How to Use Solution Selling to Move from Vendor to Advisor

2 cartoon businessmen sharing ideas with light bulbs over their heads

Solution selling training teaches you how to build valued, long-term relationships with clients where you help your clients to become successful. It helps you act in a more consultative way as you align with your customer’s buying process and business goals. Your ideas and proposed solutions are shared in a way that highlights your value to the client not simply as a vendor but in the much more important role as trusted advisor.

For those of you who have not had the benefit of a proven solution selling training program, here is a quick digest of what you need to do to become that advisor your clients rely upon for information, advice, insights and, ultimately, solutions that address their most critical problems.

Trustworthy solution sellers and business advisors know how to:
  • Demonstrate their unwavering commitment to their customer’s success
    They know how to show that they have the knowledge and experience to address their clients’ concerns. They are not self-serving but are genuinely interested in their clients’ challenges. They know how to ask the right questions and listen to the answers with understanding. They do not push products, features and benefits.  They design specific solutions to help with their clients’ most pressing priorities.

  • Act professionally
    They are on time, appropriately dressed, confident and respectful. And they are always fully prepared for a meeting so no time is wasted.

  • Be true
    Trusted advisors and effective solution sellers are authentic. Whatever their true personality, they do not pretend to be other than who they are.

  • Are forthright and honest
    Solution sellers must be willing to disagree with their customers when they see failure ahead. You may lose the current deal but you will gain the respect of your client and perhaps earn a referral and/or the right to address their next opportunity.

  • Establish rapport
    True solution sales people communicate effectively and naturally. The goal is to establish common ground with clients upon which a working relationship can be solidly built.

  • Develop trust
    When you are accountable for your actions and always keep your word, trust is built. It happens over time with your consistent delivery on commitments. It is the basic building block of all strong interpersonal relationships.

As you prove yourself knowledgeable, experienced, caring and reliable, you will achieve the higher and more respected role of advisor in your customer’s eyes…a much more enviable role than that of a mere vendor.

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