“What Problems Are Keeping You Up At Night?”
This was “the” mantra question posed by many great sales people who practiced solution selling. Now it is not just irrelevant, it suggests that the “dreamer” is not smart enough to understand their own problem. Easily accessible information via the internet has changed the game.
What keeps a potential customer up at night is not the question anymore because they know what causes their insomnia. These potential customers have terabytes of information at their fingertips telling them how to solve their existing problems. What sales professionals need to ask now is: “What should be keeping potential customers up at night?” or better yet; “What should they be so excited about that they can’t sleep?”
Sell the question, not the answer ("Be the ball Danny!").
Next time you are about to dig into a potential client’s issues, ask new questions that your organization can successfully solve with tangible value propositions. If you can get them to start asking their own questions as well, you know you are on the right track. When they step outside and begin looking back in with questions like the ones below, you are headed for success:
• Where is their business and industry headed and how do we lead it?
• What is the future of their competitors?
• How do they address their customer’s customer more effectively?
• How will technical advances affect their short and long term business plans?
The best part of these questions will be the questions that they will generate, not just their answers. Becoming a collaborative team member of your potential client is the goal and with this process, you will have the beginning of a wonderful new type of partnership.
Read more on insight selling versus solution selling: http://thecreativemomentum.com/blog/2013/04/15/insight-selling-versus-solution-selling-2/