Remove hairy knots and tangles to enhance the sales process

A nice knot can solve many problems. But an unplanned knot can render it useless.

Same with purchasing decisions.

Customers may feel like they are dealing with a tangled knot rather than a functional process.  And when you attempt to help them solve problems with your product or service, they might not be able to identify how to proceed. Their vision is unclear because of a foggy definition of their problem(s).

They may do nothing—meaning no sale for you.

Rather than being disappointed at their slow decision making, look at this as your opportunity.  If you take time to analyze their situation and untie them from the knots they may be caught in, you can help them see a clearer path to rely on you and buy from you.

Many customers try to solve too many problems at one time. Others try to solve too many problems with a single product or service. Others cannot grasp the correct order or relationship of several problems.

And the more frustrated they become the bigger the opportunity may be for you. We have all experienced how refreshing it is when we can’t move ahead on a problem, then someone else views it afresh and quickly helps us identify it all clearly. 

This can be a sales professional’s specialty role if they can become good at it.

First, remember people may vary by learning style and how they view the world—auditory, visual, tactile—and as you make your plan, consider how you may express each step to your customer.

Help them to sort out the knot on strand at a time.

1. For a better view, step back and look at the customer’s circumstances from afar.

2. Identify the individual problem(s).

3. For each problem, match it with the primary cause.

4. Now, document the specific goal the customer is trying to achieve by solving each problem.

5. Then, consider: Do any of the problem causes have a relationship?

6. Can any of the goals create synergy, when solved?

7. Confirm: Is there a priority order to how these multiple problems need to be solved?

8. Next, create a presentation to the customer that helps them see the entire situation, in individual pieces, as you do (using their learning style).

9. Demonstrate how your proposed solution (sale) solves each.

10. Step back and let the customer absorb that you’ve just removed an impenetrable knot and replaced it with a functioning rope with which they can lasso their goals.

When you are able to be an excellent problem solver for your customers, expect to be called upon regularly.

The goal is to be a highly valued strategic business partner rather than another sales person offering a commoditized product or service.

You may make yourself invaluable.

Cheryl Kane, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, & professional speaker specializing in strategic planning and service quality. If you seek assistance in growing your business, need a business speaker, or have a topic you would like to see in this column, Cheryl welcomes your communication at email:

[email protected].


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