You would believe that buying lunch for a buyer or decision maker is some type of unique or sure-fire sales strategy based upon the volume of this practice. However, here’s a message for those that actually want to be successful in the sales profession.
“Learn How to be Known as a Problem Solver for Customers!”
The key thing you can choose to learn, is how do I solve customer problems that keep them up at night? Customers are looking for sales people or anyone that can solve their problems – quickly. So how do you become the top of mind problem-solver?
The first step is to discover the types of problems that keep a customer or prospect up at night – that you can solve. Too often, I hear sales people ask very open ended general questions that really are designed for consultants looking for openings to get contracts. However, the reason I want you to focus on problems that you can solve is for you to learn how to ask questions that are specific for uncovering issues you can fix. Then you are in a better position to make a sale and develop a reputation
How do you gain a reputation for solving certain problems?
- Learn to Ask Questions that uncover issues you can fix by selling the customer a product or service.
- Get a “White Paper” written that addresses the common problems that your customer or prospect industry experience and how you or your company improved the situation.
- Write Case Studies and use direct mail to get the information to your prospects and customers.
- Get your White Paper or Case Study published in the Trade Association Journal in your industry niche.
- During dialogue with a prospect or customer, mention in general terms “how you assisted another customer through a problem – successfully.” No reason to name the company or individuals involved – it’s the fact that you have experience in solving this issue that is the important factor.
- Do a presentation at a regional trade association meeting or business organization meeting, using a case study to explain how customer problems are eliminated. (You will know how good your speech was at the end by the number of people who give you their cards and ask you to call them.)
Those are the most effective methods that you can use to gain a top of mind position with your customers and prospects. Remember, they knowing you can solve their problems is much more important than offering to buy lunch and discuss business. In fact, with some of the new rules in corporate operations – you cannot buy them lunch.