Do customers prefer hearing about solutions or benefits? Which approach is more likely to get the sale?
Neil Rackham, president of Huthwaite, Inc., a sales training and marketing consulting firm, says the verdict is in: Solutions tend to make more of an impression than benefits.
Selling a solution to a common problem is much more effective than selling a positive benefit. That’s why effective salespeople position themselves as problem-solvers. They sell solutions, not features, not benefits.
Because prospects look for solutions, it’s a good idea for salespeople to shift away from features and benefits and focus on problem-solving. To reach that goal:
- The first thing to do is to identify prospect needs. Probe to try to find out exactly where the prospect needs help. Is there one major issue you could help solve?
- Understand how the value of each product links to a prospect’s business. There may be many benefits, but the ability to pick out the key problem and come up with the right solution can make a big difference.
- Let the prospect do most of the talking. Salespeople know that listening is an important part of the selling process. The more prospects talk about their problems, the better chance a salesperson will come up with the right solutions.
- Create interest with energy and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious. When prospects sense your optimism about solving their problems, they’re much more receptive.
- Remember that persistence is still king. There are more options for prospects today than ever before. The upside of having so much competition is that prospects won’t stand for a supplier who’s falling short. When problems do arise and new solutions are required, the prospect considers the salesperson who stays in touch and is ready to help pick up the pieces.