In order for you to appreciate the Solution Selling model, I ask you first to examine the 10 faces of downloader pain. Each of the 10 faces of downloading pain illustrates those points of stress between sellers and downloaders.
Trying to facilitate the downloading process is often an uphill road. Each face is connected to the downloading process: the three levels of downloader need, shifting downloader concerns, and how downloaders download.
Each face has problems. When you read the stories, see if you can find the selling problems. Each face portrays common selling faults associated with salespeople. Competent actors practice their lines before going in front of an audience. Sellers can also think of themselves as artists, trained artists who know how and when to use the right words.
You will find that I use scripts freely throughout this book. I find that scripts illustrate well the language and skill of the seller's real-world marketplace.
Scripts work into role plays that are critical to the seller's trade. Scripts provide a tool to practice key concepts. Products and services are a seller's propssome better than others but getting a sale is usually reduced to sincere, competent, trained salespeople and great scripting. A smart director helps tooone who knows how essential it is to rehearse. So not only are the sellers key players, but their managers are too.
When you read the following sections, think carefully about the selling challenges represented by each face. Face 1Latent Pain To Pain A seller's "conceptual" sales territory is filled with downloaders who have latent needs or "pains" for his products or services.
Later we will learn about conceptual sales territories. A downloader has a latent need either because of ignorance or because he has rationalized an active pain as unsolvable and therefore pushes the need to the back of his mind. In other words, many downloaders recognize a need pain , attempt to act on it, and, finding no satisfactory solution, relegate it deprioritize it back to a latent need.
downloader 1 is such a downloader. John is a year-old healthy male, married with three children. He is a decisive entrepreneur.
Critical issue. John is balding. The following interview uncovers the reasons why baldness is a critical issue. The interview reveals the downloader's level of downloading need, his previous phases of downloading, and his current concept of a solution. You have a problem? Tell me about it. Balding is the problem. I want hairhere on the top of my head. I lose more hair every day.
In my early thirties. Actually, I was about 31 when I began to lose my hair. It was a depressing discovery, because I thought I was too young for balding to begin. I searched everywhere for solutions that would either prevent further hair loss or replace lost hair with new hair.
You said it was depressing. Why depressing? I wanted to have hair. I wanted to be "normal. I want hairyou know, the normal reaction of a balding man. Then what? I refused to accept it passively.
I looked for remedies, for solutions. What did you find? Witch doctors, everywhere. I looked into the pharmaceutical or near-pharmaceutical formulasany kind of snake oil that promised hair restoration. I literally tried everything. Anything and everything. Bottles of concoctions. My hair was continually drenched in someone's commercial promises. Nothing worked. What did you want?
Full and healthy growing hair with no damage to my head, although I certainly worried about some of the stuff I poured over my head.
I'm probably lucky to still have and hair. God only knows what I poured on top of my head. Did you try other approaches? Yes, I looked into surgical procedures. For instance, one procedure remains a vivid memory. It involved cutting and removing the bald skin on the top of my scalp, then joining the edges of the skin left by stretching them up to the center of my head, and sewing the ends together.
Of course, then I would have hair on the top of my headreal, living, growing hair. Hair that used to grow over my ears would be growing on the top of my head. I rejected the procedure. Too drastic, too bloody. Then I examined hair "plugs," which involved taking plugs of scalp with hair from the abundant hair areas of my head, then plugging them or inserting them into the bald area.
This is also a long and bloody procedure, requiring frequent visits with intervals of pain mixed with sheer ugliness. In the final analysis, I decided against all surgical remedies. They were too drastic and I lacked the stomach for them. No, next I examined a whole field of toupees. After several attempts and fittingssome even involved sewing the toupees to your scalpI decided that this alternative was unsatisfactory, too. I have seen my share of poorly matched hair pieces. How many times have you snickered at some desperate guy's lifeless, shabby, tacky, mismatched toupee?
I couldn't bear that.
Coming Up Short
So, what now? After a full investigation into remedies for baldness, I opted to do nothing, because no remedy offered a satisfactory solution. I put the whole problem in the back of my mind. Hey, life goes on. That was a long time ago. I've put all that behind me. If successful, baldness will become a thing of the past.
The End of Solution Sales
The downloader is instantly curious, reads the article, realizes the product is not yet commercial, then looks up. Even though it's still only at the research stage, this is the kind of thing I'm looking for, no doubt.
May I keep this article? I want to find out more about the project. What has to happen for you to be a downloaderif and when they bring it to market? It has to be absolutely safe and healthy to use.
I don't want to use it and find out laterdown the roadthat I have developed cancer from it. Personal risk, I guess. I don't want to feel that other health problems would occur. I would not want to take the shots, or however one would receive the treatment, and gain fifty pounds.
So safety, and it also has to be reasonably priced. So, safety and price? Did that fictitious Wall Street Journal article on the biogenetic cure for baldness bring the downloader's latent need back to an active, recognized pain?
Having decided earlier there was no satisfactory solution, John had taken his personal problemfor him painand downgraded its urgency and rank, putting it "on hold" in his unconscious memory.
Because he realized he couldn't control the problem. Now it is a latent need. While the answer is yes, do not be deceived. I raise this point early to illustrate that a legion of downloaders, like the balding man, live with latent needs, needs that, on the basis of your product's or service's merits and quality physical and psychological , can be developed into sales. This downloader lives in your conceptual sales territory.
It's up to your business and you to uncover such downloadersto create hope for them. Thenand only thencan you lead them to a vision that your product or service could be an acceptable solution for them. Your conceptual sales territory is much greater than you think. You will learn how to prospect in this sales territory. Face 2Price Negotiation Smart downloaders are aware of a seller's deadlines and often exploit that knowledge and use shrewd downloading strategies.
Face 2 portrays the scenario of a smart downloader and an unprepared salesperson who is caught with a last minute demand from the head office to increase sales because it is "September 40th" at the end of the third quarter. Critical Issue. MASH customers and merchants retail pharmacies are unhappy. MASH customer records are administered manually. Many pharmacies have experienced losses by extending credit to unqualified MASH customers, and consequently refuse to offer after-hour services to MASH customers.
An HMO started up across the street. It is successful, mostly because of MASH 's problems. Pharmacies can verify coverage 24 hours a day. Now MASH has to solve its critical issue. The MASH board formed a downloading committee consisting of the entire board of directors. Harry has selected Mary White's interactive voice response system. Her product has been cost justified, and now only price negotiations remain. MASH has decided to download.
The downloading committee knows that the seller's company's fiscal year end is the three days, so with that in mind, they invited her down to their headquarters for the price negotiation meetings. The meeting was set for 3 PM, Friday, and the last airplane flight to New Jersey out of Charlotte is at PM, barely allowing Mary time to get from the meeting to the airport.
Do you think the downloader is aware of the flight time? Mary White is a single parent with two children. It is imperative that she return that evening to Princeton. She agreed to the appointment time because her company is under pressure to increase sales revenues. Her instructions were, ''come back with the deal. All members are present.
The meeting started an hour late because one member could not show up until 4 PM. Mary is worried about her airplane connection. The contract is approved by legal, and you, Harry, have it there in front of you. My company feels its price is competitive. Harry: Mary, we like your product. Your demonstrationwas it three months ago? However, we want your price discounted.
Mary: That's difficult. We have already included a 10 percent discount. It is Her company has told her to get the contract, no matter what. It is their year end and the CFO wants sales revenues to look good. Harry: Only 20 minutes. You've got lots of time. We'll drive you there. We need another 10 percent off your price. Mary: Ten percent? I can't do that.
Selling Techniques that Work
Harry: What can you do? She has to get home to her kids. However, her boss has already left for the weekend and she cannot discuss MASH's price demand with him. She remembers his parting instructions. The plane leaves at and it takes twenty minutes to get to the airport. Mary decides she must leave the meeting by Mary returns to the meeting. Harry: So, including the 10 percentand with that 5 percent, that's 15 percent.
The End of Solution Sales
Mary: Right. Harry: I think we're almost there. Mary, we'd like to meet privately. I have to poll the members. It's only a formality, so would you step outside the room for a minute?
Mary: Of course. She is exasperated and resents the pressure. She wonders, Why does my company always do this to me? Year end pressure for sales. Mary has no wish to spend the weekend in Charlotte away from her kids. The committee calls her back. It is PM.
Mary: Great. Harry: However, Mary, there is just one more thing. Just one more thing and then we'll be through. Mary: What's that? Harry: We want you to throw in your latest voice conferencing software module free as part of the deal. What the hell, Mary thought; she has to come back with the sale and, if she stays any longer, she will miss her flight. Mary will not earn a commission, because the price is below cost.
Mary made the changes in the contract and Harry signed. The driver was waiting and Mary rushed to the airport. The time was and Mary was a nervous wreckhappy to be on her way to the airport, unhappy with her sale.
What's to be done? For one thing, not only sellers but the whole organization need to reappraise their selling habits. This was not a good price negotiation. The seller made serious errorsat least two faux pas. First, the seller did little precall preparation and did not anticipate or manage her time pressure. She had options. And, second, the seller gave concessions without first asking for concessions in return. Most would rather go to the dentist for a root canal. They do their best to leave telephone prospecting to the last moment or avoid it altogether.
Face 3 portrays a telephone cold call prospecting effort. The company has not been meeting sales goals. AAA has been losing market position in an important product line. They are experiencing heavy competition with regard to that product line. Revenues and profits are under pressure, and selling costs are high. Customers have become confused and disenchanted with AAA's problems and confusion, and the industry is known for its fickle customers.
Michele, the VP, sales, manages 1, salespeople who are geographically dispersed, and the sales force has a wide range of selling experience. Product education is not uniform.
Because of product complexity and frequent product and price changes, the sales force finds itself selling outdated products at prices that differ from region to region. Learn more about how to define your value proposition.
Often the best way to do that is to talk about the people who were affected by the challenging environment they were working in. Then talk about how their lives became better, easier, more fun, or less stressful after using your solution.
Making the Customer the Hero Every story has a hero.
Who is the hero of your story? If the answer is yes, then you need to rework your story — and make the customer the hero. The customer is the one who needs to save the day, not you.
Your role is that of the mentor. You are there to help your customers see what has changed in their world and how they can adapt and better survive and thrive. Props make a metaphor or analogy tangible. But applying that same messaging approach to keeping customers and expanding profitability will backfire. The research also found that a provocative message reduces the intent to renew by 13 percent.Make yourself equal before you make yourself different.
Clarke dislikes salespeople; they make him nervous. The reason? Can the seller devise actions that can shatter such barriers?
downloaders will ask, Is there really a match for my vision? Show related SlideShares at end. So safety, and it also has to be reasonably priced. I don't think I've seen you in our bank before.
Second, they pursue customers that have an emerging need or are in a state of organizational flux, whether because of external pressures, such as regulatory reform, or because of internal pressures, such as a recent acquisition, a leadership turnover, or widespread dissatisfaction with current practices.
Because some executive or CFO or sales manager is trying to increase sales or increase profits or make a quarterly goal, many salespeople are forced to destroy valuable relationships by being ordered to closebefore a sale is closeable.
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