Problem Seeker not Problem Solver

Problem solving can derail a sales call. Many salespeople have a problem-solving instinct. Maybe its because they have a technical background and they were trained that way. Or maybe it is because they believe that showing how smart they are is a good way to impress the client and give them a better chance of winning the project. The truth is that solving problems too early in the sales process serves to halt all progress toward finding the pain of the prospect. When you are in problem solving mode, you are stuck in and intellectual process and you are focusing on the problem and not on the prospect and how the problem affects him or her. This is to say nothing of the fact that solving the problem serves to give away intellectual property and cedes any competitive advantage you might have had to the prospect. Instead of solving the problem, delve into the problem and its many nuances. How does it affect the prospect? How does it affect profitability? Who else does it affect? Has happened before? Who cares about the solution? Asking any or all of these questions will do more to enhance your credibility and move the sales process along than spending time solving the problem on the sales call. Isn’t that what they should be paying you for?

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