The Real Reason Your Business Isn’t Selling Solutions?
Every business claims to sell a solution of some kind today. Many of those claims are grandiose. In fact, what many call “selling a solution” to a client is little more than fancy language. I worked with an industrial parts supplier (think nuts and bolts) that called their products “fastening solutions.” Now in the most basic sense, if a solution is an answer to a problem, and the problem is that a customer needs to connect two pieces of metal, I guess nuts and bolts are technically a solution. But that’s hardly how I would define the solution sale.
The idea of solution selling has been around for decades. And it’s evolved, become more complex, more nuanced, and of course more difficult - just like every other function in business. Unfortunately, the pragmatics of solution selling have not evolved much further than sales techniques that are taught in training programs.
If you want your organization to be capable of selling solutions-the kind of solutions that make clients say: “We hadn’t thought about doing it that way,” “I didn’t know you could do that for us,” or “That’s something we ought to consider changing,” then it takes more than formulaic sales techniques and instructing the team to go sell solutions. That requires you as the leader of the business to prioritize selling solutions as a fundamental strategy for growth. Practically speaking, this means dedicating resources to develop the capability, committing finances to support the effort, measuring the leading indicators that reflect success, and rigorously managing and coaching your sales talent.
Do those things well and getting your sales team to execute the behaviors of selling solutions will succeed. This approach can be very useful when part of an integrated strategy to create value for clients. If you are interested in a new way to support the use of solution selling skills in your company, check out the next section. If not, I’m afraid the research is overwhelmingly clear that sales training events alone have a low probability of producing results.
LinkedIn and I have teamed up to create a brand new Solution Selling video course, specifically designed to help your sales team understand and apply the behaviors required to sell solutions to your clients. It will be available starting January 16th and I’ll have links for you to preview videos in next month’s newsletter.
VARIDESK Drawing Winners
My clients Dan Flaherty, Founder, and Jason McCann, CEO, of VARIDESK, won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Emerging category. You can watch Jason’s acceptance speech at the event here to learn more about VARIDESK and the great things this company is doing.
They offered to give five VARIDESK sit/stand adjustable desks to subscribers of this newsletter. The response was great and I did a quick video of the drawing that you can watch below.
Congratulations to the winners!
A Slice of Life Balance
Take some time throughout your day to stand while you work. It can be during a phone call (I tend to walk around my office when I’m on a call), or while reading something, or even try a sit/stand desk if you choose. I know, that last bit may seem like a plug for my client VARIDESK since they made a great offer to readers of this newsletter, but the idea of standing while working is not new to me.
I’ve been a fan of the standing desk long before it was cool. Since 1997 to be exact, and I’ve been using one since. I was first turned on to the idea by another colleague who insisted it was his key to having energy throughout the day to complete tasks, make calls, etc. So I tried it. And loved it. It has made a huge difference in my work life.
You may remember hearing about a Mayo Clinic study from a couple of years ago that gave rise to the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” Whether you take it that far or not, it wouldn’t hurt to get out of your chair a little more, right? It may help with your energy ebb and flow, it may help you to address back issues, and there is even research suggesting that others may hear a more powerful voice on the other end of the phone when you are standing. And with all those New Year’s resolutions to be more active, lose weight, get healthier, etc., this may be an easy way to get started.
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